The World Bank - Centre for Financial Reporting Reform
CFRR Newsletter December 2010
Dear Sir/Madam,

Welcome to the final edition of the CFRR Newsletter for 2010. The Newsletter summarizes the Centre's recent activities and highlights a range of resources and materials that you may find useful. We wish you an enjoyable end of year holiday period and look forward to working closely with you in 2011.

Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg provide additional funding to the CFRR to support financial reporting reforms

The governments of Austria (through the Austrian Development Agency - ADA and the Federal Ministry of Finance - BMF), of Switzerland and of Luxembourg have increased the financial resources available to the REPARIS program supporting the reform of financial reporting in South-East Europe (for more detail on REPARIS click here).

Adding to the funding already provided in previous years, ADA has committed a further EUR 1.7 million and the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance a further EUR 200,000. The Austrian BMF and SECO of Switzerland become donors for the first time, contributing EUR 1 million and USD 1.75 million respectively.

These additional funds will be used by the CFRR to support both regional and national activities under the REPARIS program.

Senior officials receive first-hand briefing on the latest financial reporting developments in the EU

Senior representatives from Ministries of Finance of the REPARIS countries gathered for a workshop in Brussels in October, at which they had the opportunity to discuss a range of topics linked to corporate financial reporting reform with representatives from global and EU institutions. The Senior Officials visited the European Commission and the European Parliament and also received briefings from representatives of a variety of international and European bodies, including the IAASB, FEE, IFAC, Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).

The workshop discussed some of the external factors - including the response to the international financial crisis and the increasing need to take account of sustainability issues - that are influencing the debate over the regulation of financial reporting in the EU. Participants also appreciated briefings direct from the European Commission on its plans for changes to the acquis in the areas of auditing, the reporting requirements for small firms and the financial reports required from banks and insurance companies.

See here for a full summary of the event, together with the presentations made at the workshop and, in particular, the video address from HRH the Prince of Wales on "Accounting for Sustainability".

Senior Officials' Workshop in Brussels

Senior Officials' Workshop in Brussels
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HRH The Prince of Wales

Message of HRH The Prince of Wales at the REPARIS Sr. Officials Workshop in Brussels
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Lessons in implementing financial reporting reforms from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Europe is not alone in seeking to improve the framework for financial reporting. A recent World Bank study surveys the results of the efforts to improve the quality of financial reporting in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and finds many similarities between Europe and Latin America in the main challenges facing effective reform.

The book, Accounting for Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean: Improving Corporate Financial Reporting to Support Regional Economic Development identifies the broad trends in financial reporting reforms in the region's 17 countries and distils the lessons learned, many of which are also relevant to European countries.

One of the authors of the book, Henri Fortin, who recently joined the CFRR as a program director, gave a presentation to the Accounting Education Community of Practice (EduCoP) in Vienna on 29 November highlighting the accounting education challenges facing the LAC region and the responses that countries had adopted.

Read a summary of the publication here, download the full text of the book here, or download the presentation here.

Financial Reporting in LAC

Accounting for Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean - Read more

Financial Reporting in LAC

Henri Fortin presenting at the
EduCoP Workshop in November

New technology allows easier access to CFRR events and materials

The number of stakeholders in corporate financial reporting reform is far larger than it is possible to gather for workshops or organized distance learning video conference (GDLN) events. For this reason the Centre is adopting communications technologies which make it easier and more convenient for its many stakeholders to participate in the events which it organizes.

In recent months the CFRR has used Adobe Connect software to allow presenters to make their presentations without having to be physically present at meetings. The same system also enables participants to view and listen to presentations from their computer at home or in their own offices. In these ways, Adobe Connect provides a valuable complement to the CFRR's well established use of the GDLN and Skype networks.

The CFRR's website ( already provides a wide range of materials, including summaries and presentations from CFRR events, summaries of current issues and reference materials for a range of important topics in financial reporting and country pages on the state of financial reporting in most of the countries where the CFRR is active. We have just added a "regulatory news" section giving details of the most important European and global developments in financial reporting.

Over the next few months, we will be broadening the range of topics and adding further content to the country pages, with links to the main institutions and the texts of national laws and regulations governing financial reporting.

These developments allow the CFRR to broaden the audience that its programs reach in partner countries, so increasing the impact of its programs and making better use of scarce donor resources.

Remote Speaker presenting at the AOCoP

A speaker presenting at the AOCoP Workshop from a remote location

The website of the Centre for Financial Reporting Reform

The website of the
Centre for Financial Reporting Reform

Recent CFRR highlights

As part of the FRTAP and REPARIS programs, the CFRR organizes a series of workshops and seminars on recent developments in financial reporting and the practicalities of implementing financial reporting reforms. Here are some highlights from recent CFRR events (full summaries of all CFRR events can be found on the CFRR website).

Public oversight of audit

As part of the EU's acquis communautaire, EU member states are required to have effective systems for the public oversight of auditors and audit firms. In a presentation made at a recent workshop for the REPARIS Audit and Oversight Community of Practice (AOCoP), Ranjan Ganguli of the CFRR summarized how public oversight bodies (POBs) for audit firms operate in a range of European countries. He then used these to construct an approach for setting up a POB in line with the requirements of the EU's Statutory Audit Directive.

Mr Ganguli's presentation can be found here and a full summary of the event on 13-15 October here including videos of presentations made by John Grewe of the UK Professional Oversight Board as well as Paul Simkins from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Accounting education: Updating International Educational Standards (IES)

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) is currently revising the International Educational Standards (IES), moving towards a more principles-based approach. In a presentation given via weblink to the latest EduCoP workshop, Dr Adrian Pulham from the IAESB outlined the IAESB's plans for 2011. He encouraged stakeholders from countries in the REPARIS program to participate in the process of agreeing the new standards by responding to the exposure drafts of the new standards, the first of which, on Continuing Professional Education was released on 9 December.

This presentation was part of the workshop for the REPARIS Accounting Education Community of Practice (EduCoP) - you can download the slides here and find further details of the EduCoP's activities here.

Ranjan Ganguli at the AOCoP

Ranjan Ganguli presenting at the Audit and Oversight Community of Practice Workshop
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Dr Pulham presenting at the EduCoP

Dr Adrian Pulham presenting at the Education Community of Practice Workshop
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IFRS for SMEs: the treatment of assets

The IASB has developed a simplified financial reporting standard for small and medium-sized enterprises (IFRS for SMEs). In the second of a series of Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) events on the IFRS for SMEs reporting standard, Michael Wells from the IFRS Foundation described how IFRS for SMEs treats assets. You can see a video of his presentation and download a copy of his presentation slides here. Mr Wells' first GDLN presentation on IFRS for SMEs, which gave an overview of the standard and its scope, can be found here, while some useful background material on the relation between IFRS for SMEs and the EU acquis can be found here.

With best wishes for the holiday season,

John Hegarty
Head, Centre for Financial Reporting Reform

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