Accountants, auditors, enterprises and NGOs that delay the submission of their tax return forms or commit accounting fraud are liable to a fine of more than 30 million riel ($7,300), according to a new sub-decree on Transactional Penalties for Violations in Accounting and Auditing Laws.
The eight-page sub-decree, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday, aims to promote accountability and ensure the proper implementation of the law on accounting and auditing.
The sub-decree states that the transactional penalty falls under the purview of the National Accounting Council (NAC) where its director has the right to make decisions after reviewing the proposal for a decision by the general secretariat.
The amount of the transactional penalties, which starts from 800,000 riel, is subject to the state revenue of the NAC.
If the crimes are repeated, the guilty party could either face double transactional penalties, suspension or withdrawal of its accounting and auditing professional licence, as well as legal action.
However, the sub-decree provides an avenue for appeal over the decision with the NAC within 15 days.
“Accused parties also have the right to file an appeal to the Minister of Economy and Finance and the court within 30 days,” the document read.
Ministry spokesman Meas Soksensan told The Post on Tuesday that the sub-decree was issued in response to changes in the accounting and auditing practices in Cambodia and overseas due to economic transformations.
Recent economic developments have required respective countries to update their regulations on accounting management.
“Owing to that, Cambodia implemented this sub-decree so that it can manage the sector more effectively,” Soksensan said.
Heang Phirum, a private company accountant in Phnom Penh, said although the penalty is high, subordinate institutions must obey the law.
She also hopes that the law would be implemented transparently nationwide.
“We don’t have many experts [in the accounting and auditing sector] as they are difficult to find and companies don’t hire them because they are expensive,” Phirum said.