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  • Publication
    Common Core Accounting Syllabus for Universities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-09-13) World Bank Group
    Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in the Countries of the Eastern Partnership (STAREP) is a regional program of the Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR). The program aims to create a transparent policy environment and effective institutional framework for corporate reporting within the countries that make up the European Union’s Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. STAREP’s focus is on the improvement of corporate financial reporting frameworks and their effective implementation. As many countries move towards the adoption of international and regional standards in accounting and auditing, there is a need to ensure high quality, relevant education both for those entering the profession and for ongoing professional development throughout their career. The World Bank’s Accounting and Auditing Education Community of Practice (EduCoP) has enabled shared and peer learning, supporting national efforts to develop accounting and auditing education capacity.
  • Publication
    Accountants as Catalysts for Growth in the Western Balkans: Initial Assessment of SME's Financial Management and Financial Governance
    (World Bank, Vienna, 2019-05-08) World Bank Group
    Good financial management and financial governance is not only an imperative for the largest companies; smaller privately-owned businesses dominate economies in the Western Balkans providing most of jobs and contributing most of the value added to the economy, and so it is essential that smaller businesses with high growth potential are not constrained by poor financial management practices. The World Bank’s Center for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR) has developed a landscape assessment approach” that aims to identify the state of financial management and financial governance practices of Micro, Small and Medium Sized Entities (MSMEs) in the Western Balkans and opportunities for improvement, building on the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs) performed in the region. The landscape assessment approach has been developed by the CFRR under the Accountants as Catalysts for Growth (A4G) initiative which aims to leverage the accounting profession to support improvements in the management of the financial health of MSMEs. This work compliments the Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs) that have been completed by looking at non-standard aspects of financial management. Preliminary landscape assessments have been performed in Serbia and Albania; however, this work has not yet been formally reported. These preliminary assessments have been performed to test the assessment approach before a broader roll-out under the future EU-REPARIS program work as well as identify the key financial management and financial governance practices of MSMEs that need improvement, based on stakeholder observation, and consider factors that may be giving rise to such practices and possible approaches to address them. Reports for Serbia and Albania will be completed once the assessment is finalized which may include further work in both countries resulting from refinements to the assessment approach. Stakeholder observations obtained from preliminary assessment work were used to identify financial management deficiencies in MSMEs, possible causal factors, and approaches to improvement. Stakeholders identified some fundamental deficiencies in financial management and financial governance of MSMEs in Serbia and Albania that appear to be systemic and may constrain the MSME Sector’s development overall.is important to note that these are not expressed as actionable recommendations; they are offered as key themes that should be discussed by the main stakeholders to coordinate and identify agreed actions with these themes and others. A key issue identified at this initial stage of work is that approaches to address shortcomings in financial management and financial governance of MSMEs are constrained by market conditions and institutional capacity. Future work under the A4G initiative, including completing assessments in all Western Balkans countries, and developing activities to support improvements in MSME financial management and financial governance, will need to take account of the results of this preliminary assessment work.
  • Publication
    Financial Sector Assessment Program: Montenegro Corporate Sector Financial Reporting
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-01) World Bank; International Monetary Fund
    This note is prepared as part of the FSAP. Its main objective is to describe the status and recent developments in corporate financial reporting framework in Montenegro and highlight key issues relevant to financial sector. The note represents a technical annex to the main FSAP Aide-Memoire and seeks to provide a high level overview of developments since the 2007 A&A ROSC2, as well as highlight the areas that are most relevant to the financial sector. The Annex 1 to this note offers details on status of implementation of 2007 A&A ROSC policy recommendations and was based on the team’s knowledge of corporate financial reporting reforms in Montenegro and limited research. Montenegro has undertaken notable efforts to improve the corporate financial reporting framework since the 2007 A&A ROSC, especially in improving the statutory framework and efforts to align it with the EU acquis communautaire. However, implementation and enforcement of financial reporting and auditing requirements has been hampered by major capacity and resource constraints. The major consequences are that, with exception of banks and insurance companies, there is limited quality financial information on corporate entities available in the market that is reliable for economic decision making or supervision of financial sector entities. The capacity and skills of the accounting and auditing profession in Montenegro needs further development while the institutions responsible for accounting and auditing regulation, in some cases, are at inception. acquis communautaire.
