As candidates, or potential candidates, for EU enlargement, the countries of Southeast Europe, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo (this designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.), Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, are integrating more closely with the EU and the EU's internal market, and aligning their legislative frameworks with the EU acquis communautaire (“the acquis”).
The EU-REPARIS has been designed to help and encourage this process of integration. It
- addresses the need for better institutional frameworks, aligned with the acquis and harmonized regionally;
- encourages the accounting profession to offer enterprises, especially SMEs, effective business support services and advice on accessing finance and complying with regulatory requirements;
- helps stakeholders better understand the relationship between improved financial reporting and access to finance; and
- develops supportive networks of institutions among the countries of Southeast Europe, building sustainability and improving awareness of the benefits and successful approaches to corporate financial reporting reform.
The EU-REPARIS program was launched in 2015 as a continuation of the REPARIS program, which was implemented by the Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR) from 2008 to 2014, and the Advanced Program in Accounting and Auditing Regulation which initiated the program series in 2006. Funded by the European Union, as an integral part of the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility, EU-REPARIS continues to support EU enlargement candidate, and potential candidate, countries in Southeast Europe align their legislative framework more closely with the EU.
Financial reporting matters
Strong financial reporting systems, reflecting the needs of different types of businesses, support sustainable economic growth. They make transparent and reliable financial information available; help ensure regulatory compliance; and support a business and investment climate conducive to private sector development.
- Appropriate financial reporting standards (such as the IFRS for SMEs) can help high-potential SMEs secure venture capital finance and reduce the barriers to an eventual flotation.
- Adopting shared and internationally recognized reporting standards across Southeast Europe makes it easier for domestic businesses to expand to into regional and wider European markets - a key factor for growth.
- Relevant financial reporting can help businesses better monitor their activities and thus manage their operations more effectively.
- Modern and effective financial reporting systems, if aligned with national tax systems, can help to reduce the burden of tax compliance.
- The credibility provided by sound financial reporting gives banks and other providers of external finance the confidence to move beyond basing lending decisions solely on the collateral available toward lending on the basis of the business cash flows.
EU-REPARIS uses a unique cross-cutting approach:
Regional Cooperation: Sustaining reform momentum, regional collaboration and active knowledge transfer among stakeholders through regular high-level events and other engagement including quarterly newsletters and web-based activities.
Country-level Implementation Support: Providing technical advice and just-in-time assistance in support of reform implementation in participating countries.
Addressing three key themes:
Corporate Financial Reporting Reform: Building accounting and auditing frameworks compliant with the EU acquis and which take into account the needs and constraints of SMEs, support the application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the IFRS for SMEs, and ensure appropriate public oversight and quality assurance arrangements for statutory audit.
Education and Capacity Development: Supporting the modernization of accounting education consistent with International Accounting Education Standards and the educational requirements of the EU's Statutory Audit Directive (i) at university level, (ii) for professional qualification, and (iii) for continuing education of professional accountants.
Access to Finance and Financial Sector Supervision: Promoting easier access to finance through practical guidance and solutions and building the capacity of financial sector regulators to use financial reporting standards for monitoring the financial sector.
How it works
EU-REPARIS offers knowledge, analytical and advisory services and capacity development support to partner countries. This includes delivering targeted learning at face to face workshops or through virtual seminars, with relevant materials available from the CFRR website and ongoing contact maintained via a regular newsletter. Peer sharing and learning is an important element of the program, bringing together contemporaries to share good practice and learn from others' experiences. CFRR professionals offer their knowledge and experience to each of the partner countries in support of policy development and implementation.
Technical and practical support
EU-REPARIS supports Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia with the financial reporting aspects of this process of integration. EU-REPARIS engages at three levels:
- INDIVIDUALLY: Providing knowledge, training and technical assistance
- NATIONALLY: Offering country-specific implementation support
- REGIONALLY: Facilitating peer to peer learning and experience sharing and regional cooperation
EU-REPARIS works with a broad range of stakeholders in the region, including those involved in designing and implementing corporate financial reporting reform in government; members of the accounting profession; financial regulators; universities and other institutions offering accountancy qualifications or ongoing professional development; and local businesses, especially SMEs. Activities are tailored to meet the varying needs of these groups to foster their engagement in the reform process.
Disclaimer: This webpage was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of CFRR and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.