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Additional unrest over accountancy plan

CAMBODIA’S plan to restrict the role of foreign accountants by 2014 would make becoming a full member of the International Federation of Accountants Council more difficult, a business leader said.

The Kampuchea Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Auditors must meet a number of requirements to move from associate to full member of the IFAC. They include meeting strict quality, discipline and ethics standards.

But the chairman of domestic accounting firm Morison Kak & Associates Key Kak said the promotion could be more difficult to achieve if only Cambodians could sign final company statements – as a government plan outlined on Monday.

The presence of trained foreign accountants, he said, was an important part of meeting competencies demanded by IFAC.

“The state authority may function in terms of oversight, but [it should] not impair the independence of the profession,” he said.

Full membership would benefit the Kingdom by boosting perceptions of the quality of domestic accounting, contributing to the success of the planned stock exchange, said Key Kak, who is also a former head of KICPAA.

But KICPAA’s new chief executive officer Soth Vanthoc said he did not think the government’s rules would restrict its eventual rise to full membership.

“We will see if there are enough Cambodian accountants [to meet the industry’s requirements],” he said.

Cambodia’s association aims to become a full member in “three to five years”, he said. Associate membership means that Cambodia cannot vote at council meetings and may participate in activities by invitation only.

Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Ngy Tayi directed questions to the KICPAA. An IFAC representative did not respond to request for comment.

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