We started our company in Thailand in 2006 and have been in business ever since.
When it comes to dealing with accounting and taxes in Thailand, our accountant plays a key role in our business.
If you want to start your own company in Thailand, talk to an accountant first.
They register your company, handle day-to-day accounting services, and close your company, if or when that day comes.
In this article, you’ll find out what you’ll get when using an accounting service, how much it costs each month, and how to pick the right accountant.
If you want to skip the lengthy read about accounting services in Thailand and hire an ethical and professional accountant, fill out the form on this page.
I’ll put you in touch with a professional, licensed, and certified accountant who I use for my business.
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- Why You Need an Accountant
- What Services Do Accountants Offer?
- How Much Does It Cost?
- Finding an Accounting Firm in Bangkok
- How to Choose the Right Accountant
- Negotiating Services and Rates
- Lowering Your Accounting Fees
- Your Responsibilities
- Now, on to You
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Why You Need an Accountant
If you run a business in Thailand, you need to hire an accountant. It can be a full-time accountant working in your company. Or you can outsource it to an accounting firm. Or you can do accounting stuff yourself and let an accountant prepare your financial statements and pay annual taxes.
You are unable to perform accounting for your Thai company even if you know Thai tax regulations and corporate laws well.
This is because, at the end of each your, you need to prepare financial statements and have it audited. An auditor will refuse to audit your company if your financial statement hasn’t been prepared by a licensed accountant.
What Services Do Accountants Offer?
Accountants offer many services. They keep your company compliant with corporate issues in Thailand and avoid taxation mistakes.
They can also make the many legal procedures easier, both in the company and in your personal life.
Let’s take a closer look.
Most accountants can register companies. Give them the necessary information, and they do the paperwork for you.
Accountants can also give you general advice on corporate laws. For complicated issues, talk to a lawyer.
You can use an accountant to register your company and hire another accountant to take care of your financial statements and taxes.
But it’s easier to use the same accountant for everything.
Accountants main job is filing taxes. Based on Thai revenue codes, your company needs to file taxes at specific times depending on your tax type.
Filing taxes is complicated because you need to calculate them correctly and file them at specific times.
For example, you need to file PP 30 and PP 36 every month. But you only need to file PND 50 in the middle of the year and PND 51 at the beginning of the year.
Depending on your business, you may need to file extra taxes. If you don’t, you can pay fines or face jail time.
If you want an accountant to file your taxes, give them your invoices and receipts and they do the rest.
And you can prepare basic accounting reports and let the accountant file taxes for you.
Corporate Tax Advice
Taxes in Thailand are complicated, especially when you run a company with BOI promotion. Thailand has its own tax rules and regulations that you may be unfamiliar with.
For example, VAT registered companies in Thailand must give their Withholding Tax Certificate, or WHT, to companies when paying for services in Thailand.
And you have to pay for and hand in to the Revenue Department the WHT every month.
To make things worse, withholding taxes change with the services you pay for. Withholding taxes is normally in the range of 2% to 5% depending on services.
This doesn’t include personal income tax and personal property tax forms, invoicing, payroll, and other accounting processes your company deals with.
If you don’t follow these rules and regulations you could be fined, have your assets seized, or go to jail.
And if you say you were unaware of these rules and regulations, it won’t help.
Accounting firms give you advice on how to pay taxes, how to legally lower your taxes, and how to get a tax refund from the Revenue Department.
They can help you avoid overpaying taxes. Because if you do overpay, it could take years to get your money back from the Revenue Department.
From time to time the Revenue Department might want to talk to you and ask you questions. And they may come to check your office.
Accountants can help you in these situations and answer questions on your behalf so you don’t give the wrong info that could get you in trouble.
You need to prove your company’s income and expenses through receipts and invoices, including the office rent and payroll. You can’t pay for things in cash or take cash without a paper trail.
And you need to show the Revenue Department where you got that money from and how you spent it.
You need to justify these transactions. You can’t transfer money to other people without good cause.
You must account for your income and expenses in the right way for that specific type of income or expense. And each income and expense has a unique way.
This is important to know because you must show the Revenue Department how you accounted for them.
