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CFRR Publications

Publications

This section offers publications produced by the CFRR for download. We are happy to provide you with the printed versions of our publications. Please contact us at cfrr@worldbank.org.

Available publications:


Corporate Financial Reporting in Austria: an Overview

An introduction into Austria’s corporate financial reporting environment, with a particular focus on SMEs and specific features of the Austrian environment, intended for policy makers, regulators and practitioners looking for examples of how to formulate or implement the corporate financial reporting elements of the EU acquis communautaire.

Financial reporting in Austria: the views of SMEs and local banks

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a particularly important role in the Austrian economy, with commercial banks acting as their main sources of external finance. As SMEs are also very important in the REPARIS countries, analyzing how SMEs and their banks view the operation of financial reporting in Austria could produce some useful pointers for the design of financial reporting frameworks in the REPARIS countries.

In cooperation with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the Austrian Institute for SME Research, the CFRR conducted two surveys in late 2012 collecting information on SMEs' experience with corporate financial reporting and on Austrian banks’ requirements for financial information from SMEs applying for credit. The surveys found that financial statements, both audited and unaudited, play a valued role for Austrian SMEs; not only for tax purposes, but also in helping SMEs to improve the financial management of their businesses. In addition, due to their important role in banks’ decisions whether to extend a loan, financial statements facilitated SMEs’ access to bank financing.

However, the potential benefits for Austrian SMEs from financial reporting very much depend on: (i) the system striking an appropriate balance between promoting improved financial information and reducing the regulatory burden on reporting firms; and (ii) the accounting and auditing profession’s ability to provide reasonable assurance regarding the data accuracy of the financial information provided in a SME credit application. In this respect, the surveys found that the Austrian audit profession has a generally good reputation for providing reasonable quality assurance for financial decision making among Austrian credit institutes.

Guide to Corporate Sector Accounting and Auditing in the Acquis Communautaire

This Guide, now in its second edition, provides a comprehensive overview of the relevant provisions of the acquis communautaire. It is primarily intended for policymakers, regulators, and other stakeholders in countries with a “European vocation” (EU Member States and those negotiating accession or hoping to do so) but will also be useful for others who wish to take the EU regulatory model into account. This edition takes account of developments up to mid-2011.

The Guide outlines the European Union (EU) legislative framework governing corporate sector accounting and auditing. It begins by giving a brief overview of the EU, its institutions and legislative processes (Section I). It then focuses in Section II on the development of the Internal Market, particularly in the areas of financial market integration and company law harmonization. Section III addresses the harmonization of accounting and auditing in the EU. These topics have grown in importance as efforts to complete the Internal Market, particularly regarding company law harmonization, have increased. Finally, Section IV looks at the most pressing accounting and auditing issues facing the EU.

Accounting and Auditing Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (A&A ROSC) in European and Central Asian Countries

The World Bank conducts reviews of accounting and auditing within the ROSC initiative at the invitation of a country. The World Bank utilizes a diagnostic tool that it developed to gather pertinent information for preparing the Accounting and Auditing ROSC. Here are the full versions of the ROSC for download:


Overview of the ROSC Accounting and Auditing Program

From the introduction

1. In the wake of the international financial crisis of the 1990s, initiatives worldwide were set in place to strengthen the international financial architecture in crisis prevention, mitigation, and resolution. The agenda focuses on weaknesses in the international financial systems that potentially contribute to the propensity for and magnitude of global financial instability, hence requiring collective action at the international level. In this regard, the international community emphasized the role of minimum standards and codes in strengthening the international financial architecture.

2. There is widespread recognition that global financial stability rests on robust national systems and, hence, requires enhanced measures at the country level. In a world of integrated capital markets, financial crises in individual countries can imperil international financial stability. This provides a basic “public goods” rationale for minimum standards, which benefit international and individual national systems.

3. This overview of the Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) looks at the objectives and applied methodology of the ROSC Accounting and Auditing (ROSC A&A) program, and in particular at its role in the broader context of the international financial architecture exercise.

