The Advanced Program in Accounting and Auditing Regulation was part of a broader effort to develop and promote private and financial sector development in 2006. It is recognized that the development of these sectors is an important precondition for job creation and poverty reduction. The program set the foundation for developing two succeeding programs, REPARIS and EU-REPARIS, to support EU enlargement candidate, and potential candidate, countries in Southeast Europe align their legislative framework more closely with the EU.
The Program was designed in response to a perceived need for training in the private sector accounting and auditing area, which was identified through the World Bank's Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes in countries of South Central and South Eastern Europe. The Advanced Program in Accounting and Auditing Regulation aimed to support the development of sound accounting, auditing and financial reporting systems, which are aligned with international good practice and which comply with the relevant requirements of the acquis communautaire. The Program covered countries from South Central Europe and South East Europe and other interested stakeholders from Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine.
The Advanced Program consisted of 28 three-hour modules, which were held fortnightly through 2006. These modules were broadcasted live into 14 countries, with simultaneous interpretation into 8 languages, reaching an audience of 1212 (total) participants with 150 to 300 participants per module.
The Advanced Program aimed to support the development of sound accounting, auditing and financial reporting systems, that are aligned with international good practice and that comply with the relevant requirements of the acquis communautaire.
It was designed to give senior civil servants, financial sector regulators, accounting and auditing bodies, and private sector firms in participating countries a unique opportunity to interact with a panel of leading experts in accounting and auditing regulation. Specifically, country participants were able to gain invaluable first-hand knowledge on the key components of implementing a high-quality system of accounting, auditing and financial reporting in their respective countries, which is consistent with international standards and the acquis communautaire.
This activity was structured in modules covering a variety of subjects including:
- EU enlargement and the meaning of the Internal Market;
- Accounting and auditing acquis communautaire;
- International Financial Reporting Standards and International Standards on Auditing;
- Oversight of the auditing profession;
- International standard setting bodies;
- Accounting for commercial banks, insurance undertakings, listed companies, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and
- Financial sector supervision.
The Program was conducted through the World Bank’s Global Development Learning Network (GDLN). It served as a forum for creative thinking, discussion, and development among management and professional staff from the various disciplines of accounting and auditing regulation. There, members participated in distance-learning seminars given by a number of distinguished panelists.
The panelists included internationally recognized experts, and academics, as well as European Commission and World Bank staff specializing in the relevant areas. The panelists drew on experience in a variety of areas such as:
- World Bank economic and sector work, including Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) accounting and auditing assessments.
- Relevant acquis communautaire in cooperation with European Commission services, in particular the Internal Market Directorate General.
- Relevant international standards in close cooperation with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
- European debate on enhancing regulatory approaches in accounting and auditing in close cooperation with the relevant EU advisory committees, i.e. the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pension Supervisors (CEIOPS), the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS), the Contact Committee on the Accounting Directives, as well as the committees that assist the European Commission in its decision making, including the European Securities Committee (ESC), the European Banking Committee, and the Accounting Regulatory Committee.
- Adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire in New EU Member States.
- Established relationships with internationally recognized public and private sector experts, and academics.
The panel of contributors included leading international experts from the European Commission (DG Internal Market, DG Enlargement, DG Taxation), World Bank, International Federation of Accountants, International Accounting Standards Board, European Federation of Accountants, Committee of European Securities Regulators, Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, International Association of Insurance Supervisors, European Committee of Insurers, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, UK Financial Reporting Council, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, National Accounting Council in France, Royal NIVRA, and high level policy-makers from the New EU-8 Member States (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia), among others.
The participants included the following groups from the Region:
- Senior civil servants from ministries dealing with corporate sector (financial and non-financial) accounting and auditing.
- Management and professional staff members of accounting and auditing bodies (e.g., accounting standard setter, auditing profession organization) in either the public or private sector. Members of the board or committees of such organizations are also encouraged to attend the program.
- Senior-level supervisors and staff members of financial sector regulators (e.g., securities market regulators, banking and insurance regulators, etc.) who are involved in policy formulation, decision-making, and development of methods and operations.
- Other private sector participants, including commercial banks, insurance undertakings, and real sector enterprises.