EU Accounting and Audit Directives: Overview Henri Fortin Head, Centre for Financial Reporting Reform UPFAA Conference Kyiv, 17 December 2014 EU Accounting Directive: key changes New Accounting Directive (2013/34/EU) adopted on 26 June 2013 Motto: simplification, comparability, clarity! - - Merging and modernising the previous Accounting Directives (4th and 7th)
Introducing uniform categories and definitions Harmonising simple regime for small companies Providing relief for micro entities (optional) Adding new requirements 2 Accounting Directive 2013 and its key changes Definition of micro, small and medium size businesses as per Accounting Directive of the EU (2013): 3 Accounting Directive 2013 and its key changes Small undertakings:
Introduction of a mandatory safe harbour ; Obligation to address small undertakings (<50 employees) in each Member State: best way to do this: to define this size-category; Micro-undertakings (<10 employees) are in the small size category, unless stated otherwise in the legislation of a Member State (see below) Gold plating is not possible: the Directive spells out which information and which statements should be prepared by small undertakings.
Source European Commission 4 Accounting Directive 2013 and its key changes Micro undertakings: Within the small regime, introduction of an option to simplify further; If a Member State implements one of the
simplification option: need to distinguish microundertakings. Best way to do this: to define this sizecategory; The Directive spells out the minimal regime that can be implemented; Flexibility on the degree of simplification, depending on each Member State. Source European Commission 5 Accounting Directive 2013 and its key changes Limitation of Notes to the financial statements 4th Directive Directive 2013/ 34 Usual Recurring Notes
required by the Directive 14 8 Optional Recurring Notes the Directive grants an option to Member States to require these notes 10 5 Conditional Notes the Directive requires these notes, but only when specified circumstances are
met 10 7 Other recurring or conditional notes No limit 0 24 13 These are notes not foreseen by the
Directive but that a Member State may require in addition ("gold plating") Source European Commission 6 Accounting Directive 2013 and its key changes Scope: more rules based with foreign entities in chain Definitions: whole new set of definitions, including: Participating interest, related party, group, material Size-categories: uniform size-categories have been introduced per category (micro, small, medium and large). The regime for micro and medium-sized undertakings is an option for Member States Public interest entities: Listed companies
Banks Insurance companies and entities defined by a Member State (rare). Should be treated as large, whatever the size - unless exemption permitted Formalised accounting principles: eight principles, including materiality 7 Accounting Directive 2013 and its key changes No reference to the IFRS for SMEs in the Directive No prohibition either Two hurdles to its adoption
1. Possible incompatibilities (e.g., uncalled capital) 2. For small companies: disclosures in the notes exceed the requirements of the directive 8 Accounting Directive 2013 and its key changes From adoption to application From adoption to application July 2013 Entry into force July
2015 Transposition deadline 2016 1st full application by companies (or earlier) 9 Recent Amendments to the Statutory Audit Directive 10
Key messages from recent changes Restoring the confidence of investors in financial information The revised Directive includes measures to: - strengthen the independence of statutory auditors make the audit report more informative, and strengthen audit supervision throughout the EU The Regulation - stricter requirements on the statutory audits of public-interest entities, strengthen independence and professional skepticism, and limit conflicts of interest 2 years to implement the revised Directive. The Regulation will also become directly applicable in mid-2016 The EC will work with the Member States, the national supervisory bodies, and the stakeholders to facilitate a consistent and effective implementation of the new rules
across the EU 11 Main changes in the Audit Directive Governance of firms and independence rules Auditing standards and Reporting Public oversight and delegations to professional bodies Quality assurance Investigations & sanctions 12 Governance of firms and independence rules
Detailed requirements on the organization and the internal quality assurance system of audit firms Obligation to assign an audit partner to each engagement who participates actively to the audit and signs the audit report More specific on independence rules (some threats identified)
Application of independence rules to any natural persons in a position to directly of indirectly influence the outcome of the statutory audit New rules on employment of former statutory auditors by the audited entity 13 Auditing standards and Reporting International standards clarified meaning: ISAs, ISQC 1 and related standards issued by the IAASB
Application of standards in smaller audits may be proportionate to the scale and complexity of the activities of the audited company Statutory audit is not mandatory for small companies in the EU Scope of the requirement for statutory audit is fixed by the Accounting Directive
14 Public oversight and delegations to professional bodies Competent authorities governed by non-practitioners have the ultimate responsibility for the oversight of the profession All statutory auditors and audit firms subject to PO May delegate (or allow the competent authority to
delegate) any of its tasks to authorized institutions Note. Restrictions related to PIE audits and auditors - regulation 15 Public oversight * - Member States are provided with an option to delegate the tasks related to sanctions and measures, but only to a body independent from the profession Source: European federation of Accountants (FEE) 16
Main new issues in the Regulation Application to Public Interest Entities only Provision of non-audit services: - list of prohibited non-audit services (NAS) maximum fees for NAS: 70% of average audit fees in the last 3year Auditors communication: New requirements in the audit report Additional reporting to the audit committee Quality assurance (more frequent and no delegation) Duration of the engagement and mandatory audit firm rotation (10/20 if public tender/24 if joint audit) Cooperation in Public oversight : Committee of European Auditing Oversight Bodies (CEAOB)
17 Transition and harmonisation Audits before the directive was transposed considered adequate MS can impose more stringent requirements Transposition - June 2008 (June 2016 for changes) - MS shall adopt and publish the provisions necessary to comply with this Directive - EC should be informed on adoption - Legal provisions should contain reference to the Directive - MS shall inform the EC on the texts of legislation in the field covered by this Directive. 18
Implications for Ukraine 19 Implications for Ukraine Following the Association Agreement with the EU, Ukraine undertook to approximate its legislation to the following EU legislation and respective updates in these documents: - Audit directive 2006/43/EC: within 3 years of the entry into force of the Association Agreement (AA) - IAS Regulation (1606/2002/EC): 2 years of the entry into force of the AA. - Fourth Council Directive of 25 July 1978 on the annual accounts (78/660/EEC): 3 years of the entry into force of the AA*. - Seventh Council Directive of 13 June 1983 on consolidated accounts (83/349/EEC): 3 years of the
entry into force of the AA*. 20 Thank you for your attention Questions? www.worldbank.org/cfrr
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