World Bank Supports Audit Oversight and Quality Assurance in Eastern Partnership Countries

October 8, 2015

CHISINAU, October 8, 2015 – A regional workshop focusing on audit oversight and quality assurance is taking place in Chisinau on October 8-9. The event is hosted by 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. The program supports accounting and auditing communities of practice (CoP) that bring together groups of practitioners from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to share knowledge, experiences and ideas.

“We are pleased to host this important event, organized under the regional STAREP program, in Moldova,” said Veronica Ursu, State Secretary, Ministry of Finance“The issues that will be tackled are important for all of the participating countries that face similar challenges in their efforts to make audit oversight and quality assurance systems compliant with the EU acquis. STAREP has provided significant assistance to us in supporting the audit reform process, by building the capacity of our experts and providing technical assistance. In this context, we would like to thank the team of the Center for Financial Reporting Reform for their support and openness toward the Republic of Moldova. We will continue our audit reform with the objective of meeting the requirements of the EU acquis”.

Effective financial reporting underpins the development of the best businesses - those that others are willing to invest in and to do business with. It informs decisions that are made, for example, by shareholders, directors, investors and suppliers. Audit is an essential safeguard to provide independent assurance that the financial reporting of businesses properly reflects their circumstances and it is important that audit is a sustainable business, with adequate capacity and a diversity of suppliers meeting a variety of preferences.

The workshop aims to support STAREP countries in their efforts to put in place the best and the most appropriate regime of public oversight that will respond most effectively to the modern, fast moving, highly-developed business economy.

“Thanks to the commitment of our participants and speakers, today has been another focused and useful workshop in STAREP series,” highlighted Henri Fortin, Head of the World Bank CFRR. It is particularly fitting that our meeting this time is in Chisinau. STAREP aims to encourage a regional dialogue in the area of corporate financial reporting and auditing and Moldova has clearly demonstrated its commitment to meeting its obligations under the Association Agreement with the EU in this area and therefore has a great deal of experience to offer to other colleagues from the region.  This progress is to be celebrated, but we should not underestimate the remaining challenges such as redesigning the public oversight function in line with the EU acquis. The STAREP program will continue to support this process, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the authorities and the local profession”.

Participants were welcomed by Alexander Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova, Wicher Slagter, Head of Political and Economic Section of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova and Gerhard Schaumberger, Head of Office, Coordination Office for Technical Cooperation, Austrian Embassy in Chisinau.

Background Notes

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 8-9, 2015: Audit oversight and quality assurance: from setting the requirements to practical implementation

This A&ACoP workshop is an opportunity for STAREP countries to consider how they can bring together European and in-country reforms to develop a new auditor regulatory regime, especially important for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine whose Association Agreements with the EU require them to align their legislation with the EU acquis. The regime must serve the needs of companies, those who work in them and those who do business with them. It must increase confidence and trust as the basis for business growth. The workshop gives participant countries’ representatives (CoP members) legal and practical insights on the institutional arrangements and main activities of the public oversight function. It also discusses what constitutes a sound professional accountancy organization (PAO) and its role and main responsibilities. PAO’s possible contribution to public oversight and quality assurance, and the conditions in which some oversight functions and tasks could be delegated to PAOs are also discussed within this workshop. The delegation from Moldova is sharing the key aspects of the concept for re-designing the public oversight function, which is currently under development.

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