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

Thank you for your interest in the World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR).

As a follow up to our previous contacts with you, I am sending you this first edition of the CFRR Newsletter. We will be producing this newsletter on a regular basis to keep you up to date with the CFRR's activities and with the latest developments in financial reporting, both internationally and in the Centre's partner countries. I hope that it will stimulate your interest.

If you would like to receive future editions of this newsletter, please click here (if you do not indicate that you wish to subscribe, you will not receive the next newsletter).

About the CFRR

The Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR) is the World Bank's centre of expertise in the reform of financial reporting for Europe and Central Asia. It is based in Vienna and works with partners from the region, including ministries of finance, regulatory bodies, professional bodies for accountants and auditors and universities, to help them set up and operate effective frameworks for financial reporting. The CFRR is also active in the wider policy discussion surrounding financial reporting – for example, it is part of the monitoring group which is evaluating the reforms to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and has also been involved in recent discussions at the WTO on international trade in accountancy services.

You can view a short video feature on the CFRR here.

About CFRR

About the CFRR

The REPARIS and FRTAP programs - an innovative approach to aligning financial reporting systems with the EU acquis

Much of the CFRR's work is concerned with helping countries set up and then operate frameworks for financial reporting that are aligned with the EU's rules, the acquis communautaire. This work is organized in two programs: REPARIS for selected countries hoping to join the EU; and FRTAP for selected countries that joined the EU since 2004.

These countries are moving towards the same goals and face many common challenges. Reflecting this, the structure of both programs has been designed to help participants learn from each other's experiences in dealing with these challenges. In particular, the programs are organized in Communities of Practice (CoPs) bringing together specialists in particular fields, such as accounting education or auditing, from all the countries participating in the program, and encouraging them to collaborate and work together as a group. The CFRR uses an innovative combination of face-to-face meetings, e-learning events and online collaborative tools, such as wikis to support the work of the CoPs. The CoP pages on the website provide further information on their activities (see AOCoP, EduCoP and FRCoP for further details).


The Road to Europe: Program of Accounting Reform and Institutional Strengthening
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Financial Reporting Technical Assistance Program for new EU member states
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Video from Prince of Wales stresses the importance of "Accounting for Sustainability"

Worries about climate change and increasing pressures on the world's resources have made managing sustainability a central issue for businesses as well as governments. To manage these issues effectively, decision-makers need reliable measures of the impact of their own organizations' activities on the environment. Developing these measures - "accounting for sustainability" - is an urgent task for all those involved in designing and implementing financial reporting systems.

In a video address to the workshop for senior officials from the REPARIS countries held on 27-29 October in Brussels, HRH The Prince of Wales calls for accounting to move on from using "20th Century tools to solve 21st Century problems" by taking more account of sustainability issues. The Prince, who has been the patron of "Accounting for Sustainability" since 2004, argues that decision-makers will only be able to make sensible decisions about sustainability once such issues as the services provided by "environmental capital" are explicitly included in accounts. As the CFRR's partner countries are already drawing up new frameworks for financial reporting in order to meet EU requirements, they may be well placed to get "ahead of the game" by incorporating sustainability issues in their new reporting systems.

You can view the Prince's video here.

HRH The Prince of Wales

Message of HRH The Prince of Wales at the REPARIS Sr. Officials Workshop in Brussels
Watch video

Accounting for Sustainability at the Sr. Officials' Workshop

Accounting for Sustainability at the Sr. Officials Workshop in Brussels

CFRR website moves up a gear - an emerging portal for information on financial reporting

The CFRR's website ( already provides a wide range of materials, including several video features, on financial reporting issues, with a particular focus on the requirements of the EU acquis. We are expanding the website with the aim of making it a comprehensive information source on financial reporting. A new "topics" section will collect together key materials on the most important issues in accounting and auditing. For example, the web pages on Accounting for SMEs provide access to a wide range of materials, including the European Commission's proposals to reduce the reporting requirements for the smallest firms and access to video presentations explaining the new IFRS for SMEs accounting standard.

The website now also has a set of "country" pages, with a wide range of background information as well as key materials on progress in financial reporting reform at the national level. See for example, the pages on Albania.

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. We will also add a "news" feature to the website, allowing you to keep up to date with the latest international developments in financial reporting.

We hope that these developments will encourage you to become a regular visitor to the site. We would also be interested in receiving your ideas for how the site could be improved - please use this link to make a suggestion.

The website of the Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR)

New on the CFRR website:
Financial Reporting Topics
and Country pages

Recent CFRR highlights

As part of the REPARIS and FRTAP programs, the CFRR organizes a series of workshops and seminars on recent developments in financial reporting 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).

Accounting in the EU: Directives and IFRS developments

Arto Leppilahti from the European Commission describes the evolution of the EU's approach to the regulation of financial reporting and the Commission's current priorities. Download the presentation here and view a video recording of the presentation here.

Basel III: a look from the accounting perspective

Joachim Wassmann from the Bundesbank (the German central bank) outlines the proposed changes to the Basel rules for bank regulation (Basel III) from an accounting perspective. Download the presentation here and view a video recording of the presentation here.

The Public Oversight System for Statutory Auditors in Germany

Tim Volkmann from the German Auditor Oversight Commission (AOC) describes the system of public oversight in Germany and also runs through the challenges that the board of the AOC faced in setting up the new organization. Download the presentation here.

Arto Leppilahti

Arto Leppilahti from the European Commission at the FRCoP workshop
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Joachim Wassmann

Joachim Wassmann from the Bundesbank at the IFRS for Regulators workshop
Read more

Coming soon...

The CFRR website (and the next newsletter) will contain a full summary of the workshop held in Brussels on 27-29 October for senior officials from the REPARIS countries, including notes on the European Commission's plans for financial reporting in the EU.

In early 2011, the CFRR will be issuing a revised edition of the World Bank's summary of how the EU acquis affects corporate sector financial reporting. This will present a fully updated guide to the provisions of the EU's acquis communautaire as they affect financial reporting, as well as discussing several issues where changes to the acquis are currently being debated

With best wishes,

John Hegarty
Head, Centre for Financial Reporting Reform

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