Profile of the Country
1. Information of the Country
Located in a fertile, tropical landscape in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is a mosaic of diversity and culture. A nation of over 60 million, the Thai sense of identity is allied with Buddhism and the Monarchy. It is a country proud of its independence, rich heritage and tradition, but it has also adapted and embraced the rapid change brought about by globalization.
Despite intermittent political challenges, Thai society has remained stable thanks to the enduring presence and pacifying role of the Monarchy and the country’s firm commitment to democratization. Today, Thailand is firmly committed to participatory, multi-party democracy. Thai people from all walks of life, at all levels, are increasingly taking part in public activities and enjoying the rights and freedom that come with democracy. Their voices are duly being heard and their interest equally recognized. Modern Thailand is building a democracy that is based on good governance, the rule of law, human rights, transparency, and accountability, and one that would lead to sustainable development.
Thailand has a dynamic economy – one that is open, market-based, private-sector led and integrated into the global economy. More than just a top tourist destination, Thailand’s strategic location, literally on the crossroads between South and East Asia, is a gateway to a growing market of nearly 600 million people. Combined with its solid infrastructure, global connectivity, world-class transport, quality human resources, and business-friendly environment, Thailand is attracting an increasing number of investors. While Thailand has embraced modernization and industrialization as it now moves on the path of creative economy, agriculture remains an important sector in the Kingdom’s economy Thailand has long embraced an “outward-looking” foreign policy. It seeks to promote friendly relations with other countries and participates fully and actively in international and regional organizations. Thailand is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and continues to contribute to ASEAN on its path towards becoming an ASEAN Community by 2015. Thailand also plays an active role in the global community of nations especially at the United Nations where it has supported international efforts to promote economic and social development, peace and stability, as well as human rights and human security. Thailand is also a leader in creating linkages between regional organizations in Asia with regional organizations elsewhere. An open, vibrant and diverse society, endowed with rich cultural heritage and unspoiled natural beauty, Thailand is a Land of Smiles and a Land of Opportunities waiting to be explored.
General Information about Thailand
Location: Thailand is situated in the heart of the Southeast Asian mainland, covering an area of 513,115 sq.km. and extends about 1,620 kilometres from north to south and 775 kilometres from east to west. Thailand borders the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Union of Myanmar to the North, the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Gulf of Thailand to the East, the Union of Myanmar and the Indian Ocean to the West, and Malaysia to the south.
National Flag: Thailand's national flag, ceremoniously raised each morning in every town and village, is composed of five horizontal bands of red, white, and blue. The harmony of design expresses the complimentary nature of these three pillars of the Thai nation.
Major Cities: North: Chiangmai, South: Songkla, Central region : Ayutthaya and Chonburi, North Eastern : Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen
Climate: Thailand is a warm and rather humid tropical country with monsoonal climate. Temperatures are highest in March and April with average temperature of 28 degree Celsius to 38 degrees Celsius and humidity averaging between 82.8 per cent to 73 per cent
Seasons: Dry: March to May, Rainy: June to October, Cool: November to February.
Population: The population in Thailand in 2015 is 65,729,098, of which more than 10 million live in the capital city, Bangkok.
Language: The national and official language is Thai while English is widely spoken and understood in major cities, particularly in Bangkok and in business circles.
Business Hours: Government and business offices are open from 8:30 to 16:30 hours, Monday to Friday.
Electricity: 220 volts 50 cycles throughout the country
Banks: The country's central bank is the Bank of Thailand. Major Thai commercial banks include the Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Thai Farmers Bank and Thai Military Bank. Business hours are 08:30 - 15:30 hours, Monday to Friday. Several international banks also have offices in Thailand.
Currency: Thai Baht is the standard currency unit.
Bank Notes : 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 baht
Coins : 1, 5, and 10 baht
Smaller currency unit is Satang. 1 Baht = 100 satangs
Newspaper & Media:
There are over 100 radio stations in Bangkok. Broadcasting is done in both Thai and English, with news broadcasting every hour.
There are over 20 Thai morning dailies in Bangkok. Two major English-language dailies are the Bangkok Post and The Nation. Many major international newspapers, magazines and books are also widely available.
There are 6 general television stations broadcast local variety shows, newscasts and live coverage of special events. Cable TV is also available by subscription.
Health and Medical Facilities: Bangkok has numerous clinics and hospitals catering to a variety of needs. Major public and private hospitals are equipped with the latest medical technology and internationally qualified specialists. Almost all pharmaceuticals are widely available. Drinking of tap water should be avoided.
Regulations for Foreign Visitors to Thailand: Foreign nationals visiting Thailand must possess valid passports or accepted travel documents and appropriate visas before entering the country.
