Transparent financial reporting makes investment more attractive – UNCTAD

Consistent implementation and enforcement of global standards and codes of corporate reporting are key to promote investment, according to over 220 government authorities, regulators, standard-setters and academic representatives who attended the 28th annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) to debate the latest developments in the field of corporate reporting.

The session was organised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)  in Geneva, Switzerland.

During the session, UNCTAD´s Deputy Secretary-General, Petko Draganov said “The accounting infrastructure of a country is a critically important – and often overlooked – facilitator of economic development…many developing and least-developed countries in the world today lack some of the basic features of an accounting infrastructure.”

Mr. Greg Tanzer, Secretary General of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, reiterated the importance of comprehensive and transparent financial reporting and said, “…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,” according to UNCTAD’s  statement copied to October 24, 2011.

During the session, the statement said 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,” it said.

UNCTAD indicated that, during the session, 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,” UNCTAD said.

By Ekow Quandzie

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