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Accounting vs. Auditing: Understanding the Differences for Malaysian SDN BHD Companies

In the vibrant business landscape of Malaysia, SDN BHD companies form the backbone of the economy. While navigating the financial terrain, it’s crucial for business owners and stakeholders to understand the distinct roles of accounting and auditing. Though both functions are interrelated and essential for financial health, they serve different purposes. This blog post aims to elucidate the key differences between accounting and auditing, specifically for Malaysian SDN BHD companies.

What is Accounting?

Accounting is the systematic process of recording, classifying, summarizing, and interpreting financial transactions. The primary goal is to provide a clear financial picture of the company’s performance and position.

Key Functions of Accounting:

1. Bookkeeping: This involves recording daily transactions such as sales, purchases, receipts, and payments. For SDN BHD companies, maintaining accurate and up-to-date records is crucial for operational efficiency and compliance with Malaysian tax laws.

2. Financial Statements Preparation: Accountants prepare key financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. These documents are vital for assessing the company’s financial health and making informed business decisions.

3. Tax Compliance: In Malaysia, SDN BHD companies must comply with various tax regulations, including corporate income tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST), and employer taxes. Accountants ensure that the company meets all tax obligations and takes advantage of any available tax incentives or deductions.

4. Management Accounting: This involves providing financial analysis and insights to management for strategic decision-making. It includes budgeting, forecasting, and financial planning.

Importance for SDN BHD Companies:

For Malaysian SDN BHD companies, proper accounting is essential for:

  • Legal Compliance: Ensuring compliance with the Companies Act 2016 and the Income Tax Act 1967.

  • Financial Transparency: Providing stakeholders with a clear understanding of the company’s financial status.

  • Strategic Planning: Aiding in effective decision-making and long-term planning.

What is Auditing?

Auditing is the independent examination of financial information of any entity, whether profit-oriented or not, irrespective of its size or legal form when such an examination is conducted with a view to express an opinion thereon.

Key Functions of Auditing:

1. Verification of Financial Statements: Auditors examine the financial statements prepared by accountants to ensure they are accurate and comply with applicable accounting standards and regulations.

2. Internal Controls Assessment: Auditors evaluate the company’s internal controls to identify weaknesses and recommend improvements. Strong internal controls help prevent fraud and ensure the accuracy of financial reporting.

3. Compliance Check: Auditing ensures that the company adheres to all relevant laws and regulations. For SDN BHD companies, this includes compliance with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) and other regulatory bodies.

4. Risk Management: Auditors identify potential risks and advise on mitigating measures. This can include financial risks, operational risks, and compliance risks.

Importance for SDN BHD Companies:

For Malaysian SDN BHD companies, auditing is crucial for:

  • Building Trust: Independent audits enhance the credibility of financial statements, building trust with investors, creditors, and other stakeholders.

  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, such as those set out by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and the SSM.

  • Improving Processes: Identifying areas for improvement in financial and operational processes.

Key Differences Between Accounting and Auditing

While accounting and auditing are complementary, they have distinct roles:




Focuses on systematically recording and reporting financial transactions to provide a clear picture of the company’s financial status.

Focuses on evaluating the accuracy and reliability of financial statements and ensuring compliance with standards and regulations.


Involves day-to-day financial activities, preparation of financial statements, and tax compliance

Involves periodic examination of financial statements and internal controls, usually conducted annually or as required.

Nature of Work

Continuous process conducted by the company’s internal staff or outsourced accountants.

Periodic process conducted by independent auditors to provide an objective evaluation.


Produces financial reports used for internal decision-making and regulatory filing.

Produces an audit report providing an opinion on the financial statements’ fairness and compliance.

Legal Requirement

SDN BHD companies must maintain proper accounting records as mandated by the Companies Act 2016.

SDN BHD companies are generally required to undergo annual audits to comply with legal and regulatory requirements unless they qualify for audit exemption.

Practical Considerations for Malaysian SDN BHD Companies

Choosing Accountants and Auditors:

  • Qualifications: Ensure that accountants and auditors are qualified and registered with professional bodies such as the MIA.

  • Experience: Prefer professionals with experience in handling accounts and audits for SDN BHD companies to navigate specific regulatory requirements effectively.

  • Technology: Utilize accounting software that complies with Malaysian regulations and facilitates efficient bookkeeping and financial reporting.

Audit Exemption:

SDN BHD companies that meet specific criteria, such as being dormant or having revenue below a certain threshold, may qualify for audit exemption. However, even if exempt, maintaining rigorous accounting practices is recommended to ensure transparency and preparedness for any potential future audits.

Understanding the differences between accounting and auditing is crucial for the effective financial management of Malaysian SDN BHD companies. If you need assistance with either, feel free to get in touch with us

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