If your accountant isn’t responsible for these services, you may have to give these accounting transactions to the Revenue Department yourself.
But your accountant should give you advice, show you examples, and make sure your transactions are correct.
When you run a company in Thailand, you make and spend money at the same time.
You can’t always see how much you make or how much you have left in your budget for future projects.
When you work with an accountant who prepares your financial statements, you see where your hard-earned money is coming from and going to each month.
Accountants also detail your cost of running a business and your income.
But accountants might not cover these services under normal accounting rates. So be sure to ask your accountant what’s covered in your accounting fees.
Accountants help you with your company’s payroll services. Among other things, payroll services mean:
- paying your employees every month
- calculating and filing personal income taxes
- paying for Social Security
- submitting pay slips and tax certificates
Some accountants even pay your employees after you approve their pay.
Social Security Services
You must register your employees in Thailand’s Social Security System.
Social Security gives employees health insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefits.
As of 2023 your employees making at least 15,000 baht need to pay 750 baht every month for Social Security.
Your company also pays 750 baht for each employee to Social Security.
Every time you hire a new employee, you must register them with Social Security. And if they leave your company, you must tell Social Security.
Accountants usually take care of everything related to Social Security.
Every year, you need to hire a licensed auditor to check your financial statements so you can hand them in to relevant government organizations.
If you prepare the statements, it’ll be hard to find an auditor. They’ll refuse to check and audit financial statements that you prepare unless you’re a Revenue Department certified accountant.
Usually accountants and auditors in Thailand work together.
Once your accountant prepares your company’s yearly financial statements, he or she sends it to an auditor. You don’t have to do anything on your end.
Some accountants offer accounting and auditing services. But accountants usually charge extra for auditing fees.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand lists over 100 licensed auditors who can help with company audits.
If you run one of these companies in Thailand, an accountant can help you get a license.
- construction companies
- food manufacturers
- recruitment agencies
- travel agencies
- importers and/or exporters
- banks and/or lenders
Visas and Work Permits
This may sound strange, but accountants also get you Thai visas and work permits.
They might not know as much as immigration lawyers, but they could get business visas and work permits for you and your employees.
Personal Tax Consulting
You can also use your accountant as a personal tax consultant.
If they do your company’s taxes and know how much you make, they may be willing to do your personal taxes for an extra fee.
How Much Does It Cost?
Accountant’s rates are based on three factors:
- average accounting transactions per month
- complexity of your company
- services you need
For startups with few transactions, the average rate for basic accounting services starts at 4,000 baht to 5,000 baht a month.
Accountants charge more based on the complexity of your business. This would be the case if you set up a BOI-promoted company.
BOI-promoted companies go through more procedures than other types of companies in Thailand.
Finding an Accounting Firm in Bangkok
You can find many accountants in Bangkok who work at both large and small firms, through Chambers of Commerce, or by networking.
If you need help finding an accounting in Thailand, fill out the form on this page. I’ll put you in touch with a professional, licensed, and certified accountant who I use for my business.
Get a Personal Recommendation
One of the best ways to find an accountant in Thailand is to ask a fellow business owner. After all, everyone who runs a company in the country uses an accountant because of the reasons mentioned earlier in this article.
So, if you know people who run companies in Thailand, ask for their recommendations. They might be able to point you in the right direction. But keep in mind that some business owners are happier with their accountants than others.
You can also ask for help in groups on social networks. Through this method, you might be able to find an accountant who provides services on a part-time basis, which will lower your fees. Actually, this is how we found our accountant.
If you want our personal recommendation, fill out the form on this page.
You can find many accounting firms through a Google search in English. The firms that show up in the results will most likely have English speaking staff.
They usually have experience dealing with expat business owners and can provide a wide range of services, from accounting to business registrations to visa applications.
Some, such as Banchee Legal House, also have an in-house lawyer, which makes getting legal advice more convenient.
To find a reputable accountant using a Google search, you need to shop around and use our advice in this guide to narrow down a suitable firm.
Chambers of Commerce
Your country’s Chambers of Commerce in Thailand might have a list of accountants.
