On accounting software criteria and conditions
Pursuant to the June 17, 2003 Accounting Law;
Pursuant to the Government's Decree No. 128/2004/ND-CP of May 31, 2004, detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Accounting Law applicable to the state accounting domain;
Pursuant to the Government's Decree No. 129/2004/ND-CP of May 31, 2004, detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Accounting Law applicable to business activities;
To provide a basis for accounting units to select appropriate accounting software and for accounting software developers to refer to when they develop accounting software, the Ministry of Finance hereby guides criteria and conditions of accounting software used in accounting units as follows:
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1. This Circular applies to accounting units that perform computerized accounting with accounting software. When performing computerized accounting with accounting software, accounting units must apply accounting software criteria and conditions guided in this Circular to selecting accounting software suitable to their conditions.
2. When using accounting software, apart from complying with the current provisions of law on accounting, accounting units must also abide by specific provisions on accounting software criteria and conditions in this Circular.
3. Accounting software-providing units must base themselves on current regulations on accounting and refer to accounting software criteria and conditions guided in this Circular to design and develop accounting software suitable to accounting units' requirements.
4. Terms in this Circular are construed as follows:
Accounting software means a set of programs used to automatically process computerized accounting information, from entering data of original vouchers, classification of vouchers, processing of information in vouchers according to the accounting regime's process, to the printing of accounting books, financial statements or administration accounting reports.
Accounting software criteria mean compulsory or guiding criteria of the quality and technical utilities of accounting software, serving as a basis for accounting units to select appropriate accounting software and for accounting software developers to refer to when they develop accounting software.
Application conditions mean requirements on units' material foundations, control regulations, organizational apparatus and personnel for performing accounting with accounting software.
II. SPECIFIC PROVISIONS
1. Criteria of accounting software used in accounting units
1.1. Accounting software must help its users observe state regulations on accounting; its use must not change the accounting nature, principles and methods provided for in current legal documents on accounting
Accounting software used by accounting units must meet the following requirements currently provided by the law on accounting:
a/ For accounting vouchers: Accounting vouchers, compiled on the basis of accounting software and printed out, must have the contents specified in Article 17 of the Accounting Law and the current accounting regimes' specific regulations applicable to accounting vouchers of each type. Accounting units may add other contents to computerized accounting vouchers to meet their own management requirements, except for accounting vouchers which must be made according to set forms. Electronic accounting vouchers used for making entries in accounting books on the basis of accounting software must comply with regulations on accounting vouchers and separate regulations on electronic vouchers.
b/ For accounts and accounting methods: The system of accounts used and accounting methods developed in accounting software must comply with the current accounting regulations, suitable to units' operation characteristics and management requirements. The encoding of accounts and accounting objects must be consistent, systematic and convenient for information synthesis and analysis by branches and units.
c/ For accounting books: Accounting books made in accounting software and printed out must satisfy the following requirements: they must be adequate and inter-related; the inspection and collation of data in different accounting books must be possible; accounting books must have sufficient principal contents according to the current accounting regulations; data in accounting books must be taken from original vouchers; and the balance carried forward from a book to another must be accurate. Accounting units may add other data in accounting books to meet their management requirements.
d/ For financial statements: Financial statements made in accounting software and printed out must comply with set forms, contents and data calculation methods according to the current accounting regulations suitable to each domain. The encoding of reporting data must be consistent and convenient for synthesis of accounting data of dependent units and other related units.
e/ Numerals and scripts in accounting: Numerals and scripts in accounting on the software interface and printed out must comply with the provisions of the Accounting Law. Where accounting units wish to use a foreign language in their accounting books, they may use bilingual books or foreign-language versions which must be consistent with Vietnamese ones. The computer monitor interface must be understandable, accessible and easy-to-search.
f/ Printing out and archive of accounting documents: Accounting documents printed out from accounting software must have full legal elements according to regulations; ensure the consistency between accounting data stored on the computer and those in accounting books or financial statements printed out from the computer for archive. The duration for archive of accounting documents on the computer shall comply with the current regulations on the period of archiving accounting documents. In the course of archive, accounting units must guarantee technical conditions so that archived documents can be read.
1.2. Accounting software must be capable of being upgraded, modified or supplemented to suit certain possible changes in accounting regimes and financial policies, without affecting the existing database
a/ Accounting software must be capable of ensuring the declaration of initial data, including cases of addition of new accounting vouchers, modification of forms, contents and methods of making entries into several accounting vouchers already used in the system. Unused accounting vouchers can be left out without affecting the system.
b/ New accounts can be added or accounting contents or methods can be changed for accounts already used in the system. Unused accounts can be left out without affecting the system.
c/ New forms of accounting books can be added, or forms or contents of, or methods of making entries into, accounting books already used in the system, can be modified, ensuring the systematic relation with other accounting books. Unused accounting books can be left out without affecting the system.
d/ Forms or contents of, or methods of making and presenting, financial statements already used in the system can be supplemented or modified. Unused financial statements can be left out without affecting the system.
