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Lao PDR

Head of State  : President Bounnhang Vorachith

Head of Government  : Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith

Capital             : Vientiane

Language(s)    : Lao

Currency         : Kip

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ASEAN CPA
Download List : here

Profile of the Country

Information of The Country
Professional Associations
Qualifying as an Accountants
Setting Up an Accountancy Practice

Under the previous Accounting Law, accounting consultants and accounting experts are allowed to provide advice on accounting, to set up accounting system, to maintain book-keeping, to conduct follow-up, analysis, evaluation and problems solving in accounting of the accounting entity (the budget, technical and administrative entities, public funds, enterprises and not-for-profit organisations who are subjected to the obligation of book-keeping).

Under the Audit Law (No: 05/NA 2007), independent auditor is an accounting consultant or accounting expert who conducts audit engagement and has been registered as members of LICPA and on the registry of the company under the terms of the Enterprise and Tax Laws.

However, the new promulgated Independent Audit Law, replacing those provisions regarding accountancy and audit practices, covers the requirements for establishing accountancy or audit firm.

Individual

An individual CPA practitioner may practice either as an employer or employee in a accountancy or audit firm or in business. An individual local and foreign CPA is not allowed to practice as a liberal profession. He/she must work on behalf of a legal entity only.

In order to have permission to sign auditor’s report on behalf of an audit firm, the CPA shall be registered and has a statutory auditor license issued by the Ministry of Finance. To be a statutory auditor, the CPA of the audit firm shall be a partner of its audit firm.


Public Accounting firm

According to the Law on Enterprises No: 11/NA, dated November 9, 2005, Accounting Law 2013 and Independent Audit Law 2014, accountancy firms and audit firms, doing business in accounting and audit services must be approved and have obtained licences issued by the MOF and registered for accounting practice by and with LCPAA.

Individual or legal entity willing to apply for accountancy firm practicing license that could practice non-assurance engagements shall comply with the following principal requirements:

  1. Be a Lao Certified Public Accountant or a legally established foreign accountancy firm;
  2. Be member of the LCPAA;
  3. Is not a government officer, owner, partner or employee of any enterprise;
  4. Never been disciplinarily sanctioned or been judged by court for fraud or economic or accounting violations; and
  5. Have at least three accounting, finance staffs with high education level and above.

For establishing audit firm that could practice in both assurance and non-assurance engagements, the following criteria should be met:

  1. Be a Certified Public Accountant or a legally established foreign audit firm;
  2. Be member of the LCPAA;
  3. Is not a government officer, owner, partner or employee of any enterprise;
  4. Never been disciplinarily sanctioned or been judged by court for fraud or economic or accounting violations;
  5. Have at least two CPAs and several staff in case of individual entity;
  6. CPAs shall be managers and be shareholders of at least three fifth of all shareholders and if having more than two shareholders several staff shall be employed.

Nevertheless, on a temporary basis when aptitude test could not be organised yet, the Ministry of Finance can authorise foreign CPA to practice as Lao CPAs with the following conditions:-

  1. The foreign CPA is required to provide necessary and continuing professional training to employees of Lao nationality;
  2. The foreign CPA must comply with the ethics required by the Professional Accountancy Body and comply with the rules and obligations similarly to members of the Professional Accountant’s Body.

The visa and requirement of professionals are subject to the labor law and regulations of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. Endorsement of the respective departmental authorities is also required.

Law and Regulations on Accountancy Practice
Specific Regulation
Monitoring Committee

Regulated Accounting Services

Professional Accountants in Public Practice
(as a partner or director in an accounting or audit firm)


NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration

NAB Requirement :

Yes, must be practicing member of LCPAA


PRA Requirement :

MOF – Yes, their entity must have accounting or audit firm practicing license


NAB Membership and/or PRA Registration Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

NAB Requirement:

To be practicing member of LCPAA, that individual must be Lao Certified Public Accountant (Lao CPA). To be a Lao CPA he/she, must complete:
  1. CPA training program
  2. CPA practical training
In addition, practicing member must comply with continuing professional development (CPD) obligation.
Foreign CPA could apply for Lao CPA, if their CPA training program is accredited by LCPAA, they could be exempted from Lao CPA course and practical training, but shall pass an aptitude test on Lao business-related legislations.


PRA Requirement :

To have accounting firm practicing license, the applicant shall be Lao CPA and member of LCPAA; not be an officer, owner, shareholder or staff of any enterprise; be free of embezzlement or other intentional infringements on finance or accounting; and have more than three technical staff that have acquired a high level education degree in accounting and finance.
 
To have audit firm practicing license , the applicant shall be Lao CPA and member of LCPAA; not be an officer, owner, shareholder or staff of any enterprise; be free of embezzlement or other intentional infringements on finance or accounting;  have at least two certified public accountants and, in case of sole proprietorship enterprise, have technical staffs that have acquired at least a high level education degree; and Have a certified public accountant as shareholder of least three fifths of total shares and act as manager. In case there are more than two shareholders, have technical staffs that have acquired at least a high level education degree.


Citizenship Requirement

No.


Remarks

However foreign workers shall be subject to other Lao related legislations such as Law of Labour.

Individual accountants (neither Lao national nor foreigner) are not authorized to practice independently in public practice).
Auditor in Public Practice

Non-Regulated Accounting Services

Chief Accountant
Chief Accountant in large-sized enterprises and public interest enterprises


NAB Membership

Yes, must be practicing member of LCPAA


NAB Membership Requirement
(such as examination, test, recognised qualifications, etc)

To be practicing member of LCPAA, that individual must be Lao Certified Public Accountant (Lao CPA). To be a Lao CPA he/she, must complete:
  1. CPA training program
  2. CPA practical training
In addition, practicing member must comply with continuing professional development (CPD) obligation.

Foreign CPA could apply for Lao CPA, if their CPA training program is accredited by LCPAA, they could be exempted from Lao CPA course and practical training, but shall pass an aptitude test on Lao business-related legislations.


Citizenship Requirement

No


Remarks

However foreign workers shall be subject to other Lao related legislations such as Law of Labour.

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