Three-year programme aims to equip public officials with skills in Principles of Accounting, Taxation and Public Sector Financial Management.
2 February 2018 – Over 50 government officials across Lao PDR will undergo a three-year programme organised by Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), in partnership with the Lao Ministry of Finance. Supported with a grant of about S$183,000 by Temasek Foundation International (TF Intl), the programme is part of an agreement signed between ISCA and the Lao Chamber of Professional Accountants and Auditors (LCPAA) in October 2016 to co-develop the accountancy sector in Lao PDR.
Since becoming a member of ASEAN in 1997, the economy of Lao PDR has continued to grow at a rapid pace. Economic growth over the past five years has continued at an average rate of 7.9 percent per year, and the Lao Government strives to achieve GDP growth of not less than 7.5 percent per annum for its next five years plan (2016-2020). To achieve this rapid growth target, a qualified accountancy profession is necessary to ensure investor confidence. Currently, there is a shortage of accountancy-trained professionals to support the growing Lao economy.
The programme will therefore help to develop the capabilities of accounting professionals in Lao PDR. The programme started with a five-day leadership workshop conducted in Singapore in July 2017 for 10 senior Lao government officials. The workshop covered a broad overview of topics such as principles of accounting, tax mechanism and public sector financial management.
Over the past two weeks in Vientiane, another 32 Lao government officials have completed specialist workshops on the same topics, to equip working-level officers with the skills and knowledge which can be applied in their daily course of work. The programme was facilitated by experienced ISCA members.
Using the Train-the-Trainer model, Lao officials who have completed the programme will share their knowledge with their officers to build a core team of skilled accounting officials. The programme is aligned with the Lao Ministry of Finance’s aim to move from rules-based accounting to principles-based accounting system and help build the foundation for Lao PDR to adopt international accounting standards.
An event organised by LCPAA was held today to mark the successful completion of the first workshop conducted in Vientiane. It was officiated by His Excellency Dr Athsaphangthong Siphandone, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Finance, Lao PDR and witnessed by Dr Gerard Ee, President, ISCA.
“We are delighted to be part of the journey in co-developing the accountancy sector of Lao PDR. Establishing a robust accountancy sector is vital to a country’s national development. As an emerging economy and an ASEAN member state, Lao PDR has tremendous growth potential. We are honoured to be able to contribute towards creating a strong foundation for Lao PDR’s economic development.” said Dr Gerard Ee, President, ISCA.
“Public sector leadership and effective policy making are important elements of development and growth. This programme in Lao PDR is our first in building capabilities in financial accounting for the public sector. The learning and exchange will enhance accounting standards and public sector effectiveness in all partner organisations involved,” said Mr Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive, TF Intl.
“The Public Administration in Accountancy Programme developed with the support of ISCA and TF Intl and the cooperation of LCPAA are very beneficial for Lao finance officials in order to build a strong accountancy knowledge in preparing themselves to implement and enforce bookkeeping in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).” said Dr Athsaphangthong Siphandone, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Finance, Lao PDR.
The next workshop with focus on taxation will be held in April 2018.