Tbilisi, October 6, 2014 - Two workshops on improving audit quality by transposing relevant EU requirements, organized by the World Bank, opened in Tbilisi today. David Onoprishvili, Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, welcomed individuals involved in accounting and auditing reform from the Eastern Partnership countries attending the event.
The World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR), as part of its “Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in the Countries of the Eastern Partnership” (STAREP) program, facilitates accounting and auditing communities of practice (CoP). These bring together groups of practitioners from participating countries to share knowledge, experiences and ideas.
Two regional CoP workshops are taking place in Tbilisi this week: One group focuses on accounting and auditing standards and is this week considering new EU requirements targeted to improve audit quality and transparency. The other group focuses on professional education and is initiating development of a timetable to overhaul accounting education across the STAREP countries.
“We are pleased to welcome these two important events under the regional STAREP program in Georgia,” said David Onoprishvili, Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Parliament of Georgia. “In recent years, Georgia has made significant reform efforts to raise the level of corporate and financial accountability and address the transparency of our businesses. With recent signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union, Georgia is dedicated to continue reforming its financial reporting framework in order to align our practices with the EU requirements. We believe that opportunities to participate in the various communities of practice organized by the World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform are very useful for our standards setters and regulators, and provide our specialists and stakeholders with significant support in promoting financial reporting reform in Georgia. We look forward to sharing this experience with our colleagues from other countries under the STAREP program”.
“Effective financial reporting systems are important to underpin economic development. They help create conditions in which smaller enterprises can access credit to develop and grow, offering jobs and social benefits,” said Henri Fortin, Head of the World Bank CFRR. “It is encouraging to see STAREP countries working together to shape and modernize their accounting environments and to revise their accounting education to help the next generation achieve their potential and operate successfully in an increasingly global marketplace.”
The World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR) in Vienna, Austria, is responsible for the World Bank’s corporate financial reporting activities across the Europe and Central Asia region. It provides a range of knowledge, convening and capacity development services to partner countries in support of financial reporting reform, institutional strengthening and the dissemination of good practice in the area of financial reporting and auditing.
Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in the Countries of the Eastern Partnership (STAREP) is a regional program of the CFRR which supports the development of transparent policy environments and effective institutional frameworks for corporate reporting in countries of the EU’s Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. STAREP helps participating countries improve corporate financial reporting frameworks and raise the capacity of local institutions to implement these frameworks effectively. The program is funded in parts by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the European Union, the Austrian Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Finance of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
Accounting and Auditing Standards Community of Practice Workshop (A&ACoP) on October 6-7, 2014: Improving audit quality by transposing relevant EU requirements
Workshop participants are discussing new EU requirements introduced to improve audit quality and transparency, and to ensure the independence of auditors. The focus is recent statutory audit reform, which includes significant amendments to the Statutory Audit Directive (2006/43/EC), and the public oversight function, particularly the new EU Regulation on specific requirements regarding statutory audit of public-interest entities (No 537/2014). The new rules are expected to considerably improve audit quality across the European Union and ensure that auditors are key contributors to economic and financial stability. Zurab Lalazashvili, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Georgian Federation of Professional Accountants and Auditors (GFPAA), is sharing Georgia’s experience of modernizing accounting legislation and adopting the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as the generally accepted accounting standards for Georgian economy.
Accounting and Auditing Education Community of Practice Workshop (EduCoP) on October 8-9, 2014: Education for opportunity: Starting the Process of Change
Building on discussions at the first workshop held in April 2014 in Chisinau, Moldova, the EduCoP will work on developing a timetable for overhauling accounting education across the STAREP countries. The workshop addresses the learning outcomes appropriate to bachelor level accounting programs and seek to establish a regional benchmark for undergraduate courses. It also introduces a profiling tool, to be piloted in STAREP countries by EduCoP members, which seeks to reduce the duplication between syllabus planning, benchmarking and accreditation that currently exists for Universities, whilst also providing a useful monitoring tool for syllabus changes and gaps. Maia Amashukeli, Professor of School of Business, Management and Administration, University of Georgia, and Temuri Partskhaladze, Professor of Accounting, Caucasus School of Business, are sharing the experience of their institutions on becoming accredited to an internationally recognized accountancy body.