12 October 2016

NOFA Foundation held a conference “Transition to International Standards on Auditing in Russia”.

The conference took place on October 12th, 2016 in Hotel National, Moscow. The main task of the conference was to inform a wide range of representatives of auditor community and business on those actions and steps which are to be performed within transition to International Standards on Auditing provided for by the Law of the Russian Federation dated 30.12.2008 N 307-FZ ‘On Audit Activities’.

More than 120 people participated in the conference, including the spokesmen of Russian government agencies such as Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economic Development, Federal Treasury, Central Bank, self-regulating auditing organizations, large business auditing firms and also auditors, analysts, scientists and specialists, IFAC and other international organizations.

Igor Kozyrev, the Head of NOFA Presidium welcomed the members with opening speech. He emphasized the great amount of work carried out by NOFA, which will finally result in official recognition in Russia of ISAs translated into the Russian language. He expressed gratitude to all who made a contribution to translation of the Handbook into Russian: the organizers, translators, experts and all the auditing community.

The moderator of the conference Askold Birin, Chairman of the National Accounting Standards Board of NOFA Foundation vividly and figuratively described the auditor's profession, having set the tone and atmosphere of the conference: "There are not so many professions in the world which are based on reputation. It is no secret that the professional auditor community faced reputation risks often in recent years, and every time getting out of these situations, met these challenges with improvement of standards of their activity".

On behalf of the Bank of Russia Pavel Filimoshin, Adviser of Department of Admission to Financial Market addressed to the participants of the conference. He noted the need for increasing confidence of the main consumers to audit and therefore the purpose of implementation of International Standards on Auditing is to improve globally audit quality and also to enhance information value of the auditor’s report thus facilitating better understanding of nature of business processes.

Rassel Guthrie, the Executive Director of Professional Relations and CFO of IFAC addressed to the audience, emphasizing the importance to develop a common set of tools, principles and methods that can be legitimized by other countries and markets. He expressed confidence that International professional standards had managed to fulfill this idea and featured a single most effective tool which is daily used by auditors for support and development of the global economy.

Tatiana Krylova, Member of Presidium of NOFA Foundation, Head of Enterprise Branch Division on Investment and Enterprise, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) made a report ‘The role of ISAs in forming of the institutional mechanism of preparation of the corporate financial statements’. She described main areas of UNCTAD’s activity where accounting and financial statements are of greater importance. Therefore at present UNCTAD fulfils a project of development and implementation of systematic institutional approach to corporate financial statements. The audit performed in accordance with ISAs plays a key role in this project. More

Elena Zubova, Member of the Workgroup on Endorsement of ISAs of Audit Counsil by the Ministry of Finance of the Russia Federation, Member of Russian Collegium of Auditors (RCA) in her report ‘International Standards on Auditing as a basis of audit activities’ mentioned a transparent mechanism of adoption of new International Standards on Auditing and revision of former standards has already been developed and adjusted in IFAC. This mechanism is based on involvement into process of all professional international community, regulators, consultants, experts. From year to year instruments of new standard development are being improved. Speaking about conceptual benefits of ISAs vs Russian standards on auditing, Elena paid attention that we observe ageing of Russian standards and there is no closed self-sufficient system of these standards. More

The first session was ended by the speech of Irina Milyukova, Member of NOFA Review Committee, Partner of ZAO "Univers-Audit". In her report ‘Translation of 2015 Handbook: specifics and restrictions of translation’ she described in detail composition and structure of Handbook of International Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance, and Related Services Pronouncements, interference of the pronouncements, general tendency, main requirements, including ethics and independence requirements. Irina told about possible difficulties of using International Standards on Auditing as direct action documents in Russia and explained reasons underlying the choice of key terms. More



During coffee-break the participants discussed the topics covered at the conference, problems of transition to ISAs and other topical issues, such as organization of training, accounting profession education and qualification exams in accordance with new requirements, and processes taking place in auditor community nowadays.

The second session started with report ‘Rethinking of the role and significance of auditor in present-day world’ made by Mikhail Stepanov, member of NOFA Review Committee, Partner of Department of Professional Practice Development, KPMG in Russia and CIS. According to the speaker, recent revision of audit standards became a decisive step in the process of forming of the extended auditor’s report. He emphasized that quality of audit is defined, first of all, by the organization of its process, but not results. An essential, but not the only condition of audit quality is auditor’s independence, and competence of the auditor, personal qualities of audit team members and audit committee role remain the determining factors. More

Alla Ezhova, Coordinator of the NOFA Review Committee made a report ‘IFAC’s activity on issue of ISAs and organization of ISAs’ translation process in Russia’. She described the process and specifics of doing translation of IFAC’s documents in the Russian Federation and those changes that were made in the Handbook, 2015 Edition. Alla emphasized that several new standards will be included into the Handbook, 2016 Edition. Referring to Russell Guthrie's speech she drew attention of the audience that the professional international community expects feedback from Russia with regard to improvement of standards, development of new standards, active participation in discussions which are initiated by IFAC. Russia has to be a competent member of international community. More

The report ‘Business Russian. Issues of development of conventional standard in the process of editing of the translated text of ISAs’ by Oksana Grunchenko, PhD, Senior Staff Scientist, the Institute of the Russian Language of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Editor of the translated Handbook was of great interest to the audience. In her bright and figurative speech Oksana emphasized the essential role of conventional standard in the process of literary editing as there is no certain set of rules of the Russian spelling and punctuation adopted by the Government of Russia. She gave examples of cases when in the course of work on the Handbook the decisions were made in relation to which the language standards have not been set. More

The final report ‘Recognition and implementation of International Standards on Auditing in the territory of the Russian Federation’ was made by Mikhail Yakovlev, Head of Department on monitoring and analysis of auditing and accounting of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. The participants of the conference received information about procedures, stages and terms of recognition and implementation of International Standards on Auditing in the territory of the Russian Federation directly from the representative of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation who answered also topical and urgent questions of the audience.

A short address to conferees was made by Vera Starodubtseva, Head of ACCA in Russia who shared news that ACCA and ANPO “UCA” (Autonomous nonprofit organization "United Commission for Attestation") reached the agreement on release from a number of ACCA examinations on the basis of the competence certificate of the auditor.

The results of the conference were summed up by Irina Krasilnikova, Director of NOFA Foundation. She warmly thanked all attendees and speakers, experts and organizations which are taking part and making a contribution to the translation of the Handbook. She noted that a lot of work has to be done in the future and NOFA expects assistance of all auditor community in this process.

The conference summed up the results of a great almost three year work on translation by NOFA Foundation of Handbook of International Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance, and Related Services Pronouncements in accordance with the agreement concluded with IFAC. NOFA’s work on implementation of this project was financially supported by such large companies as Deloitte, EY, KPMG, PwC, Rosneft and Gazprom.