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Burma: Making Accountancy Count

UK body leading the way on strengthening Burma’s accountancy profession, which will be essential for strong economic development.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Participants at ICAEW Workshop
Participants at ICAEW Workshop

The Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW) held a variety of training workshops in Rangoon and Naypyitaw from 18-23 November 2013. The aim of the workshops is to:

  1. Enance the institutional capacity of Myanmar Institute for Charted Professional Accountants (MICPA) so that it is able to take the lead in the development of the Burma’s financial architecture.

  2. Help the institutions, professional accountants and audit firms to implement international standards.

Following the welcome reforms introduced by President Thein Sein’s government, we are starting to see indications that Burma has become, though still developing, a desirable business destination. The country also has significant natural resources but, despite this, the average income in the country is much less than in its neighbours. If the country is to attract further inward investment and increase average income, it urgently needs to adopt international accounting standards and improve access to accounting education.

A strong accountancy profession, leading to improved audit and tax regimes, will also be essential to ensuring that funds are available for the investments that the government needs to make to the country’s infrastructure and public services – to ensure that the benefits of development are equitable.

Speaking at one of the workshops on 21 November Matthew Hedges, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy said:

Ultimately, a strong economy needs a strong accountancy profession and a strong profession needs an independent and sustainable national professional accountancy body. Here, in Burma, it is fair to say that accountants are something of an endangered species! The UK government believes that the successful implementation of this project will provide higher audit quality, international recognition, reliability, greater transparency and accountability of the profession. All these positive changes will strengthen the accountancy profession and will contribute in various ways to the growing economy.

Further information

The Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW) is the world’s leading professional accountancy body in capacity building in developing economies. Over past five years, ICAEW has undertaken over 20 capacity building projects in Asia, Africa and Europe. In these projects they work closely with the key stakeholders, including counterpart bodies, financial regulators, ministries of finance and others in positions of influence. They have acquired much expertise as well as the methodologies, materials and templates to assist strengthening accounting and auditing in support of growing economies.

This series of workshops was supported through a grant from the UK Government’s Prosperity Fund, which in Burma is administered by the British Embassy’s Prosperity Team. We want to work with Government, Parliament, business, civil society and international organisations to support the establishment of transparent and stable regulatory regimes and the promotion of economic policies that underpin strong, sustainable, balanced and low carbon growth.

Funding will be available for projects to help us reach these targets. Details for applying for funds for financial year 2014-15 will be published on this website in due course. In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions relating to Prosperity please send them to

DHM’s opening remarks at the workshop can be downloaded here.

DHM opening remarks for ICAEW

Published 25 November 2013