World Bank launches new program to strengthen corporate financial reporting in EU’S Eastern Partnership

02.10.2013 16:38
World Bank launches new program to strengthen corporate financial reporting in EU’S Eastern Partnership

YEREVAN, October 2. / ARKA /. The World Bank said it has launched a new program to strengthen corporate financial reporting in the countries of the EU’s Eastern Partnership. Senior officials from several countries of eastern and south-east Europe, as well as representatives from the EU, other European countries and international bodies, gathered in Vienna in an inaugural conference to launch the initiative. Countries participating in the new program Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in the Countries of the Eastern Partnership (STAREP) include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

During the conference participants discussed how recent and prospective changes in international reporting standards and the international and European regulatory frameworks would affect their own plans for the reform of accounting and auditing.

In that regard, Mr. Charles McDonough, Vice President and Controller of the World Bank, emphasized the need to continue improving the corporate sector financial reporting standards as a key tool for investment decisions. In addition, he highlighted the growing importance of audit regulation and the emerging role of integrated reporting.

Mr. Henry Kerali, the World Bank’s Regional Director for the South Caucasus, stressed the contribution that effective financial reporting has made to raising the quality of the business environment in all the countries of the region. Good accounting and auditing systems have also increased transparency and thereby helped to reduce corruption.

"We expect STAREP to give a new impetus to reforming corporate accountability system. The program attaches importance to learning from each other. In addition, special support will be provided to Armenia to improve corporate financial reporting and development of capacities of local organizations,” Armenian deputy finance minister Suren Karayan said.

STAREP, which is initially funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and Austria’s Ministry of Finance, is designed to assist the participating countries to set up effective and sustainable frameworks for accounting and auditing that are in line with international standards and take account of the requirements of the EU’s system of law and regulations, the acquis communautaire.

STAREP will be managed by the Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR), the World Bank’s specialist center in Vienna for providing knowledge and advisory services in implementing reforms to financial reporting. The new program builds on the success of the CFRR’s program for the EU candidate countries of South-Eastern Europe – the Road to Europe Program of Accounting Reform and Institutional Strengthening (REPARIS).

The STAREP program places as much emphasis on building the institutions that are needed to operate the new legislative frameworks effectively as it does on the design and content of accounting and auditing legislation. Helping professional accounting and auditing bodies fulfill their roles in establishing professional entry standards and discipline and modernizing systems of professional education in the university sector and elsewhere form key parts of the new program. The program also puts a high priority on learning from the experiences of other countries that are facing or have faced similar challenges in implementing accounting and auditing reforms. -0-

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