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Corruption and lack of transparency are key challenges

The role of audit, tackling a lack of transparency, corruption and the need for greater cooperation between regulators and business were among the issues discussed at an ACCA-hosted roundtable in Ukraine on 27 January 2010.
 
The event, entitled The Future of Audit - the third in a series of such events, following ACCA roundtables in Poland and Singapore last year - brought together stakeholders from across the Ukrainian audit profession and government to debate the vital role of audit in the continuing development of Ukraine's economy. In attendance were representatives from the Auditors Chamber of Ukraine, Union of Auditors of Ukraine, State Commission on Regulation of Financial Services Markets of Ukraine, as well as others from the wider profession. 
 
Among those taking part was Volodymyr Bogatyr, Ukraine's deputy minister of justice, who outlined the government's efforts to bring its legislation into line with the EU's, and the country's commitment to the full implementation of international financial reporting standards (IFRS).
 
'Financial reporting issues were reflected in the Ukraine-EU Association agreement, which puts obligations on Ukraine to bring its legislation in accordance with international standards,' said Bogatyr. 'Together with the Ministry of Finance, we are also exploring the possibility of a Ukrainian translation of the IFRS for SMEs, which would encourage greater transparency.'
 
Gerry Parfitt, KPMG partner, conceded that some of the blame for the economic crisis should lie with the profession, which he said could have employed greater effort in promoting transparency and stamping out corruption.
 
'One of the things that I would like to see in Ukraine is people and businesses appointing auditors to give transparency to the business,' said Parfitt. 'In the UK, every single company has to file their accounts annually with the registrar of companies - it is a public document easily available over the internet.'
 
Angela Prigozhina, senior specialist at the World Bank in Ukraine, further echoed the need for greater transparency, casting doubts of a quick economic recovery for the Ukraine unless it could strengthen its transparency and competitiveness.
 
She further stressed the need for auditors and regulators to work together more closely to stamp out unprofessional and non-ethical behaviour.
 
'ACCA is proud to have hosted this initial high-profile debate,' said Nataliya Vovchuk, head of ACCA Ukraine, Baltic and Caucasus States, after the event.
 
'Following this roundtable, and based on the issues raised today, ACCA will develop a set of recommendations outlining perspectives for the development of the audit profession in Ukraine.'