On July 4th, key stakeholders met in Pristina to discuss how to improve the approximation to the EU acquis in the field of accounting and auditing and strengthen the functionality of the public oversight system in Kosovo.

While there have been important achievements in the field of corporate financial reporting, such as the adoption of the Law on Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting and the establishment of the Audit Oversight Board, there is still room for improvement in terms of approximation to the EU acquis, including enforcement issues.

The competent authorities in Kosovo responsible for audit oversight and quality assurance should be adequately funded to exercise their key responsibilities for overseeing the quality of audits and ensuring compliance with international standards. This is a critical step towards improving the quality of financial reporting and enhancing investor confidence. Additionally, introducing sustainability reporting requirements in line with EU provisions can bring many benefits to Kosovo, such as improving the country's business environment, attracting investment, and promoting sustainable development.

During the meeting, the World Bank team delivered a presentation highlighting the most significant gaps compared to the EU acquis, provided examples of funding arrangements for the public oversight system based on international good practice, and discussed the tasks and conditions for delegation of tasks by a competent authority to a professional accounting association. A panel of local experts also provided their views on transposing sustainability reporting requirements in Kosovo, securing sufficient funding to make the public oversight system fully operational, and the role of professional accounting associations in public oversight and quality assurance systems.

During the course of rich and wide-ranging discussions, participants reached a consensus on the need to strengthen the institutional framework and regulatory environment in the field of financial and sustainability reporting, as well as public oversight. It was agreed that this should be done in a transparent manner, following a due process that involves and consults all affected parties.

The event was organized under the regional program Road to Europe Program of Accounting Reform and Institutional Strengthening for Small and Medium Enterprises (REPARIS for SMEs) for the Western Balkans countries in cooperation with the Council for Financial Reporting of Kosovo and the Audit Oversight Board of Kosovo.

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Strengthening Corporate Financial Reporting in Kosovo and Introducing Sustainability Reporting Requirements