Keep in mind that Chambers of Commerce usually recommend their member firms, so the choice they give you may be biased.
Many accountants go to networking events. If you go, you can get to know them in a casual setting and get some of your first accounting questions answered.
At networking events, you can find out what the accountant knows, their English skills, and how well they “get” you.
The last one is important because you don’t want to constantly re-explain what your business does.
International Accounting Firms
If you want an accountant that works under international standards, hire an accountant from one of the Big Four firms in Thailand:
- Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
- Ernst & Young (E&Y)
- Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)
These accounting firms are the four biggest in the world. And all of them have offices in Thailand. But they’re expensive.
How to Choose the Right Accountant
You can’t use any accountant you find off the internet because most accountants don’t know all the tax laws in Thailand.
Avoid working with an accountant that knows little about the regulations for your company and unknowingly gets you in trouble.
One way to check their competence is to ask questions specific to your business.
If you want to start a software company in Thailand, ask them specific rules and regulations about this industry.
If you want to set up a BOI-promoted company in Thailand, ask BOI related question.
Ask about specific tax laws your company needs to follow or licenses your company needs.
You can still ask broad questions about registering a company in Thailand or what to do about VAT licenses.
But most accountants in Thailand know the answers to these broad questions. You want an accountant who answers your specific questions.
Negotiating Services and Rates
To avoid misunderstandings between you and your accountant, negotiate the services and rates the accountant will offer you.
Here are some accounting services you can ask your accountant to do for your company:
- Preparing monthly financial statements
- Issuing invoices
- Filing taxes
- handling payroll
- getting licenses
Get in writing the services the accountant guarantees to your company for the fee you agreed to.
It doesn’t need to be a contract signed by you and the accountant. In Thailand, it can be done by a simple email.
Lowering Your Accounting Fees
You can lower your accounting costs by hiring an administrator to help you with:
- issuing invoices and withholding tax certificates
- storing accounting documents
- preparing accounting transactions for your accountant
This can significantly lower your accounting fees each month. And you can have your admin help with other things such as managing your rental office, paying social security fees, or performing basic tasks for your business.
If you know the basic tax laws in Thailand, you can also file taxes yourself every month. This can further decrease your accounting fees.
You can’t hire an accountant and expect them to do everything for you. Some things you need to do yourself.
Here are some of those things.
Learn Basic Accounting
As a business owner, learn how accounting in Thailand works.
Although an accountant handles most of your accounting needs, you should have a basic idea on:
- corporate taxes in Thailand
- taxes your company must pay
- taxes filing calendar
- how to do accounting transactions
- what you can and can’t do with your company’s finances
Learning the basics prevents accounting mistakes. It’s your business and your investment. Make sure everything is right.
If your accountant gives you advice, check the accuracy of that advice.
Mistakes and misunderstandings happen. If you get incorrect advice you can run into legal problems.
Some accountants may tell you to do illegal things under certain circumstance.
This includes making fake invoices to raise your company’s expenses for lowering your company’s income taxes.
Problems can also happen because of language barriers. You may understand one thing, but your accountant understands something else.
This could lead your accountant to give you the wrong info or incorrect advice, which can get you in trouble.
It’s a good idea to recheck any and all advice on Thailand’s Revenue Department website or by getting a second opinion from another accountant.
Give Clear Details
Give your accountant clear details so they can understand and help you.
To avoid giving your accountant info they may not understand, speak slowly and use simple English.
You can also learn some Thai. If you run a business and live in Thailand, knowing Thai makes everyday life easier.
If you don’t get your point across, you may understand one thing and your accountant may understand another thing, which leads to problems.
Follow up Regularly
Accountants are busy, especially during the end and beginning of every month and tax season.
They might forget to send invoices, pay Social Security, or file monthly taxes.
If they take long to respond, they may have forgotten to get back to you.
From time to time, follow up with them. Send them a short email or give them a quick call.
Now, on to You
If you want a firm that can help you with your accounting needs, fill out the form on this page. I’ll put you in touch with a professional, licensed, and certified accountant who I use for my business.
She can help you register your business and handle your accounting and taxes. This way you can focus on legally running and growing your business in Thailand.