World Bank launches programme to improve financial reporting in Eastern Europe

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02 Oct 2013

The World Bank has launched a new programme to strengthen corporate financial reporting in the countries of the EU’s Eastern Partnership. Countries participating in the new programme, "Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in the Countries of the Eastern Partnership" (STAREP), include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

These six countries (that all require the application of IFRSs for at least some of their listed companies) have made significant progress in modernising their systems of corporate financial reporting but face several outstanding common challenges (e.g. institutional capacity). During the launch conference in Vienna, participants discussed how recent and prospective changes in international reporting standards and the international and European regulatory frameworks would affect their own plans for the reform of accounting and auditing.

The STAREP programme aims to (1) assist the participating countries set up effective and sustainable frameworks for accounting and auditing that are in line with international standards and (2) take account of the requirements of the EU's system of law and regulations. The STAREP programme will also support building the institutions that are needed to operate the new legislative frameworks effectively. In addition, the programme will help professional accounting and auditing bodies fulfill their roles in establishing professional entry standards and discipline and modernise systems of professional education in the university sector and elsewhere. The programme also puts a high priority on learning from the experiences of other countries that are facing or have faced similar challenges in implementing accounting and auditing reforms.

Initial funding for the programme has been provided by the Austrian Development Agency and Austria's Ministry of Finance. STAREP will be managed by the Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR), the World Bank's specialist centre in Vienna for providing knowledge and advisory services in implementing reforms to financial reporting.

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