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Accounting and Auditing Assessment on the Observance of Standards and Codes

April 27, 2010

Minsk, April 27, 2010. A World Bank team comprising Mr. John Hegarty, Head of The World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR), Vienna, Austria, and Mr. Andrei Busuioc, Financial Management Specialist, CFRR, presented the Accounting and Auditing Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (A&A ROSC) for the Republic of Belarus. This report provides an assessment of financial reporting, accounting and auditing requirements and practices within the enterprise and financial sectors in Belarus. This assessment in Belarus is part of a joint World Bank – IMF reporting on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC).

The report was prepared on the basis of the findings from a diagnostic review carried out in Belarus by a team from the World Bank in September 2008. The review was conducted through a participatory process involving various stakeholders and led by the Ministry of Finance.

The assessment focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the financial reporting, accounting and auditing environment that influence the quality of corporate financial reporting, and includes a review of both statutory requirements and actual practice.

Belarus continues to take further measures to strengthen accounting and auditing; however, additional steps are needed to align the financial reporting framework more closely with international best practices. The number of accounting and auditing professionals knowledgeable in international financial reporting and auditing standards has increased, but is still limited in relation to the evolving needs of the country. The basic enforcement mechanisms are in place, including the state oversight of the auditing profession through the MoF. However, financial statements are not publicly available, limiting the use which can be made of them to make markets function better.

The A&A ROSC Report contains recommendations related to the statutory framework, financial reporting and accounting standards, auditing standards, monitoring and enforcement, the profession and ethics, and education and training. The recommendations aim to assist in enhancing the financial reporting process in accordance with international experience and good practice, taking account of local circumstances. This is only a first step; the major challenge is to transform such recommendations into real and effective reforms that will help to enhance the quality of corporate financial reporting and deliver for Belarus a financial reporting platform conducive to sustainable corporate sector growth, thus improving the economic situation for all Belarus citizens.