The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors affecting the decisions of managers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam to utilize external financial audit service. The theoretical lens of the paper based on Principal Agency Theory and Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). A structured questionnaire survey of 116 SMEs was employed, preceded by a small number of preliminary in-depth interviews with auditors and SMEs’ managers to have a pilot test. The result shows that SMEs are more likely to have an external financial audit if they have some typical features: It is becoming larger in terms of size and the directors consider that the audit has a relatively benefit outweigh its cost and a copy of statutory accounts to the banks or other providers of finance is required. The research also found that there has been a trend of using external financial audit service which is resulted in the recommendation of SME’s individual accountants and audit firms. Based on the results, some suggestions have been given to regulatory agencies and auditing firms as well for promoting the voluntary audit of financial statements for SMEs in the context of Vietnam.
Keywords: SMEs, Financial statement audit, Vietnam