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ASEAN Integration and the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Accountancy Services

By: Melissa Anne M. Redor, CPA
October 2014

In relation to the ASEAN Economic Integration, the Board of Accountancy (BOA) released a statement dated September 24, 2014 regarding the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on accountancy services. The MRA is an agreement among the ten ASEAN member countries to facilitate the mobility of accredited accountancy professionals within the ASEAN region. The MRA will allow Filipino accountants to practice their profession in any ASEAN member state provided certain qualifications in the MRA are met. This is also the same case for accounting professionals from other ASEAN member-countries wanting to practice in the Philippines. Should this be implemented in the country, Filipino accountants in the Philippines may be exposed to additional opportunities as well as risks/threats. Aside from this, the MRA can help in maintaining open communication among ASEAN countries to promote adoption of best practice on standards and qualifications of accounting professionals.

The MRA was signed during the ASEAN Economic Minister Meeting held last August 2014 at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. However, the Philippines was not able to sign during said meeting but is expected to sign this within the next two months.

BOA Chairman Joel Tan-Torres and Hon. Gerardo Sanvictores attended the Working Group Meeting in Bali, Indonesia last September 22-26, 2014 that discussed the implementation requirements for the ASEAN MRA. In the statement released by the BOA, the MRA implementation will encompass "the promulgation of rules, regulations and resolution by the BOA and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) that will include such provisions as the setting up of a Monitoring Committee, prescribing an Assessment Statement, maintenance of an ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountants Register, and the registration of the ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountants".

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has the goal of forming an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which aims to become a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy. The ASEAN member states decided to accelerate the establishment of the AEC by 2015 and to “transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and freer flow of capital."1

1) ASEAN Economic Community.