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  • The US believed they had an outstanding system for financial reporting, auditing and regulatory monitoring. However the scandals revieled that all parts of the chain did not live up to expectations. The US business society and capital market came into a state of chock. What was believed to be the best rules in the world did not stop a business culture focused on quarterly earnings, stock options and according to which everything that was not forbidden was allowed. Is it a system failure - or is it an ethical problem where the boundaries for what is good behaviour gradually moved to the unacceptable and misconduct of a few (The system starts with self-enforcement. Auditor is the not the first line of defense, but the first external line) Each party to assume responsibility and have proper ethical behaviour and to be subject to enforcement
  • FEE Discussion Paper on Financial Reporting and Auditing Aspects of Corporate Governance – September 2003 No European Corporate Governance Code, but principles and common benchmarks All listed companies audit committee function Requirement for corporate governance statement Audit committee core responsibilities Accounting policies and assessment of alternatives Use of extended audit reports

in English Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Russian Corporate Governance Roundtable meeting Moscow, 11 November 2004 ENFORCEMENT OF IFRS IN the EU Hans van Damme – Vice President FEE FEE (Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens - European Federation of Accountants)
  • 2. Outline of the Presentation
    • Background
    • Framework for High Quality Financial Reporting
    • Enforcement Bodies
    • Conclusion
  • 3. Background
    • FEE has extensively contributed to the thoughts on endorsement and enforcement
    • First FEE study goes back as far as 1999
    • Contribution to CESR’s considerations on the subjects in drafting phase
    • Commented on CESR standard No 1 and 2
    • FEE’s comments have had their influence
    • Situation in the EU: IFRS need to be enforced by 2005
  • 4. Background - 2001 FEE Study Enforcement Mechanisms in Europe
    • Oversight systems: differ widely
      • Stock exchange
      • Regulator
      • Governmental department
      • Review Panel
    • Most countries:
        • 2001 no enforcement of financial statements
        • 2003 changing
        • 2005 getting in place
    • Not much review of substance or systematic review
    • Foreign listings: usually relied on enforcement body in the home country
  • 5. Background - FEE 2002 Discussion Paper on Enforcement: Key Messages
    • Effective enforcement to be in place by 2005
    • Enforcement to be built on effective national enforcement bodies:
      • No enforcement body  FRRP (review panel)
      • EU Member States to review arrangements for enforcement
    • European coordination on enforcement involving all enforcement bodies (securities regulators and review panels)
    • Enforcement should not result in standard setting
    • Pre-clearance: only where cost effective, with full involvement of auditors and management (only where no IFRS or IFRIC interpretations exist)
  • 6. Definitions of Enforcement
    • FEE Discussion Paper
    • Enforcement is a system to whenever possible prevent, and thereafter identify and correct, material errors or omissions in the application of IFRS in financial information and other regulatory statements issued to the public.
    • CESR
    • Monitoring compliance of the financial information with the applicable reporting framework
    • Taking appropriate measures in case of infringements discovered in the course of enforcement
    • The reporting framework mainly includes:
    • the International Financial Reporting Standards endorsed by the EU
    • The disclosure rules required by EU legislation
  • 7. Background - FEE Discussion Paper on Enforcement – Scope
  • 8. Framework for High Quality Financial Reporting The Corporate Reporting Supply Chain Independent Auditors Third-Party Analysts Investors & Other Stakeholders Standard Setters Market Regulators Internal Audit Audit Committees Company Executives Board of Directiors
  • 9. Framework For High Quality Financial Reporting
    • All parties in the Corporate Reporting Supply Chain have to assume their proper responsibilities and demonstrate ethical behaviour
    • Restoring confidence in capital markets should be the aim of all parties involved
    • Need for Framework for High Quality Financial Reporting (See: FEE Discussion on Enforcement of IFRS in Europe)
  • 10. Framework for High Quality Financial Reporting
    • Proper financial accounting standards
    • Preparation by an effective and well resourced internal company accounting function
    • Internal audit and informed review by directors, Audit Committees or Supervisory Boards
    • Proper approval procedures of financial information by the body responsible within the company
    • External audit and external review subject to appropriate quality assurance systems
    • Effective enforcement bodies
    • Stock Exchanges with supportive listing agreements  
    • Sponsors, advisers and investment bankers committed to high quality financial reporting
    • Investors, analysts, rating agencies and the financial press: clear ethical obligations to raise issues of dubious financial reporting
  • 11. Enforcement Bodies
    • 1. Features of effective enforcement bodies
    • 2. Choice of model
    • 3. Coordination at European level
    • 4. Consistency
    • 5. Interpretation and implementation
    • 6. Interaction between auditors and enforcement bodies
  • 12. Enforcement Bodies 1. Features of Effective Enforcement Bodies
    • Support for high quality corporate governance and external audit
    • High quality, expert, globally-consistent decisions on important issues
    • Freedom from bias
    • Transparency and clear procedures
    • Confidentiality and speed of action
    • Avoidance of making detailed accounting rules
    • Focusing resources
    • Rectification of defective financial information
    • Sanctions
    Relation with Corporate Governance – see FEE discussion paper September 2003
  • 13. Enforcement Bodies 2. Choice of Model
    • Securities regulator or body constituted by stakeholders for the specific purpose (review panel)
    • Delegated power – official government body
    • Listed companies vs all IFRS companies
    • Timeliness: effective enforcement by 2005
    • If no enforcement body exists: FEE recommends a review panel approach
    • Both models can co-exist in Europe – mixed model
    • Why to consider others as well?
