World Bank - Centre for Financial Reporting Reform

World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform - Newsletter July 2011


Welcome to the Summer 2011 edition of the CFRR's Newsletter

The CFRR has been very active over the last few months and we hope that you will find our latest Newsletter interesting reading during the summer break.

This edition of the Newsletter

  • summarizes the highlights of a recent World Bank global conference on promoting the development of financial reporting for real results,
  • gives an overview of the main messages to emerge from an international conference on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) held in Warsaw at the end of June,
  • introduces some new material on the CFRR website that provides a guide through the often confusing network of national, regional and global institutions involved in financial reporting and regulation,
  • and outlines some of the events that the CFRR has organized over the past few months.

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Accountancy Development for Results

Conference organized by the World Bank, Washington 20-21 June 2011

The first Accountancy Development for Results (ADR) conference was hosted by the World Bank's Financial Management Sector Board. It focused on using the insights gained from the World Bank’s Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes in Accounting and Auditing (A&A ROSCs)  to develop practices and capacities which can deliver real economic benefits.

Two World Bank Vice-Presidents, Joakim von Amsberg and Charles McDonough, spoke at the conference, demonstrating the Bank's commitment to improving financial reporting. Staff from the CFRR led the discussion on the role of corporate financial reporting, highlighting the lessons from the CFRR’s experience in promoting good practices in Europe and Central Asia, while other speakers highlighted the insights gained in other regions. Participants particularly stressed the role of professional bodies and the need to develop effective public oversight of auditing. In this area, it was important to create systems which can operate effectively without overwhelming the often limited capacity of local institutions.

On the second day, the focus shifted to how financial reporting could better meet the needs of small- and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) and the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized accounting practices (SMPs). Participants agreed that countries should view the IFRS for SMEs standard as providing the basis for national accounting standards for most firms, as many countries have only a handful of firms that require more complex standards.

130 participants from governments, professional accounting bodies and universities from 19 countries attended the conference. Panel speakers and contributors included Ivana Matovina from the Croatian Chamber of Auditors and Marina Sealaru from the Association of Certified Accounting Professionals of Moldova. The President of IFAC cited the Society of Certified Accountants and Auditors of Kosovo (SCAAK) as a good example of the development of a professional accountancy body.

  • For further details of the conference, see here
Speaker at the ADR Conference, Washington, 2012
                                                        June 2011 

Samia Msadek from the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Region speaking at the ADR Conference, 20-21 June 2011


The CFRR's Henri
                                                        Fortin at the ADR Conference

The CFRR's Henri Fortin at the ADR Conference


IFRS: Recent changes, sustained benefits

How businesses and Investors can shape the financial reporting of the future,
Conference on IFRS, Warsaw, 30 June 2011

As part of the FRTAP program, the CFRR and Poland’s Ministry of Finance organized a conference on the use and development of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Europe.

The conference provided a European perspective on how businesses and investors could influence the next stages of the evolution of International Financial Reporting Standards and also benefit from these changes. A range of distinguished speakers from Poland, other European countries and international accounting and financial organizations addressed the conference, which was attended by accountants and auditors from Poland and several other countries, policy-makers and other specialists in financial reporting.

One of the main messages to emerge from the conference was that users and preparers of financial reports had a wide range of opportunities to influence the standard-setting process through their national standard setter, regional industrial bodies and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG). Another was that, while adopting IFRS often posed challenges for firms, it also provided real benefits both to firms and their investors by making it easier to evaluate firms' performance.

  • For further details of the conference see here.

Wieslaw Szczuka opening the Warsaw IFRS Conference

Wieslaw Szczuka, Under-Secretary of State in Poland's Ministry of Finance, opening the IFRS Conference in Warsaw on 30 June 2011


New on the CFRR website:
A guide through the maze of regulatory bodies 

The system of standards boards, regulatory authorities and other public bodies covering financial reporting and supervision of the financial sector was already very complex before the financial crisis. This system has changed significantly in the last couple of years as global policy-makers have tried to deal with the problems thrown up a by the crisis, leading to an often confusing alphabet soup of national, European and global institutions.

As an aid to finding a way through this institutional maze, the CFRR has produced a summary on its website explaining the roles of the main bodies involved in setting financial reporting standards, overseeing financial reporting and regulating the financial sector at the global and European levels. It also gives details of the relevant bodies at the national level for most of the CFRR’s partner countries. The website also contains several presentations giving more detailed information on the operations of bodies like the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).

To find out more about what these various bodies do – and how they relate to each other, visit the Institutions pages of the CFRR’s website.

