The experts noted that consistent implementation and enforcement of global standards and codes of corporate reporting are key to promote investment.
Dicussing during the 28th annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR), more than 220 government authorities, regulators, standard-setters and academic representatives met and brainstormed the latest developments in the field of corporate reporting.
"The accounting infrastructure of a country is a critically important – and often overlooked – facilitator of economic development," UNCTAD’s deputy secretary-general Petko Draganov, said, highlighting that many developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) in the world today lack some of the basic features of an accounting infrastructure.
Reiterating the importance of comprehensive and transparent financial reporting, secretary general of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions Greg Tanzer, said that global financial stability relies on market confidence.
Sound financial reporting becomes a critical element in mitigating systemic risk and encouraging people to invest in securities markets with the corresponding effects in economic growth," he added.
During the session, UNCTAD presented a new guidance tool to be used by policymakers to assess and benchmark progress in building capacity for corporate reporting. Based on international benchmarks and good national practices, the UNCTAD tool covers financial and non-financial aspects of corporate reporting, including environmental issues, corporate social responsibility, and corporate governance disclosure.
More than ten member States volunteered to pilot the UNCTAD tool over the coming months. Experts also dealt with the latest developments for integrated reporting and climate change-related disclosure, as well as presenting an overview of research and surveys on corporate governance disclosure and updates from regional and international organisations.
On the eve of ISAR 28, a Technical Accounting Workshop on 'Accounting and Reporting for Financial Instruments and Application for Fair Value Measurement Requirements' took place, where experts debated the main provisions, changes and challenges associated with IFRS 13, Fair Value Measurement and IFRS 9, Financial Instruments: Measurement and Recognition. For more than a quarter of a century, ISAR has been the focal point within the UN system for issues of corporate transparency and accounting. ISAR works towards its objectives through an integrated programme of research, intergovernmental dialogue, consensus building and technical cooperation.