archiving accounting documents

Promulgating The Regime Of Archiving Accounting Documents in Viet Nam

archiving accounting documents

NOTICE FROM THE MINISTER OF FINANCE

The Regime of archiving accounting documents applicable to all enterprises of different economic sectors and individual business households; administrative and public-service units, armed force units, political organisations, socio-political organisations, social organisations and socio-professional organisations that use the State’s and/or collectives’ capital and funding.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Accounting documents which must be preserved and archived according to the provisions of this Regime are the originals of accounting materials recorded on paper with legal validity for accountancy, including:

1. Accounting vouchers, including: Original vouchers and book-entry vouchers;
2. Accounting books, including: Detailed accounting books, detailed accounting cards and general accounting books;
3. Financial reports, including: Monthly financial reports, quarterly financial reports and yearly financial reports;
4. Documents related to accountancy other than those mentioned above, which serve as basis for making accounting vouchers; documents related to economic activities (such as economic contracts, loan contracts, debt agreements, joint-venture contracts…); documents related to capital, funds and interests (such as decisions on the supplement of capital from interests, distribution of funds from interests…); documents related to budget revenues and expenditures, use of capital and funding (such as the settlement of the use of funding, the settlement of the State budgets funds and investment capital…); documents related to the tax obligation towards the State (such as decisions on tax exemption, reduction, reimbursement, retrospective collection and annual settlement…); documents related to asset inventory and valuation (such as the inventory tables and forms, valuation minutes…); documents related to examination, auditing and inspection (such as inspection and examination conclusions, auditing reports…); documents on computerized accounting programs and documents related to the destruction of accounting documents.
5. If the accounting documents are recorded in computers or on information-carrying objects like tapes, discs or payment cards, when being put in archives, they must be printed in paper form and have all legal factors (such as forms and tables, codes, signatures and stamps) under the State’s regulations on accounting documents.
6. Accounting documents put in archives must be adequate, systematic, classified and arranged into files (files of accounting vouchers, accounting books, financial reports…). Accounting documents in each file must be chronologically arranged according to each accounting year, ensuring the rationality and accessibility when needed.

Places of archiving accounting documents are stipulated as follows:

1. Accounting documents of a unit shall be archived at its own repository.
2. Accounting documents of joint-venture companies and companies with 100% foreign investment capital during the time of operation in Vietnam under their investment licenses must be archived at their respective companies within the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

TIME LIMITS FOR ARCHIVING ACCOUNTING DOCUMENTS

All accounting documents stipulated in this Regime shall be classified, preserved and archived according to the following time limits:

At least 5 years: Accounting documents used for regular management and administration, which are not directly used for accounting book-entry and elaboration of financial reports (such as warehousing and ex-warehousing bills, revenue and expenditure notes outside the file of accounting vouchers of the accountancy section; daily, monthly, quarterly, 6-month and 9-month accounting reports…) shall be archived for at least 5 years after the completion of the accounting year.

20 years:  All accounting documents directly related to the accounting book-entry and elaboration of financial reports must be archived for 20 years. Concretely as follows:

1. Accounting documents of an accounting year: to be archived for 20 years after the completion of that accounting year;
2. Accounting documents of the investing units, including accounting documents of different accounting years, accounting documents on reports on the settlement of investment capital of the completed projects: to be archived for 20 years after the ratification of reports on the settlement of investment capital of the completed projects;

Accounting documents on fixed assets, including accounting documents related to the liquidation and sale of fixed assets: to be archived for 20 years after the completion of the fixed assets liquidation or sale;

1. Accounting documents related to the dissolution, bankruptcy, equitization or ownership transformation: to be archived for 20 years after the completion of each of the a

2. Records on the destruction of the archived accounting documents and documents related thereto: to be archived for 20 years after making the records.

Over 20 years:  Accounting documents to be archived for over 20 years are those of historic character, of economic, political and social significance for the concerned units, branches or localities, such as:

1. General accounting books;
2. Annual financial reports;
3. Dossiers of reports on the settlement of investment capital of the completed projects;
4. Other accounting vouchers and documents.

The competent units, branches or authorities shall determine the accounting documents to be archived for more than 20 years on the basis of the historic characters and long-term significance of the documents and information in each specific case, and shall assign the accountancy section or other sections to archive them in form of originals or other forms.

DESTRUCTION OF ACCOUNTING DOCUMENTS UPON THE EXPIRY OF THEIR ARCHIVING TIME LIMITS

Upon the expiry of their archiving time limits prescribed in this Regime, if there’s not any specific decision from the competent person or State body, accounting documents shall be destroyed under decisions of the heads of the concerned units. The destruction of accounting documents upon the expiry of their archiving time limits must fully and strictly comply with the procedures stipulated herein.

Procedures for destruction of expired accounting documents:

1. Archived accounting documents of a unit shall be destroyed by such unit;
2. The head of the unit shall decide the setting up of the “council for destruction of expired accounting documents”. The council is composed of the unit’s leader, the chief accountant or the person in charge of accountancy and representative(s) of the archival section;
3. The council for destruction of accounting documents must conduct the inventory, evaluation and classification of each type of accounting documents, make a “list of to be- destroyed accounting documents” and a “list of accounting documents to be archived for more than 20 years”;
4. To make a “record on the destruction of expired accounting documents” and destroy such accounting documents. The record on the destruction of expired accounting documents must, in addition to the contents prescribed for a document, clearly state the following contents: type of the destroyed accounting documents, archiving time limit of each type (from year to year), form of destruction, conclusion and signatures of the council’s members.

For more practical solutions and application of business records management, businesses should contact their consultant for further advice.

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