Over 50 stakeholders, including policymakers, representatives from the academia, the profession, regulators, private and public sector employers, business community, as well as development partners, met in Skopje on June 27, 2017 with a view to building consensus on, and facilitating in-county accountancy education reforms.

Based on the findings of the EU-REPARIS Regional “Accountancy Education Benchmarking Study”, this workshop hosted panel discussions and working groups that reviewed practical approaches how in-country accountancy education reforms should be shaped. The discussions focused on solutions how the collaboration between university, professional associations and business community can be enhanced while developing relevant education programs for competent accounting and auditing workforce.

The Minister of Finance, Mr. Dragan Tevdovski and the World Bank Country Manager, Marco Mantovanelli, welcomed participants and looked forward to a discussion focused on how to use the findings of the Regional Study to improve the competence of professional accountants nationally, considering their significant relevance while supporting private sector enterprises produce reliable and credible financial information.

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Skopje - Achieving Excellence in Accountancy Education: Sharing Good Practices and Opportunities for Reform

Key Outcomes of the Workshop

The key suggested actions, organized under thematic areas, that were discussed during the panel sessions and working groups include the following:

  • Further legal reforms relevant for accountancy and auditing education are necessary. Inputs from the profession and other relevant stakeholders are essential during this process so as to develop implementable and harmonized legal solutions.
  • Strong cooperation between the auditing and accounting profession is essential for further development, especially in areas such as initial and continuing professional development.
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and practical experience, are important aspects of accountancy education which require further strengthening and development.
  • National Accountancy Bodies should explore ways to enhance their regional cooperation, especially in the area of education and professional development. Integrating better with other regional professional bodies would aid to accelerate the development of the accountancy profession in the Western Balkans and strengthen the regional profession voice within Europe and globally.
  • Proactive participation of the profession is required in a number of areas involving various stakeholders, including: enhancing the cooperation with the business community, comparison of programs from universities and introducing exemptions when applicable to allow easier entry of young potential into the profession and active participation in ongoing national education reforms, for example by providing inputs and comments to policymakers on the development of National Qualification and Competency Frameworks.

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