Kazakhstan: World Bank Helps Improve Quality of Financial Reporting for Small and Medium-sized Entities

January 24, 2011

ASTANA, January 24, 2011 - The World Bank and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation held a workshop from January 11 to 13 to present the main features of the International financial reporting standard for small and medium-sized entities (IFRS for SMEs). The workshop was organized as part of a World Bank technical assistance project under the Kazakhstan Joint Economic Research Program (JERP) and around 50 participants from the prime-minister’s office, ministry of finance, state property commission, financial control commission, tax and customs authorities, professional accounting bodies and universities attended the workshop.

The IFRS for SMEs was developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as an internationally accepted reporting standard which is less complex than the full International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and so better meets the needs of smaller firms and their investors and business partners. The Government of Kazakhstan is currently considering whether to adopt the IFRS for SMEs for business entities which are not Public Interest Entities (PIEs) in place of the existing Kazakh National Accounting Standards (KNAS).

Michael Wells from the IFRS Foundation and Andrei Busuioc, from the World Bank CFRR, made a series of presentations on the main elements of the IFRS for SMEs, covering the scope and concepts of the standard, the treatment of revenue, financial instruments, assets and liabilities, the presentation of financial statements and how the standard dealt with issues of consolidation, foreign operations and business combinations. Each presentation session was followed by a case study to illustrate how the reporting standard was applied in practice and an informal quiz to test participants’ understanding of the issues, as well as question and answer sessions.

Speaking after the workshop, Michael Wells said “Seventy countries are either using or are planning to consider using the IFRS for SMEs standard in the next few years. I hope that Kazakhstan will be the first country in Central Asia to adopt the standard.” Mr. Busiouc added “The standard is only 18 months old and we believe that its adoption by many countries is just a matter of time. However, Kazakhstan should analyze in detail what needs to be done both on the regulatory side and on the compliance side. In particular, it should pay attention to elements of the infrastructure of financial reporting which will help improve compliance with any new reporting standards and the capacity of accountancy specialists in Kazakhstan to implement them.“

As the next stage in the JERP IFRS for SMEs project, the CFRR will analyze the existing accounting legislation in Kazakhstan and will present some options for policy choices during a workshop for policy-makers to be held in February or March 2011. In addition, it will, working with the IFRS Foundation, provide a full Russian translation of the IFRS for SMEs standard for use by the Kazakh authorities and other stakeholders.


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Elena Karaban
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