Philippine auditors should upgrade their work standards to international levels by 2015 in time for the economic integration of Southeast Asia set for that year, a top official of the Association of Certified Accountants in Public Practice (ACPAPP) said on Tuesday.
“So they [the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC and the Board of Accountancy]are pushing for it. We started this in 2005 so they are trying to bring the quality of the work of the [Filipino] auditors up to a higher level,” said ACPAPP President Donnies Alas.
“The big firms and the small and medium [accounting]firms are the ones qualified to do that, but there are single practitioners in the provinces that have very low standards,” he added, referring to accounting firms operating in the Philippines.
The organization sees the advent of new business trends, emerging global markets, and advances in technology as challenges to the practice of the country’s certified public accountants (CPAs).
On January 28, ACPAPP inducted its new sets of officers for 2014. The theme of the event was “Standing Tall Amidst the Global Challenges,” which echoed the call for the country’s CPAs to raise the standard of their practice to international standards.
For her part, SEC General Accountant Ma. Gracia Casals-Diaz said that in preparation also with the Asean Integrated Capital Market, the agency is pushing a Quality Assurance Review, which will further enhance the quality of the financial reports submitted by corporations.
“And the ultimate objective of that is to protect the investors, the users of financial reports and to further improve the capital market, and ultimately to improve the economic situation of the Philippines,” she added.
The government should also place a strong focus on the quality of continuing professional development and advanced training requirements for CPAs that would fit the needs of today’s market.
In line with this, Diaz said that, “If we will, of course, align our rules with global standards and practices, our corporations would be competitive, and this is specially important right now that we will be having the integration of capital markets by 2015.”
Earlier, ACPAPP said there is a strong need to contend with an evolving political and economic environment that continuously requires improvement in the public accountancy practice in the Philippines in order to protect public interest.
“Base on our records, we are amending Rules 68 every two years because the rules of financial reporting are very fast paced. So we have to make that aligned with this global standard and practices, otherwise the compliance of our corporations will not be competitive with the rest of the group,” Diaz said.
Rule 68 of the SEC stipulates the requirements for financial statements that must be submitted by stock corporations.