Lessons Learned from the World Bank’s Accounting and Auditing ROSC Program

Three of eight lessons learned (from the executive summary)

This paper addresses challenges to the successful implementation of international accounting and auditing standards which have been observed by the World Bank when carrying out the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) accounting and auditing assessments.

A full and balanced combination of capacity and institutionalized incentives for the rigorous application of international accounting and auditing standards incentives (both positive and deterrent) is the key to successful implementation of these standards.

Effective accounting and auditing regulation is required to underpin such institutionalized incentives, but international accounting and auditing standards themselves do not set out requirements as to how such effective regulation should be exercised.

Effective accounting and auditing regulation is required to underpin such institutionalized incentives, but international accounting and auditing standards themselves do not set out requirements as to how such effective regulation should be exercised.

For more information an the A&A ROSC reports visit the ROSC section of this website and the ROSC website.

REPARIS Progress Reports

The CFRR produces regular reports for its main programs to inform donors, participants and other stakeholders of how the programs are developing. These progress reports summarize the activities carried out under the program and outline how the experience gained will be used to improve the design of the next stages of the program.

STAREP Progress Reports

The CFRR produces regular reports for its main programs to inform donors, participants and other stakeholders of how the programs are developing. These progress reports summarize the activities carried out under the program and outline how the experience gained will be used to improve the design of the next stages of the program.

Financial reporting by SMEs in Kazakhstan:Current status and policy options

As part of the Joint Economic Research Program (JERP), the CFRR has published a report summarizing the options for continuing the reform of financial reporting for small- and medium-sized enterprises in Kazakhstan.

The report describes the current framework for financial reporting in Kazakhstan and, in particular, how well it meets the requirements of SMEs. It compares the reporting framework in Kazakhstan with international moves to simplify and rationalize financial reporting for SMEs. These developments have to balance the conflicting objectives of making financial reporting more formal in order to improve the access of SMEs to external finance and of easing the financial reporting requirements of SMEs in order to reduce their costs of doing business. The report finds that international policy-makers are generally moving towards reducing financial reporting requirements on small and micro companies.


An Accounting and Taxation Conundrum

Abstract

The introduction of new financial reporting standards in the European Union (EU) is having significant direct consequences for many of the preparers and users of financial information. These consequences are generally well documented and explored by many distinguished experts. However, less well documented are some of the indirect consequences of the implementation of new financial accounting standards in the EU. One such area is in the relationship between corporate financial accounting (‘financial accounting’) and corporate income tax accounting (‘tax accounting’). In some EU Member States a long-standing and complex relationship exists between financial accounting and tax accounting which may be significantly influenced by the introduction of new financial reporting standards such as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs). In this paper we review the effects of the introduction of new financial reporting standards on tax accounting within the EU. This paper also assesses the evolution of the relationship between tax accounting and financial accounting in the context of the growing influence of IFRSs. This paper recommends that consideration should be given to macro-economic implications of associating or disassociating financial accounting and tax accounting, noting that this decision should only be made after considering related policy issues at the highest level within relevant government agencies and a thorough consultative interaction between these agencies and relevant private sector advisers and interest groups.

Accounting for Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean: Improving Corporate Financial Reporting to Support Regional Economic Development

The drive to improve frameworks for financial reporting is not unique to Europe. A recent World Bank study surveys the results of recent efforts to improve the quality of financial reporting in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and finds many similarities between Europe and Latin America in the main challenges facing effective reform.

The book, Accounting for Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean: Improving Corporate Financial Reporting to Support Regional Economic Development (download the full publication as PDF), identifies the broad trends in financial reporting reforms in the region’s 17 countries and distils the lessons learned.

The book finds that, although most of the countries in LAC now have what appear to be fairly complete statutory corporate financial reporting frameworks, this is not enough to produce a well-functioning system of financial reporting. In addition, efforts to improve capacity to implement the rules and to enforce compliance with them are also required.




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