  • Publication
    Tajikistan Economic Update, Fall 2015: A Moderate Slowdown in Economic Growth Coupled with a Sharp Decline in Household Purchasing Power
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-11) World Bank Group
    Tajikistan’s economy exceeded expectations during the first six months of 2015 despite a challenging external environment. According to official data, GDP growth slowed only moderately from 6.7 percent in the first half of 2014 to 6.4 percent year on year (y/y) in the first half of 2015, even as remittances from Russia fell, global demand weakened, and prices for the country’s key export commodities such as aluminum and cotton dropped significantly. Domestic factors continued to drive growth, and both the construction and industrial sectors expanded as the economy’s focus shifted from consumption to investment. The state budget surplus reached 1 percent of GDP, and the external public debt to GDP ratio dropped to below 20 percent. The sharp decline in remittances is limiting the growth of household consumption and could threaten the sustainability of recent gains in poverty reduction and shared prosperity. According to the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT), remittances dropped by 32 percent (y/y), in US dollar terms during the first six months of 2015. Although the decline was less dramatic (about 18 percent) in Tajikistan somoni (TJS) terms, income losses were much larger than implied by GDP statistics. Falling remittances, limited employment creation outside the public sector, and rising prices are slowing the rate of poverty reduction. Moreover, the lack of well-targeted social programs leaves households vulnerable to economic shocks.
  • Publication
    Poland: Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Accounting and Auditing Update
    (World Bank, Vienna, 2015-08-27) World Bank Group
    Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) Accounting and Auditing (AA) assess accounting and auditing practices in participating countries. They form part of a joint initiative that is implemented by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to review the quality of implementation of twelve internationally recognized core standards (the ROSC Program). These standards and their related codes are relevant to economic stability, and private and financial sector development. The program was developed at the end of the 1990s, in the wake of financial crises that affected many countries in several regions of the world. In the case of the ROSC AA for Poland, the international standards used as benchmarks are (i) relevant portions of European Union legislation (also called the acquis communautaire), (ii) International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), (iii) clarified International Standards on Auditing (ISA), (iv) the International Federation of Accounts (IFAC) Code of Ethics, and (v) other international good practice in the field of accounting and auditing regulation. This is the third ROSC AA for Poland. The first two were conducted in 2002 and 2005. This report updates the findings of the 2005 report, and assesses the extent to which prior recommendations have been implemented. Since its inception in the early 2000s, the ROSC AA program has concluded evaluations in more than one hundred countries around the world. ROSC AA reports have been produced for all countries of the Europe and Central Asia region, except the Russian Federation. This ROSC AA serves three main objectives: (i) to support Poland’s development strategy, particularly regarding the enhancement of economic competitiveness, (ii) to assess progress achieved under the Financial Reporting Technical Assistance Program (FRTAP), and (iii) to update the findings of the 2005 ROSC AA. The FRTAP is a Swiss-funded program aimed at strengthening accounting and auditing practices in Poland through the implementation of high quality standards in these areas.
  • Publication
    FYR Macedonia Public Expenditure Review: Fiscal Policy for Growth
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-07) World Bank Group
    FYR Macedonia is a small, open economy with solid economic growth. It reached independence in 1991. Though it was the first among the six countries in South East Europe (SEE6) 7 to gain EU candidate status in 2005, it has not been able to start negotiations for EU accession, partly because of its name dispute with Greece. Yet, EU accession is the main anchor of its reform agenda and all major political parties and over 80 percent of the people support EU membership. Landlocked, with a population of 2.1 million, the country GDP per capita is USD 5371. FYR Macedonia has enjoyed macroeconomic and financial stability during the last decade. Growth has been solid with an annual real GDP per capita growth in PPP terms of 3.7 percent between 2006 and 2014. This was the second highest growth rate among the countries of South East Europe and far above the EU28 average of 1.4 percent during this period, enabling FYR Macedonia to increase its per capita income relative to the EU28 from 30.7 percent in 2006 to 36.6 percent in 2014. Contrary to other SEE6 countries, unemployment in FYR Macedonia has declined since the 2009, yet gains in poverty reduction seem to have been moderate. Fiscal stimulus was largely driven by revenue-reducing measures and public investment. Between 2006 and 2013, general government spending averaged about 34.5 percent of GDP, which is significantly below the SEE6 and the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) average. At the same time, general government revenues declined steeply from 33.8 percent of GDP in 2007 to 27.8 percent in 2014, one of the lowest in the ECA region as the government reduced its rates on the corporate income tax and personal income tax as well as social security contributions. Also, debt financed investments of SOEs increased. As a consequence, public debt increased, undoing the gains of previous fiscal consolidation but enabling FYR Macedonia to sustain growth in times of a difficult external environment.
