Bangkok, September 29, 2014 – The SEC and the Federation of Accounting Professions under His Majesty The King’s Royal Patronage (FAP) plan to launch a capacity building project to increase the number of SEC approved-auditors. The project aims to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with a potential to raise fund through capital market and expected to help enhance Thailand’s readiness to compete at the regional and global levels.
Vorapol Socatiyanurak, SEC Secretary-General said that “The SEC initiated a “Capital Market Auditors” project in preparation for increasing SME access in capital market by increasing the number of auditors in the capital market and enhance the audit personnel’s capability in response to changes of professional standards and more complex transactions. Under this project, auditors will be classified into 2 groups: (I) auditors for companies in capital market and (II) auditors for companies to be listed on SMEs board which will be launched in the future for accredited investors. In this regard, certain qualifications such as audit work experience, past experience in certifying financial statements, and size of company, may be relaxed. It should be noted, however, that audit quality will not be compromised as the SEC will require both groups of auditors to work for audit firms that perform and equip with quality assurance system in compliance with professional standards.”
Prasan Chuaphanich, FAP President said that “One of FAP’s mission is to develop and improve Thai accounting professionals on par with international standards to foster their readiness for more intensified competitive environments in the near future. FAP therefore keeps pace with changes of international professional standards, including the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs), the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and accounting professional ethics in the revision and adoption of Thai accounting standards. In addition, FAP continuously works on dissemination of knowledge on accounting professionals across the country. Presently, Thailand is internationally recognized as a member of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) while Thai accounting standards are in conformity with international standards.”
SEC Secretary-General and FAP President said on collaboration of this project that FAP will select the participants from potential auditors and audit firms yet to work in the area of capital market. Furthermore, FAP will give advice, conduct on-site visit and improve their audit quality in accordance with Thai Standard on Quality Control (TSQC 1), Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Statements, and Other Assurance and Related Services Engagements. Within 12-18 months, the project participants are expected to be ready to provide services for companies in capital market. Some of them may first step in as Group II auditors and improve themselves to be Group I auditors in the future. Concurrently, SEC and FAP encourage the collaboration among audit firms to strengthen their capacity and increase the number of the SEC approved-auditors. Meanwhile, the collaboration will incentivize more auditors to join audit firms working in the area of capital market and will thus alleviate the shortage of audit personnel as well as strengthen audit firms’ stability.
In addition, the SEC and FAP agreed to develop a curriculum for listed companies’ chief executive officers (CFO), the key persons responsible for accuracy and reliability of financial reports, aiming to raise awareness of their responsibilities and importance of financial statement preparation. The introduction of curriculum is expected by the fourth quarter of this year.
Prasan added that "The CFO focus on financial reporting curriculum will be an ongoing program with a view to enabling CFOs to stay abreast of major changes and significant developments on financial reporting that may affect company financial status, performance and financial disclosure. This would add value of the businesses and help mitigate risks associated with incorrect financial statements. In this regard, FAP is well aware of the importance on this matter and will push forward to include the program participation as a factor adding up corporate governance score for listed companies."
Vorapol added that “In the past years, the SEC has geared full efforts to uplift professional standards and audit quality in the Thai capital market in line with international standards to increase transparency in auditor supervision and trustworthiness of listed companies’ financial reporting. In term of international recognition, the quality of SEC’s auditor supervision has been internationally recognized, as evidenced by acceptance as a member of International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) in 2010 while Thailand’s supervision on accounting and auditing were ranked second in Asia by Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) in 2012. In addition, the European Commission’s endorsement in 2013 also facilitates Thai companies’ securities offering in the European Union (EU) members as Thai auditors are allowed to audit and certify their financial statements without having to register with independent audit regulator of each EU member state.”