Mobile Police: 191
Fire Brigade: 199
Tourist Police / Tourist Service Centre:1155
Source : https://www.thaiembassy.org/bsb/en/travel
Doing Business in Thailand : https://www.mazars.co.th/content/download/946163/49274298/version//file/Doing%20Business%20in%20Thailand%202019%20-%202020.pdf
2. Professional Associations
TFAC is a statutory body established in accordance with The Accounting Professions Acts B.E. 2547 (2004) (“Act”), which was enacted on 23rd October 2004. TFAC is the center for accounting professions in Thailand. There are four types of membership of the TFAC namely:
a. Ordinary Member;
b. Extraordinary Member;
c. Associate Member; and
d. Honorable Member.
An Ordinary Member shall have the following qualifications and characteristics:
1. Being not younger than 20 years old
2. Having Thai nationality;
3. Having at least a bachelor’s degree in accountancy or holding a certificate in accountancy or other degrees equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in accountancy accredited by TFAC, or other degrees as prescribed by TFAC;
4. Not being a person of delinquent morals posing discredit to accounting professions as prescribed in the regulations of TFAC;
5. Never having been imprisoned by a final court judgment for an offence on delinquent morals posing discredit to accounting professions as prescribed in the regulations of TFAC; and
6. Not being incompetent or quasi-incompetent or having any disease as prescribed in the regulations of TFAC.
As an Ordinary Member, the member shall have the following rights and duties:
1. Presenting opinions in a general meeting;
2. Casting a vote in a general meeting;
3. Electing, being elected or being appointed as the committee member or to other positions relating to the activities of TFAC in accordance with this Act;
4. Paying membership dues and fees as prescribed in the regulations of TFAC;
5. Preserving the integrity of the accounting professions and complying with the provisions of this Act; and
6. Other rights and duties as prescribed by TFAC.
Ordinary members may request for an extraordinary meeting to be convened in accordance with the criteria and procedures prescribed in the regulations of TFAC. In such case, the Federation’s President shall summon an extraordinary meeting within thirty days after receiving a written request. There shall be not less than two hundred ordinary members to constitute a quorum at a general meeting.
Extraordinary Member and Associate Member
An extraordinary member and an associate member shall be a Thai national, have the qualifications and shall have no prohibited characteristics as prescribed in the regulations of TFAC.
The above provision shall not be applied to a person who is not a Thai national but who has a nationality of a country which permits Thai nationals to practice auditing, and who intends to apply for an extraordinary membership. Nevertheless such person shall have the qualifications and shall not have the prohibited characteristics as prescribed for Ordinary Member.
Extraordinary Members are those with at least a Bachelor’s Degree in other area e.g.
Business Administration, Commerce, Economics, or other degrees as prescribed by TFAC.
Associate Member is someone with education lower than a Bachelor’s Degree but higher than certificate in high-level vocational schooling (in accountancy) or diploma in accountancy or studying in undergraduate level in accountancy or related fields.
An honorary member is a learned person invited to be a member by a resolution of the Committee of TFAC.
An extraordinary member, an associate member and an honorable member shall have the rights and duties in accordance with items (1), (4), (5) and (6) of the rights and duties of an ordinary member as stated above. As of December 2018, there were approximately total 82,650 individual registered as a member of TFAC and approximately 4,432 registered accounting and audit firms.
3. Qualifying as an Accountants
To become a Bookkeeper, a person must first apply to be a member of TFAC or register with TFAC. After becoming a TFAC member or registering with TFAC, the person can register with the DBD to be a bookkeeper. The DBD will verify whether or not the person has met the minimum requirements such as education.
In order to be a qualified public accountant in Thailand, the individual must be a member of TFAC and complete the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination as governed and conducted by the TFAC. The basic requirements are:
1. Having professional education (e.g. shall be university/higher education degree, post-graduate education etc). A member of TFAC must have related degree in accountancy (normally 4 years of study).
2. Passing 6 subjects within 4 years. Each subject passed remains valid for only 4 years if a CPA applicant has not yet passed the whole examinations;
3. Completing 3,000 hours of practical experience continually by 3 years and no later than 5 years as pre-qualifications before becoming the CPA.
The examinations are in Thai language.
For an individual to apply for a license of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the following qualifications and criteria have to be met:
1. Being an ordinary member or an extraordinary member of TFAC. In the case of an extraordinary member is a foreigner, the person shall be proficient in Thai (to be able to audit and to prepare a report in Thai) and shall have domicile in Thailand. After obtaining a license, the person shall obtain a work permit in accordance with the law on aliens’ work.
