Study visit in Greece (III)
18-19 November 2019
A study visit was organized for Georgian PAOs on November 18-19 to share experience and best practices with their colleagues from Greece.
On the first day of the visit, five representatives from the Georgian Federation of Professional Accountants and Auditors (GFPAA) and the Federation of Auditors, Accountants and Financial Managers (GFAAFM) met with Mr Panagiotis Giannopoulos, Deputy Chairman of HAASOB, the only competent authority responsible for the oversight, enforcement and standard setting for the audit profession in Greece. They discussed the changes introduced into Greek legislation in recent years to comply with EU Audit Reform, the current structure of HAASOB and its relationship with the Greek professional body SOEL, particularly in terms of the delegation of tasks related to continuous professional education, professional examinations and the oversight of non-PIE audits. The possibility of using the format of QAN Audit, a quality assurance network for professional bodies aimed at improving the quality of the audit of the non-PIE sector, was also suggested to the PAOs.
During the second day, the representatives of GFPAA and GFAAFM had the opportunity to meet with the Deputy Managing Director of the firm that was set up as a union of 197 certified auditors in 1993 and is now the leader of the Hellenic audit market based on the number of clients.
The representatives of Georgian professional bodies then exchanged information about their organizations with Deputy Chairman and other representatives from SOEL, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants - a professional body operating in Greece, although in a different form, since 1956 - and its training center IESOEL. The presentations were followed by discussions about the challenges facing Georgian PAOs nowadays as they voiced concerns about the difficulty of assessing the compliance of many small-sized Georgian audit firms with the established quality control requirements. In an attempt to address these and other challenges and to make the most use of the experience of Greek colleagues, the parties agreed to continue their cooperation in Georgia within the framework of the twinning project.
The participants found that the study visit was a useful platform for discussions about different aspects of audit and accounting related matters. Representatives of Georgian PAOs were informed about the way their peers implemented the EU audit reform in Greece and how the Greek professional body cooperates with the regulatory authority HAASOB. During discussions with representatives of the Greek professional body, best practices and ideas for further development of Georgian PAOs were shared with the participants of the study visit.