The knowledge sharing event on "Good Practices in Audit Oversight and Enforcement: Insights from the Polish Agency for Audit Oversight" took place on October 3-4, 2023, in Warsaw. This event, organized by the World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform, was part of the regional project The Road to Europe Program of Accounting Reform and Institutional Strengthening for Small and Medium Enterprises (REPARIS for SMEs).
The event was delivered in collaboration with the Polish Agency for Audit Oversight (PANA) and aimed to benefit the Western Balkan countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, in the field of audit public oversight. Implementing sound public oversight and quality assurance systems, which are independent from the auditors and audit firms being reviewed, requires significant time, effort, and political will. The Western Balkan countries are currently in the process of creating or strengthening their supervisory institutions and can benefit greatly from the knowledge and expertise of Poland and its experience of establishing systems and institutions after joining the European Union.
During the event, a range of important topics were discussed from the Polish perspective, including the system of public oversight over statutory auditors and audit firms; the quality assurance system; international cooperation and market monitoring; specific requirements for statutory audit of public interest entities; sustainability reporting, investigations and enforcement system; and the implementation of new international standards on quality management. PANA reinforced that the role of the audit supervision institution is crucial in ensuring the high quality and reliability of financial statements, which are fundamental elements for the security of economic transactions and the stability of the financial system. Regular inspections play a vital role in achieving consistently high quality in statutory audits. The experience of Poland in this will have provided valuable insights for the participants' countries' reform agendas and will contribute to aligning their practices with the requirements and standards set by the European Union.
In addition to PANA’s contribution, the Ministry of Finance of Poland and the Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors provided insights into the Auditing and Accounting Regulatory Framework and the role of the audit profession in Poland, respectively. Participants also learned about the Polish agenda regarding the transposition and implementation of new sustainability reporting, as well as the assurance of sustainability reporting.
The sessions during the event were both interesting and informative. Participants actively engaged by asking questions and expressed gratitude to their Polish colleagues for sharing their valuable experiences. This knowledge sharing event has undoubtedly contributed to fostering collaboration and enhancing the understanding of good practices in audit oversight and enforcement.