    • Enforcement of non-listed companies using IFRS
    • Not all enforcement bodies member of CESR
    • Review panel initiatives in a number of countries
    • Involvement other stakeholders
    • BUT, central role of CESR
  • 14. Enforcement Bodies 3. European Enforcement Coordination (EEC) National Review Panels And other enforcement bodies National Securities Regulators CESR Enforcement Subcommittee European Enforcement Coordination (EEC) (Partnership) National Government National Stakeholders (including reporting entity) Consultative Forum Consultation with Stakeholders National Level European Level
  • 15. Enforcement Bodies 4. Consistency
    • Difficult issues:
    • Need to avoid system of case-by-base interpretations
    • Achieving global consistency
    • Consultation with IASB/IFRIC
    • Agree on decisions with other enforcement bodies
    • Making other preparers and auditors immediately aware
    • Formal status of the views expressed
    • Risk of different view from IASB/IFRIC
  • 16. Enforcement Bodies 5. Interpretation and Implementation
    • Avoid making separate European rules
    • Enforcing existing standards
    • Consultation arrangements with the IASB, IFRIC, EFRAG, SEC and other enforcement bodies
    • Status of enforcement decisions
    • CESR Standard n° 1
    • CESR proposed recommendations on transition to IFRS
    • IASB/IFRIC subsequent interpretation may differ from interim guidance
    • Enforcement bodies shouldn’t reduce existing flexibility contained in IFRS
    • Court interpretations of accounting standards
    • Clear distinction enforcement and standard setting
  • 17. Enforcement Bodies 5. Interpretation and Implementation (2)
        • Is there a need for European interpretations ?
    • Advantages :
    • Addressing specific European and national circumstances
    • Temporary addressing topical issues
    • Avoiding risk of different decisions (auditor and company)
    • Assist IFRIC in forming interpretations
    • Disadvantages :
    • Risk of creating European IFRS
    • Risk of stimulating other parts in the world to issue own interpretations
    • Taking away responsibility companies and auditors
    • Not possible to have interpretations for all situations
    • Risk of worldwide inconsistency
  • 18. Enforcement Bodies 5. Interpretation and Implementation - Pre-clearance
    • Only when cost effective
    • Full involvement Board of Directors and auditors
    • Limited to issues where IFRS or IFRIC interpretations are not available
    • Framework of common European principles, established by EEC
    • Not all enforcement bodies need pre-clearance mechanisms
    • Comparison with expost system
    • CESR Level 3 Consultation Paper
  • 19. Enforcement Bodies 6. Interaction Auditors and Enforcement Bodies
    • Good corporate governance
    • Auditors are not the first line of defence: it is the responsibility of directors and management to prepare proper financial reporting information
    • Directors and management are also responsible for additional and more detailed information to the enforcement bodies
    • If requested, the auditor can prepare a special report
    • Complaints to the audit regulator  no « double jeopardy »
  • 20. FEE Discussion Paper on Enforcement Key Messages
    • Effective enforcement to be in place by 2005
    • Enforcement to be built on effective national enforcement bodies:
      • No enforcement body  FRRP (review panel)
      • EU Member States to review arrangements for enforcement
    • European coordination on enforcement involving all enforcement bodies (securities regulators and review panels)
    • Enforcement should not result in standard setting
  • 21. Russian Corporate Governance Roundtable meeting Moscow, 11 November 2004 ENFORCEMENT OF IFRS IN the EU Hans van Damme – Vice President FEE FEE (Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens - European Federation of Accountants)
  • 22. Background
    • May 2001 FEE Study – Enforcement Mechanisms in Europe
    • April 2002 FEE Discussion Paper on Enforcement of IFRS in Europe
    • June 2002 IAS Regulation – Central role of the Commission, CESR and Member States
    • October 2002 CESR - Proposed SOP – Principles of Enforcement of Accounting Standards in Europe
    • March 2003 CESR Standard n° 1: Enforcement of Standards on Financial Information in Europe
    • 10 Oct. 2003 FEE Round table on Enforcement
    • Nov. 2003 FEE Discussion Paper European Enforcement Coordination - Coordination at Europeal Level of National Enforcement Mechanisms
    • April 2004 CESR Standard n° 2: Coordination and Enforcement