1.3. Accounting software must automatically process accounting data and ensure their accuracy
a/ Accounting software must automatically process and store data while observing accounting processes and methods of calculating data in financial statements according to current regulations.
b/ Accounting software must ensure consistency and non-repetition of accounting data.
c/ Accounting software must be capable of automatically forecasting, detecting and preventing errors when entering data and processing accounting information.
1.4. Accounting software must ensure information confidentiality and data security
a/ Accounting software must be capable of distinguishing users according to their functions, including chief accountants (or persons in charge of accounting work) and accountants. Each person shall be assigned certain tasks and powers so that persons having no powers cannot access others' work in accounting software of a unit, unless it is so authorized by responsible persons.
b/ Accounting software must be capable of monitoring users in terms of time of entering data in the system, manipulations of persons logging on the system, and objects affected by such manipulations, etc.
c/ Accounting software must be capable of saving on accounting books traces of corrections of accounting data officially entered in the system, suitable to each method of correcting accounting books according to regulations, ensuring that only responsible persons may correct errors of data officially entered in the system.
d/ Accounting software must be capable of recovering accounting data and information in case of occurrence of simple technical breakdowns in the course of use.
2. Accounting software conditions
a/ Accounting software, before being put to use, must be named and accompanied by a clear description of its origin, technical utilities and extent of satisfaction of criteria guided in this Circular and current regulations on accounting.
b/ Accounting software, when being put to use, must be accompanied by manuals to help users operate it safely and handle simple malfunctions.
c/ For accounting software supplied by organizations or individuals outside accounting units, there must be a warranty period agreed upon by two parties, which is at least long enough for completing accounting work of a fiscal year.
3. Conditions for application of accounting software
3.1. Ensuring technical conditions
a/ Accounting units must base themselves on production and business activities and management requirements of the whole units as well as of each of their sections to select appropriate accounting software. Selected accounting software must ensure criteria and conditions suitable to the units' organization and operation as well as management requirements.
b/ Accounting units must furnish themselves with computer equipment to meet their requirements and suit the management and computer knowledge and skills of their managerial officials and accountants.
c/ Accounting units may experimentally run accounting software before officially using it provided that such experimental run must be conducted simultaneously with manual making of entries into accounting books (if units have not yet applied accounting software), or with the use of existing accounting software (if units have already applied accounting software). After the time of experimental run, if the accounting software satisfies the criteria and units' requirements, the units shall officially apply it.
d/ Accounting units must make regulations on the use of accounting software on the computer, regarding management of servers (if any); management of data; inspection and control of information entered in the system; periodical copying and storage of data; division of tasks of computers data entering and data processing; assignment of duties to each person in the accounting section.
e/ Accounting units must furnish and use safe storage devices for the system, which must installed and operated strictly according to technical requirements.
3.2. Ensuring conditions on accountants and accounting apparatuses
a/ Accounting units must select or train accountants with proper accounting qualifications and skills and computer skills, meeting the requirements on the use of accounting software on the computer.
b/ Accounting units must plan and organize the performance of the following jobs: making computerized vouchers; checking the entry of data in the computer; performing manipulations on the computer as required by accounting software; analyzing data in accounting books and financial statements, and performing network administration and accounting information management.
c/ Accounting units must clearly define responsibilities for, and requirements of, protecting the confidentiality of computer data; functions and tasks of each user in the system; issue regulations on data management and define functions and powers of each staff member, and lists of information not permitted for circulation.
3.3. Ensuring consistency in accounting work
Accounting units which have dependent accounting sections (companies, corporations, parent companies, etc.) and must make general or consolidated financial statements should direct their dependent accounting sections to use accounting software that facilitates connection of reported information or data.
4. Application of accounting software criteria and conditions
a/ Accounting units must select accounting software that fully meets the criteria specified at Point 1.1, Section 1, Part II of this Circular.
b/ Accounting units that do not yet fully meet the conditions for using accounting software provided for in Section 3, Part II of this Circular, may select accounting software not yet fully meeting the criteria specified at Points 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4, Section 1, Part II of this Circular.
c/ Accounting units that fully meet the conditions provided for in Section 3, Part II of this Circular, and wish to connect to the wide-area network and synthesize information on a fast and daily basis shall select accounting software fully meeting the criteria guided in this Circular and other superior criteria.
III. ORGANIZATION OF IMPLEMENTATION
1. This Circular takes effect 15 days after its publication in "CONG BAO."
2. The State encourages accounting units to apply accounting software, provided that such software satisfies the criteria and conditions guided in this Circular, with a view to raising the efficiency of their accounting work.
3. If accounting units that are using an accounting software deem that such software fails to satisfy the criteria and conditions guided in this Circular, they must work out plans for upgrading or improving it up to the criteria and conditions guided in this Circular.
4. Heads and chief accountants (or persons in charge of accounting work) of accounting units that use accounting software in their accounting work shall have to select accounting software according to the criteria and conditions guided in this Circular.
In the course of implementation, any arising problems should be promptly reported by concerned units to the Finance Ministry for study and settlement.
KT. BỘ TRƯỞNG
Tran Van Ta