CFRR and IFRS Foundation present the IFRS for SMEs reporting standard in Belarus and Ukraine

The CFRR and the IFRS Foundation held workshops on IFRS and the simplified International Financial Reporting Standard for small- and medium-sized entities (IFRS for SMEs) in Minsk, Belarus and Kiev, Ukraine in May 2011. The workshops were organized as follow-ups to the recent Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes in Accounting and Auditing (A&A ROSCs) for Belarus and Ukraine and had the aim of making participants more familiar with the main approach of IFRS and, in particular, of introducing the key elements of the IFRS for SMEs reporting standard. Adoption of appropriate reporting standards (like the IFRS for SMEs) makes it easier for SMEs to access external finance and so to fulfil their potential as drivers of economic growth and creators of new jobs.

  • For further information on the events and to download the detailed presentations (in both English and Russian) see here (for the Belarus event) and here (for the Ukraine event).
Michael Wells presenting the IFRS for SMEs standard in Belarus, May 2011 

Michael Wells presenting at the IFRS workshop in Minsk in May 2011

Developing Capacity - Developing economy

SCAAK/EduCoP Conference, 12-13 May 2011, Pristina

As part of the REPARIS program, the Accounting Education Community of Practice (EduCoP) assisted the Society of Certified Accountants and Auditors of Kosovo (SCAAK) in organizing the first international conference on accounting to be held in Kosovo. The conference was held on 12-13 May 2011 to mark SCAAK’s tenth anniversary.

More than 300 participants attended the event, which was opened by the President of Kosovo and the Minister for Economic Development. Speakers included the Chief Financial Management Officer of the World Bank, senior staff from IFAC and the senior official responsible for the reform of financial reporting in Croatia.

The conference focused on developing national capacities in accounting, audit and financial management as essential ingredients for economic growth and fiscal stability. It highlighted the role of professional accountancy organizations, with SCAAK itself cited as an example of a successful professional body. The World Bank and IFAC described their progress in drawing up a global Memorandum of Understanding to develop the profession involving the IFAC, the World Bank and the international donor community.

  • A summary of the conference can be found here.
SCAAK/EduCoP Conference, Pristina, May 2011 

Participants at the SCAAK/EduCoP Conference in Pristina, 12-13 May 2011

Training auditors in Tajikistan

13-14 May 2011, Dushanbe 

As part of the follow-up activities to the 2009 A&A ROSC on Tajikistan, a team from the CFRR gave a training course in May 2011 to auditors in Tajikistan on the principles of auditing financial statements.

The course covered all aspects of an audit engagement including quality control, the planning of the audit, the approach to be taken during an audit and the preparation of the audit report. The training course concluded by discussing the role of the International Audit and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) in setting International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and the IAASB’s “Clarity Project” to improve the clarity of ISAs. The course described how auditors can use Clarified ISAs to improve their approach auditing.  This will help the local profession to provide the high-quality audit services that are needed for projects funded by external donors, including the World Bank.

  • For further information, including the slides and technical background material used in this course  (in both English and Russian) see here.
The CFRR's Jan Tyl speaking at the training course for auditors in Dushanbe, May 2011 

The CFRR's Jan Tyl speaking at the training course for auditors in Dushanbe in May 2011

Recent CFRR highlights

As part of the FRTAP and REPARIS programs, the CFRR organizes an extensive series of workshops and seminars on recent developments in financial reporting standards, changes in financial regulation and the practicalities of implementing reforms to financial reporting.

Here are some highlights from recent CFRR events (full summaries of all CFRR events can be found on the CFRR website):

  • A workshop on the approaches adopted in Croatia and Macedonia to Quality Assurance of auditing .
  • A series of four GDLN events on public oversight of auditing, covering both the legal framework and the practical details of setting up and running public oversight bodies. 
  • A series of four GDLN events for financial regulators covering recent developments in reporting standards for banks and insurance companies and the latest changes in regulatory rules, including Basel III and the EU's Solvency II rules for insurers.
The CFRR's John Carchrae at the GDLN event on public oversight on 15 March 2011

John Carchrae at the GDLN Distance Learning Workshop on public oversight, 15 March 2011

We would like to hear your views...

 We plan to send out the next edition of the Newsletter in early September. In the meantime, we would be very interested to receive your views on the Newsletter and how you think it could be improved. Please send all your comments and suggestions to


Partners of the CFRR

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                                                        Austria     SECO Switzerland     Ministry of Finance, Luxemburg


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