In Vietnam, auditing activities are regulated under the Law on Auditing 2015. Basically, people usually understand audit activities as follows: Accountants are in charge of financial records for businesses, while audits are responsible for checking that the accounting reports posted are accurate, transparent, and not fraudulent. This interpretation is relatively correct but not specific. In the following article, ASL LAW will point out the basic concepts of auditing activities in Vietnam as well as penalties for influencing audit activities, typically the act of auditing bribery.
Basic regulations on auditing in Vietnam
The basic regulations on auditing in Vietnam include:
1. Audited subjects: Organizations, individuals, business activities, assets and financial activities related to the State budget.
2. Auditing unit: Auditing organizations must register and be licensed to operate in accordance with the law on auditing. Auditing units must comply with regulations on competence, ethics, mindset and behavior for performing audit work.
3. Audit content: Audit work must be performed fully, accurately, independently, objectively and honestly. Audits should include reviewing the entity’s internal control, examining financial and accounting information, assessing risks, and providing recommendations to improve performance.
4. Audit report: Audit results must be presented in the form of an audit report. This report must express an opinion on the accuracy and reliability of the audited information. If illegal content or behavior is discovered, the audit report should clearly state those issues and make recommendations.
5. The coordination between the audit unit and the audited unit: The audit unit needs to closely coordinate with the audited unit in the audit process. The audited entity must provide sufficient information and documents related to its operations.
Sanctions for bribery of the audit team
Auditing is the examination, evaluation, verification, assessment, conclusion and confirmation of the completeness, truthfulness and reasonableness of accounting data, documents and financial statements according to the standards regulated before.
Auditing activities are carried out to ensure the maintenance of order and efficiency of the financial activities of the entity organizing the audit activities, therefore, the act of bribery, affecting the results of the audit activities will be severely punished according to the law.
Recently, the National Assembly Standing Committee discussed regulations on administrative sanctions for acts of bribing or buying off audit team members with money and assets, and other provisions in the draft Ordinance on Sanctions of Administrative Violations in the field of State Audit dated February 12, 2023.
Accordingly, individuals who bribe or buy off the audit team members using money and assets under two million VND will be fined 10-20 million VND. Violating organizations will be subject to a double fine of 20-40 million VND.
This regulation is considered to supplement and complete the current regulations because as of now, the sanctions for bribery of less than 2 million VND depend on specialized law or the law on sanctioning administrative violations.
For acts of bribing or buying off the audit team members with money and assets of 2 million VND or more, a fine of between 20-200 million VND, non-custodial reform for up to 3 years or a prison term of 6 months to 3 years will be imposed. For those who give bribes over 500 million VND, the maximum penalty that can be applied is 20 years in prison.
In addition to the fine for acts of bribery or buying off less than 2 million VND, the Draft has the following other provisions: Individuals who conceal financial and public property violations shall be fined 20-30 million VND; a fine of 30-50 million VND will be imposed if the individual illegally interferes in audit activities and results and failing to implement conclusions and recommendations of the State Audit.
Organizations with the same violations will be subject to a double fine, that is double the amount of fine for individuals.
In addition, acts of giving bribes, bribing or violating public finances and public property are subject to additional remedial measures. Accordingly, individuals are forced to return the corresponding amount of money, property bribed, or illegal profits obtained from the violation.
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