2. Having passed an examination, training, or apprentice or having practiced in accounting professions as prescribed by the regulations of TFAC;
3. Never having been imprisoned by a court’s judgment for offences under Section 269 and Section 3233, or offences related to property except offences on loss of property and trespassing under Criminal Code, offences under accounting law, auditing law, or corporate liability law as limited to offences relating to fault or untrue certification of financial statements, accounts or reports, or offences under Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 of the Act unless the individual has been released for not less than five years;
4. Not being a bankrupt; and
5. Minimum age of 20 years old.
The TFAC shall issue a license to the applicant not later than ninety days from the date of submission of the application (if the applicant is qualified). TFAC has the powers and duties to register and issue licenses to auditors, to suspend or revoke auditors’ licenses, to prescribe rules and procedures relating to the administration of auditor licenses, and to consult with the universities or other institutions relating to the curriculum for auditing profession. It is empowered to form sub-committees to do any business or any investigation within its powers.
The application, approval, and issuance of a license of a certified public accountant shall be in accordance with forms and criteria as prescribed in the regulations of the TFAC.
Both bookkeepers and auditors (both practicing and non-practicing) are required to obtain 12 hours per for bookkeepers and 40 hours per annum for auditors.
4. Setting up an Accountancy Practice
An individual is authorised to sign the audit report and providing audit opinion only if the individual is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or if has been authorised by the competent authority to do so.
There are several positions that foreigners cannot legally occupy when seeking employment in Thailand whether to work or be employed as Accountants. Foreigners are not permitted to practice accounting Thailand but can manage or act as heads of firms. Foreigners need to obtain a work permit in order to work at any company in Thailand and obtaining that work permit is subject to approval by the Labor Department of Thailand.
To form a Public Accountant firm
An accounting or auditing firm has to be registered with TFAC in accordance with Section 11 of the Act. The registration fee is 2,000 Baht per annum
The firm is allowed to use foreign firms names however approval from the DBD under the Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 (1999) is required.
All practitioners need to have their principal or place of residence in Thailand in order to practise in the country.
5. Law and Regulations on Accountancy Practice
Currently, services provided by accountancy professionals are regulated by law relating to bookkeeping under the Accounting Act. B.E. 2543 (2000).
In Thailand, under the law, accountants are described as bookkeepers. A “Bookkeeper” is defined as “a person responsible for the bookkeeping of the person having the duty to keep accounts, whether it is undertaken in the capacity of an employee of the person having the duty to keep accounts.” Bookkeepers are regulated by Department of Business Development (DBD), Ministry of Commerce.
Accounting profession which includes profession in bookkeeping, auditing, managerial accounting, accounting system, tax accounting, accounting education and technology, or other accounting services prescribed by the ministerial regulations are regulated by the Accounting Professions Act B.E. 2547 (2004) (“Act”) and professionally self-regulated by the Federation of Accounting Professions (TFAC). Under the law, only a certified public accountant is allowed to apply for an auditor’s license from the TFAC.
However, under this Act, the Professional Accounting Supervisory Commission, authority, has been set up to supervise all activities of the TFAC according to the Act.
The Act stipulates the authority, role and objectives in the following areas:
a. The Federation of Accounting Professions;
b. Members of the Federation of Accounting Professions;
c. The Committee of the Federation of Accounting Professions;
d. The Committee on Accounting Standard-setting;
e. The Supervision of Auditing Professions;
f. The Supervision of Bookkeeping Professions;
g. The Code of Accounting Profession Ethics;
h. Oversight on accounting professions; and
6. Specific Regulation
Auditors involved in auditing certain organisations need specific clearance from those regulatory bodies as below:
1. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits only CPA who passes its approval process to audit listed companies (under Securities and Exchange Act B.E.2535);
2. Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) monitors CPA works performed in the audit of insurance companies;
3. DBD supervises the filing of financial statements of juristic persons (under Accounting Act B.E. 2543);
4. Department of Cooperative Auditing, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives monitors CPA works performed in the audit of cooperatives (under Cooperative Societies Act of BE 2511 (1968))
5. Department of Revenue allows the auditing of financial statements of small entities performed by tax auditors; however CPA can perform those works as tax auditors (under the revenue Code); an
6. Bank of Thailand supervises financial statements of the financial sector (under Commercial Banking Act B.E. 2505).
Under the law, the bookkeeper must enter particulars in the accounts in the Thai language, or in a foreign language accompanied by the Thai language, or in accounting code provided the translation thereof in the Thai language.
7. Monitoring Commitee
7.1. List of the member
Mr. Chakkrit Parapuntakul
President, Federation of Accounting Professions
Assoc. Prof. Kobkaew Ratanaubol
Chairman, Accounting Profession in the Accounting Education and Technology Committee, FAP
Chairman, Accounting Profession Development Sub-Committee, FAP
Mrs. Sorada Lertharpachit
Director Business Accounting Supervision Division, Department of Business Development, Ministry of Commerce
Chairman, Foreign Affair Sub-Committee, FAP
7.2. Assesment Statements