Accounting, Audit and Reporting In Thailand
A newly established business entity may choose any date for its initial accounting period. Thereafter, the accounts should be closed every twelve months.
If an entity wishes to change its accounting period, it must obtain written approval from the Commercial Registration Department and the Revenue Department.
Books of Accounts
The Accounts Act of 2000 prescribes the regulations regarding the keeping of books of accounts and supporting documents.
The Act also stipulates the qualifications of the bookkeeper, who must be a Thai resident, proficient in the Thai language, and a graduate from high-vocational school or university with the minimum of a Bachelor Degree in Accounting.
The Civil and Commercial Code also provides general rules on the accounts that must be maintained.
Recording of accounting entries may be done in the English language, but there should be appended a Thai language translation. All accounting entries must be written in ink, typewritten or printed. Computerised accounting systems are supposed to be registered with the Ministry of Commerce and the Revenue Department.
Generally, the accounting principles promulgated in the International Financial Reporting Standards are followed in Thailand. In addition, accounting methods and conventions sanctioned by law are considered as generally accepted accounting practices. The Federation of Accounting Professions is the authoritative body promoting the application of generally accepted accounting principles.
Certain accounting principles, which are adopted by a business entity, must be followed consistently and may be changed only with the approval of the Revenue Department. Such accounting principles include depreciation, statutory reserves, stock, dividends, consolidation, expenses paid out of net profits and accounting for pension plans.
All business entities including companies, partnerships, branch offices, representative offices and joint ventures are required to prepare profit and loss accounts and balance sheets on an annual basis, and have them audited. The auditor’s report must state whether the accounts have been properly prepared in accordance with the Accounting Regulations and whether these give a true and fair view.
Appointment of Auditors
Each business enterprise is required to appoint independent auditors who are registered Certified Public Accountants in Thailand. Certified Public Accountants are registered and issued with licences by the Ministry of Commerce.
The Auditors are appointed at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) to serve until the next AGM. The AGM is also required to set the Auditor’s remuneration. Although the auditor must be independent, the Civil and Commercial Code allows a company to appoint a shareholder as an Auditor if he possesses the requisite qualifications.
All business entities are required to file one set of their audited financial statements, together with an annual corporate income tax return and statement of director/manager with the Revenue Department within 150 days of their financial year end.
Companies, partnerships and branches of foreign corporations are required to file two sets of their audited financial statements and a statutory annual return with the Companies’ Registration Department within five months of their financial year-end. Companies are also required to include reference to the AGM that approved the financial statements and a copy of the list of shareholders of the company as at the date of the AGM. Failure to fulfil these requirements may result in a fine of up to 70,000 Baht.