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POLICY & REGULATION

Legislature Eliminates Accounting Certification Requirement in China

By Cui Xiankang and Liu Xiao

China is doing away with a requirement that accountants must be accredited.

The Certificate of Accounting Profession has been a professional requirement since 1999. But the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country's top legislature, voted to remove this requirement on Saturday. The amended accounting law takes effect on Nov. 5.

There are many tests that that can evaluate a person’s ability to be an accountant, said Yuan Shuhong, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council. Aspiring accountants can take other tests to prove their ability, he said, and they can also aquire the necessary skills from educational or professional training classes.

The test to acquire the certification was designed and given by the Ministry of Finance, and covered financial rules and regulations, professional ethics, as well as accounting rules and calculations.

Previously, if accountants were found guilty of wrongdoing, such as creating fake accounts or receipts, destroying evidence of transactions or misusing funds, they would be stripped of their certification. Under the new rule, if they are found guilty of wrongdoing, they can be barred from accounting altogether.

The elimination of the test sparked some criticism.

Lu Wei, a member of the legislature that passed the change, said the test provided a way to ensure accountants are qualified and that its elimination will make hiring competent accountants more difficult for businesses.

Contact reporter Liu Xiao (liuxiao@caixin.com)


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