ASEAN Federation of Accountants

To provide an organisation for ASEAN Accountants for the further advancement of the status of the profession in the region with the view to establishing an ASEAN philosophy on the accounting profession.

AFA Research Grant - Call for Proposals


The ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA) was established in March, 1977 to serve as the umbrella organisation for the national Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAOs) of the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). AFA members consisted of ten Primary Members representing the ten ASEAN member countries, supported by six Associate Members who are internationally recognised bodies of accounting professionals from within and outside of the Southeast Asia region.

At the 121st AFA Council meeting in Vientiane (20 February 2016) AFA has approved its AFA Strategic Plan 2016-2019. Entitled Building Regional Capacity, Supporting Global Endeavours, the document illustrates the Federation’s aspiration to be recognised as the leading regional accountancy body of the Southeast Asia region that represent the accountancy profession of the region. Taking into consideration the dynamic nature of the business and economy environment, and the many developments that have and will continue to affect the accountancy profession, the Federation has established the following strategic objectives for the period of 2016-2019:

  1. Obtain global recognition as the regional accountancy body of ASEAN and advocate on public interest issues for the region;
  2. Promote and facilitate adoption and implementation of international standards, and support member bodies to develop expertise in other key areas in the ASEAN region;
  3. Support and facilitate AFA PAOs capacity building and membership;
  4. Champion and contribute to efforts to enhance transparency and accountability in public sector; and
  5. Support and facilitate high-quality accountancy practices through knowledge, ideas and resources sharing.


TThe AFA Research Grant initiative is an effort from the Federation to contribute to the further development of SMEs in the region. The initiative was a continuation of the AFA Task Force 2 program conducted between 2014-2016, led by Prof SIdharta Utama (Institute of Indonesia Chartered Accountants) and supported by ACCA and CAANZ as AFA Associate Members. The Grant was established to realise the goal of establishing AFA as the leader in the discussion of various SMEs issues in the Southeast Asia region. 

Despite the increasing number of researches on SMEs particularly in the ASEAN region, not many are focusing on issues that are relevant to the accountancy profession. As SMEs as a sector grew, accountability became a necessity that cannot be separated by the whole interrelated process that link among others the small businesses, practitioners and lenders or capital owners. As a growing component of the global market, SMEs particularly those that are based in Southeast Asia require support and guidance to assist them in growing further. This most certainly could benefit from further research so as to best assist SMEs in particularly improving their accountability and thus, desirability.

Despite the continuous growth of SMEs in the ASEAN region, one of the fundamental issues that are yet to be properly answered is how the definition of SMEs varies between jurisdictions. This in effect reduce comparability between SMEs in the region and more importantly, potential collaborative efforts among ASEAN SMEs.

The research should focus on establishing the definition and characteristics of SMEs in the ASEAN region, and identifying the role of the PAOs in assisting the ASEAN SMEs. In doing this, the research could consider among others the following where relevant:

  1. Opportunities and challenges for SMEs in the current economy;
  2. The future economic outlook of the region;
  3. The latest development of the accountancy profession in the region and globally;
  4. The latest discussion on relevant professional standards (accounting, auditing, ethics, etc) relevant to the SMEs; and
  5. The ASEAN Economic Community 2015.

The desired output of this research is a comprehensive report focused on academic audience and a set of briefings for the practitioners, outlining key findings of the research and highlighting the applicability of the findings in the current environment. The research should be both academically strong and practically applicable.

Applicants are encouraged to submit topics that are within the desired focus, and requests for a considered analysis of the research landscape, particularly highlighting how the research can add value to past and present researches. The research can be a mixture of both synthesis and new research, highlighting past and present researches and reports, updated to the current situation, taking into consideration the future outlook of the topic.

The scope of the investigation supporting the research is global, with strong focus on the ASEAN region. To effectively assess current practice and condition (depends on chosen topic), research should include a minimum of two case studies that are relevant to SMEs in the ASEAN region.


This research is open for international applicants, individual, group of individuals or preferably, academic organisation in good standing.

Applicants can request up to SGD20,000 (inclusive of travel arrangements and tax, if any) for the undertaking of this project.

Proposal should contain the following information:

1)      Clear and concise description of the:

  1. Research aims;
  2. Proposed research questions;
  3. Research contributions (to current researches);
  4. Methodology;
  5. Key outputs and deliverables (including implications to current researches and practices);
  6. Statement of ethics;
  7. Budget structure;
  8. A detailed timeline; and
  9. Pathway to impact (a comprehensive plan for engaging industry and policy with the research).

2)      Professional references (maximum of one page); and

3)      CV for each participant involves in the research (maximum of one page per participant).


Applicants must also consider the following criteria for research proposal evaluation:

1)      Relevance of subject matter to the theme of the research grant;

2)      Significance of the contribution and applicability of the study;

3)      Soundness of research methodology; and

4)      Clarity of written presentation.

Applicants must demonstrate the satisfaction of the following criteria:

1)      Strong knowledge of and experience in the field of SMEs;

2)      Strong understanding of the Southeast Asia region and latest issues that are relevant to the region;

3)      Strong track record in high quality analytical work and research; and

4)      Experience with communication strategies and project management (and implementation); and

5)      Strong command in academic and professional English.

Proposal and supporting materials should be submitted in a single electronic file in Word and should be concise not exceeding 10,000 words, no later than 5pm (Jakarta time) on 23 February 2017. The successful proposal will be announced by 24 March 2017. The term of the award is 8 (eight) months, effective from the agreed research commencement date.

Evaluation of the proposals will be done by the AFA selection panel of experts with strong credentials in the SMEs industry, accountancy profession and academia background. Decision made by the panel will be taken as final.

Submission of research proposal and all related inquiries shall only be directed to

Category: ASEAN Accountants | Post on 05 Desember 2016

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