A closing event of the twinning project “Enhancing Accounting and Audit Quality in Georgia" was held on December 18, marking the completion of a two-year cooperation between the Georgian Ministry of Finance’s Service for Accounting, Reporting and Auditing Supervision (SARAS) and the Hellenic Accounting and Auditing Standards Oversight Board (HAASOB).
Deputy Minister of Finance Nikoloz Gagua gave a welcome speech at the event. Opening remarks were also delivered by his Greek counterpart, Apostolos Vezyropoulos, the Greek Ambassador to Georgia, H.E. Dimitrios Karabalis, the EU Delegation’s Deputy Head of Cooperation Catalin Gherman, the director of EU Assistance Coordination and Sectoral Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Davit Bujiashvili, and the director of the Centre of International and European Economic Law (CIEEL), Professor Christina Deliyanni-Dimitrakou.
The aim of the event was to provide an overview of the main results and outcomes of the project which brought together the expertise of specialists from Greek and Georgian public administrations to help improve the quality of accounting, financial reporting and auditing in Georgia.
Mr Gagua thanked the European Union for contributing to continued implementation of the financial reporting and audit reform through providing valuable support to SARAS. Noting significant progress in the field of corporate reporting over the last four years, he described the reform as unique in its scale and complexity and vital for capital market development and improvement of corporate governance in Georgia.
Greece’s Deputy Minister of Finance commended the efforts to promote financial transparency, emphasizing in his speech the importance of increasing the quantity and quality of financial information in order to achieve the sustainable growth of the economy.
Ambassador Karabalis congratulated project partners SARAS and HAASOB together with other public administrations involved for excellent cooperation within the scope of the project. The Ambassador expressed the hope that such cooperation could continue into the future.
As noted by Mr Gherman, the EU considers the field of accounting, reporting and auditing to be of great importance and to have the potential to significantly advance the country’s economic and social recovery. Mr Gherman expressed his confidence that the work performed by the project would stay and continue to bear fruits in the future.
Mr Bujiashvili stated that EU integration, including sectoral integration, remained a key priority in Georgia’s domestic and international policy. He referred to the Hellenic Republic as one of Georgia’s main partners and supporters in that regard.
Professor Deliyanni-Dimitrakou, on her part, thanked all Georgian and Greek experts “for their outstanding collaboration resulting in high-quality project results” despite the practical difficulties they had to overcome in this challenging year.
Following the opening speeches, project leader and deputy chairman of HAASOB Panagiotis Giannopoulos, joined by experts from other Greek public institutions such as the Hellenic Capital Market Commission and Greek Business Register GEMI, gave an account of the main areas the project had focused on, briefly summarizing the outcomes achieved.
In particular, presenters discussed the progress achieved with regard to advancing legal approximation to the EU acquis and providing capacity building support to SARAS, which involved, among others, reviewing financial statements, carrying out joint audit quality inspections, contributing to effective monitoring of the work performed by professional organizations, and analyzing HR related matters. (For further information, please see the presentation here)
Project leader and head of SARAS Yuri Dolidze thanked all individuals and institutions who made the successful implementation of the project possible, adding that the recommendations, guidelines and best practices shared by the experts will play a major part in securing improved functioning and long-term sustainable development of SARAS.
The event concluded with an announcement of plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between SARAS and HAASOB, which will allow them to continue and expand their cooperation beyond the frames of the project.