Following the direction of the Leaders of the Ministry of Finance on the review of 30 years of Independent Auditing in Vietnam, following events to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of AASC Auditing Firm Co., Ltd (formerly known as Consulting Services Company in Finance, Accounting and Auditing – Ministry of Finance) May 13, 1991 – May 13, 2021. The Editorial Board would like to introduce the article "Promoting the Vietnam Auditing Brand" published on Nhan Dan Newspaper No. 23973 on June 14, 2021 (Life - Economy column) by Dr. Nguyen Anh Dung – Former Director of People's Newspaper who has accompanied AASC and Vietnam's Independent Auditing Industry for the past 30 years.
Three types of audit closely in socio-economic life include: State Audit (under the National Assembly), Internal Audit (organized by enterprises and units themselves) and Independent Audit (e.g. financial consulting firms, accounting, auditing…). These are tools to help operate the economy effectively, in which the role of the Independent Auditor is increasingly strongly affirmed and AASC Auditing Firm Co., Ltd. is the first established audit accounting unit of our country.
AASC 30 years of promoting Vietnamese brand
Implementing the Directive on strengthening the state audit system of the Prime Minister, on May 13, 1991, the Minister of Finance signed the decision to establish the first two accounting and auditing firms, including Accounting and Auditing Financial Consulting Services Company (predecessor of AASC Auditing Firm Co., Ltd.) to meet the requirements of shifting from a centrally planned, subsidized economy to a fixed market economy socialist direction. When opening up this field, foreign audit firms flooded in, both cooperating and competing with overwhelming strengths. The first two companies, then five companies under the Ministry of Finance, have tried to select the elite to build Vietnamese auditing resources, but it is very difficult and challenging in the competition with the big 6 companies in terms of human resources, knowledge resources and experience. This is really too much pressure for AASC.
In the year of start-up, there were only two companies in the country with small number of auditors only, more than 5 years later, the whole country had 12 auditing firms: six domestic companies and six world's top six companies (Big 6). Up to now, after 30 years of operation, there have been more than 200 companies with more than 2,600 practicing auditors, of which AASC is always ranked in the top 5, is the company "leading in the system of auditing firms in Vietnam". After more than two years of being only able to provide simple accounting, financial and tax consulting services until September 14, 1993, the Company was supplemented by the Prime Minister with the task of Auditing, Valuation and renamed to Accounting and Auditing Services Company (AASC). On July 2, 2007, it was transformed into a multi-member limited liability company in accordance with the Law on Enterprises and in accordance with international practices. Carrying out the assigned political tasks, AASC has closely coordinated with the Tax Department to guide non-state enterprises to open and keep accounting books – this is really difficult work, because when the accounting books are clear, in full, it means that the amount of tax payable will increase because the revenue cannot be hidden anymore. The greater advantage is that taxpayers quickly understand that transparent accounting facilitates management and administration of production and business, evaluates their own performance, reduces troubles and negatives in " tax bond" "to share tax", and at the same time is a reliable basis for the State to adjust and amend appropriate policies in the direction of encouraging the development of this economic sector.
The service provided by AASC to the above businesses is free, although it takes a lot of time and effort, and it is fortunate that it has gone down in economic-financial history because of its good efficiency, especially in improving transparency, and fairness in the obligation to pay the state budget. In the journey for independent audit, AASC and auditing companies actively contributed to the State to create a mechanism with a full legal framework including: Law on Independent Audit 2011, guiding documents on accounting and auditing laws and standards; Expanding international relations in accounting and auditing which contributes to promoting Vietnam's economic integration and opening process. AASC also contributed to the Ministry of Finance on the development of the Law on Price Management and guiding documents, the Valuation Standards. For the State Audit, AASC and auditing companies contribute to the development of the State Audit Law, standards and professional processes, and carry out related audit and training activities.
Contributing to the building of a socialist rule of law state
When it was established, AASC had nearly a dozen officers and employees. In 1996 it increased to 126 people (30 Auditors), in 2006 it was more than 350 people (118 Auditors). At the time of converting AASC into a Limited Company with two or more members on July 2, 2007, AASC had only nearly 200 employees (35 Auditors) and on the eve of its 30th anniversary, the number of AASC employees increased to more than 500 (102 Auditors) including 14 international certificates (ACCA, CIMA, CIA...), 34 price appraisers, 36 tax consulting service certificates. In the first year of establishment, AASC had almost no revenue. From the second year, revenue from operations and state budget payments, employees' incomes continued to grow. AASC is one of the few companies with the Big 4 Auditor to audit projects funded by international credit institutions WB, ADB and ODA…; officially recognized as a member of the International Network of Accounting, Auditing and Consulting HLB; is the first auditing company in Vietnam to provide services to countries in the region.
This achievement is associated with the AASC leadership's vision of recruiting, selecting and training personnel and it is part of the AASC culture. Human resources are gathered from businesses, units and university and graduate students majoring in finance - accounting, auditing, and banking at home and abroad then trained to improve skills, techniques, and professional updates to become Auditors. Elite auditors are regularly nurtured, trained in expertise, ethics and bravery to successfully realize AASC's development aspirations, together with auditing firms operating in Vietnam to successfully implement the Strategy, develop accounting and auditing to 2030 with a vision to 2035 and to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Former National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung affirmed: The Ministry of Finance recognizes the contributions of companies in the field of financial consulting, accounting and auditing, including AASC to the development of financial services. These services have contributed to eliminating unreasonable costs, saving the state budget many billions of dong... Auditing has always been of special interest, especially the State Audit and the State Audit. Independent audit, because they are the key resources and factors to ensure the publicity, transparency and compliance with the law in the field of finance and accounting, effectively contributing to the construction of the socialist rule of law State, fighting corruption, waste, fraud, and ensuring social justice.
The above-mentioned directives and the AASC's efforts show a deep understanding and good implementation of the teachings of President Ho Chi Minh: To build a strong financial economy, to have democratic management, the financial statements must be public, the books must be transparent.
NGUYEN ANH DUNG M.A.