  • Publication
    Georgia Public Expenditure Review: Selected Fiscal Issues
    (Washington, DC, 2015-06) World Bank
    Georgia has an impressive growth record but social vulnerabilities persist. It remains a challenge to tackle social vulnerabilities within a sustained macroeconomic framework. This programmatic public expenditure review (PER) assesses the alignment of selected fiscal programs with the government’s social objectives. Building on the analysis and recommendations of the 2014 PER, this PER analyzes the impact of recent reforms including the social programs that were either introduced or scaled up in 2013. It gives an overview of the recent macroeconomic and fiscal developments, including the fiscal implications of the social programs in chapter one. It addresses three questions in the rest of the report: (1) has the realignment of spending toward social sectors resulted in better distributional outcomes; (2) have the agriculture support programs been targeted at productivity growth to support real incomes in poor rural regions; and (3) what is the fiscal and equity impact of the ongoing decentralization process? The first question is addressed by combining micro household survey data with administrative fiscal data to analyze the distributional impact of both taxes and government spending on poverty and inequality in Georgia in chapter two. The second question is addressed by comparing the cost of new agriculture programs with their estimated impact on agricultural productivity in chapter three. Finally, the issue of regional inequalities is partially addressed by discussing three different aspects of the current decentralization process: the expected fiscal impact of decentralization, the need to rationalize current capital grant programs to make public investment more effective, and the implications of introducing free preschool education administered at the local government level in chapter four.
  • Publication
    Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Accounting and Auditing Update: Republic of Serbia
    (World Bank, Vienna, 2015-06) World Bank Group
    This report on observance of standards and codes in accounting and auditing (ROSC A & A) provides an assessment of accounting, financial reporting, and auditing requirements and practices within the enterprise and financial sectors of Serbia and sets forth areas of consideration with a view to improving the country’s institutional environment for corporate financial reporting. To assess Serbia’s compliance with standards and codes, this report uses international benchmarks of good practice, including international financial reporting standards (IFRS), international standards on auditing (ISA), the statements of membership obligations (SMO) of the international federation of accountants (IFAC), and - because Serbia is seeking accession to the European Union (EU) - relevant provisions of the EU acquis communautaire (the acquis) governing financial reporting. The assessment focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the A and A environment that influence the quality of corporate financial reporting, and includes a review of both statutory requirements and actual practice. It updates an earlier assessment published in 2005. ROSC A and A assess accounting and auditing practices in participating countries.
  • Publication
    Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Accounting and Auditing Update: Georgia
    (World Bank, Vienna, 2015-03) World Bank Group
    Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) Accounting and Auditing (AA) assess accounting and auditing practices in participating countries. They form part of a World Bank and International Monetary Fund joint initiative to review the quality of implementation of twelve internationally recognized core standards relevant to economic stability and private and financial sector development (the ROSC Program). Since its inception in 2000, the ROSC AA program has concluded evaluations of the AA environment in more than one hundred countries around the world. ROSC AA reports have been produced for all countries of the Europe and Central Asia Region, except Russia. This report covers the accounting, audit, and financial reporting frameworks as a whole, paying particular attention to the financial sector, state owned enterprises, SMEs and audit regulation - key areas that are important in the current economic context of Georgia. With respect to SOEs, the report focuses on the existing requirements, standards enforcement, and use of financial reports and statutory audit findings by the Government in its decision making and monitoring of SOEs. This report also discusses SMEs existing financial reporting requirements, and the need to simplify the requirements for the small and micro businesses. Finally, the report reviews the audit oversight function and a quality assurance system soon to be employed by Georgia, and provides recommendations to raise the quality of audit services through the strengthening of audit oversight.
  • Publication
    Briefing Book from Development Partners of Moldova
    (Washington, DC, 2015) World Bank Group
    The community of development partners in the Republic of Moldova would be honored to engage in the development policy dialogue with the new Government. This briefing book from development partners is offered as a first step in such a dialogue and is solely intended to assist the new Government by providing development partners views and proposals that it can use to the extent it considers useful and relevant. These recommendations are based on Moldova s existing policy orientations as set out in the National Development Strategy Moldova 2020, its international obligations, and the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU). Moldova made a formal commitment to accelerate the country s development by making it capital-intensive, sustainable and knowledge-driven. With a strategic framework outlining Moldova s development path in place, it is now critical to accelerate implementation of the reforms including those set out in the Association Agenda to move closer to the EU. Moldova faces significant risks in the financial sector, which should be addressed as a matter of urgency. A well-regulated and reliable banking sector is fundamental to business, people and international investors. At the same time a robust system of public financial management should be in place to ensure transparency and accountability of public finances. Moldova should develop a competitive business environment attractive to new investment. Moldova should also take advantage of new trading opportunities through effective implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).