Economic Transition and Accounting System Reform in Vietnam

Posted: 18 Aug 2011

See all articles by Nguyen Cong Phuong

Nguyen Cong Phuong

University of Danang - College of Economics

Jacques Richard

Université Paris Dauphine

Date Written: August 18, 2011


Since 1986 Vietnam has been reforming its economic system, moving from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented economy connected to the rest of the world. This process has been shaped by the tensions and power relationship between moderate and radical reformers and the interaction of their reform strategies. This paper demonstrates that, unlike many reforms in former socialist countries, the Vietnamese accounting reform resulted from both external pressures and internal needs. Because Vietnam switched from state capitalism to a type of mixed capitalism, the country was in a position to adapt the former ‘socialist’ accounting system relatively ‘quietly’, moving towards a private capitalist accounting model but preserving many fundamental peculiarities of the old system. The maintenance of the old accounting structure can be explained by the continuity of the political, economic and social environment. However, the transformation has also generated some difficulties due to adapting a private capitalist accounting system to work in a state-dominated market economy.

Keywords: accounting reform, accounting regulation, capitalist accounting, economic reform, socialist accounting, state capitalism, Vietnamese accounting

JEL Classification: M41

Suggested Citation

Phuong, Nguyen Cong and Richard, Jacques, Economic Transition and Accounting System Reform in Vietnam (August 18, 2011). European Accounting Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Nguyen Cong Phuong (Contact Author)

University of Danang - College of Economics ( email )

71 Ngu Hanh Son
Danang, Danang

Jacques Richard

Université Paris Dauphine ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny
Paris, 75775

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