Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) is an initiative in ASEAN integration on trade in services. MRAs facilitate trade in services by mutual recognition of authorisation, licensing or certification of professional service suppliers obtained in one ASEAN Member State (AMS) by other AMS. The goal of the MRA is to facilitate the flow of foreign professionals taking into account relevant domestic regulations and market demand conditions.
The MRA on Accountancy Services was first signed in February 2009 in the form of MRA framework to encourage AMSs who are ready, to enter into bilateral or multilateral negotiations on MRAs on Accountancy Services. Subsequently, an amended ASEAN MRA on Accountancy Services (click here to download) was signed by ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) on 13 November 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. The MRA now applies to all AMSs for accountancy-related services except for signing off of the independent auditor's report and other accountancy services that requires domestic licensing in AMSs.
The MRA works towards an ASEAN-wide registration system which allows registered Professional Accountant (PA) in an AMS to be certified as ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountant (ASEAN CPA) and finally work as Registered Foreign Professional Accountant (RFPA) in other AMS.
The administration of the MRA at ASEAN level is undertaken by ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountant Coordinating Committee (ACPACC) who has the authority to confer and withdraw the title of ASEAN CPA. At national level, a Monitoring Committee is established in and by each participating AMSs, to develop and maintain a process of submitting, on behalf eligible PAs, applications to be emplaced on the ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountants Register (ACPAR) maintained by ACPACC. In Brunei Darussalam, the Brunei Darussalam Monitoring Committee (BDMC) on Accountancy Services is established to undertake this responsibility. The BDMC on Accountancy Services is chaired by the Director of Revenue Division, Ministry of Finance and its members comprise of representatives from Labour Department; and Immigration Department of Ministry of Home Affairs; and members of Brunei Darussalam Institute of Certified Public Accountants (BICPA).
Objectives of ASEAN MRA on Accountancy Services
1. To facilitate mobility of accountancy services professionals across ASEAN Member States;
2. To enhance the current regime for the provision of accountancy services in the ASEAN Member States; and
3. To exchange information in order to promote adoption of best practices on standards and qualifications.