Using Information to Build the Polish Economy

March 25, 2015


World Bank Group

Capital Park, a construction company, is building the new Poland, or, at least the new Warsaw. To do that, the company needs access to foreign investment.  Capital Park is in the process of constructing a huge new community on the outskirts of Warsaw, complete with apartments for hundreds of new residents. 

The company’s Michał Koślacz says clear financial information, to raise the money to finance the work, is key.  “Information prepared in accordance with international financing standards means more capital,” he says. “And that means more stability for the Polish economy, and the more companies that use this kind of financing standards, like Capital Park, the better.”

Capital Park, like many other Polish businesses, is benefitting from a push to bring the country’s accountants and auditors up to international standards, known formally as International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS. With guidance from the World Bank and funding from the Swiss Enlargement Contribution, Poland is bringing transparency and clarity to its financial reporting – a step that is crucial to attracting investment.


" Information prepared in accordance with international financing standards means more capital. The more companies that use this kind of financing standards, the better. "

Michał Koślacz

Capital Park Company

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Warsaw Stock Exchange during an initial public offering for Vigo, a Polish company: open information is important to the stock market’s success as international financial reporting standards create common ground to communicate on the market.


On the floor of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Piotr Kajczuk, of the Exchange, watches an initial public offering, or IPO, for Vigo Systems. Vigo, a Polish company, builds tiny infrared sensors used by militaries around the world and for space exploration; it joins about 500 other companies listed on the exchange. 

Open information, says Piotr Kajczuk, is important to the stock market’s success. “Access to information should be on an equal basis. The IFRS creates common ground to communicate on the market.”

Bringing Poland up to international financial reporting standards is important for the economy overall, experts say, because clearer, more transparent financial information is the foundation for trust, and trust is vital for investment. “One of the key words is transparency,” says Małgorzata Mazurkiewicz, a chartered accountant. “This world is a global village, if you want to invest, if you want to attract investment, you have to have global standards.”

From Balance Sheets to Ethics

And global standards include ethics, says Roland Python, who runs the Swiss Contribution Office in Poland, which is funding the project to train future accountants and auditors.  “We also have an important module, we think it is very important, it is about ethics. So it is not only about respecting the guidelines and the norms but also to put a bit of ethics in this whole financial environment.” 

The training is comprehensive and aims to teach workplace skills, says Krzysztof Burnos of the National Chamber of Statutory Auditors in Poland. “I think we are in the first beginning of the process, in which the auditors came through the theoretical training, and now the auditors expect the second phase will be launched, practical workshops which are very important.”


" One of the key words is transparency. This world is a global village; if you want to invest, or if you want to attract investment, you have to have global standards. "

Małgorzata Mazurkiewicz

accountant


The goal, economists say, is to ensure long-term stability for the growth and diversification of the Polish economy. More capital investment means more businesses can open and expand, more people get hired, and more people can save money.  

And professional training and international standards mean Polish companies can develop clear business plans, attract foreign investment, and comply with EU regulations. 

In the short-term, it will help individual business succeed. In the long-term, economists say, the entire economy will benefit.




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