On 25 May, a round table on the subject: "Ways of auditing activity improvement and enhancing responsibility of auditing companies and auditors" was held at the conference hall of the Dedeman Silk Road Hotel.
The roundtable was hosted by the UNDP Public Finance Reform in Uzbekistan Project and USAID Accounting/Certified International Professional Accountant Project.
The objective for holding the round table is to identify most relevant issues of development of the audit system in Uzbekistan and appropriate solutions through constructive dialogue between government officials, private sector and public organizations, identify the way for enhancing the liability of auditors and prospects of improving audit practices nationwide.
The role of disclosing information in market economy and its significance in nurturing favorable investment climate is extremely important both for the world community in general and Uzbekistan in particular. Possibility of disclosing financial information is especially relevant. Availability of reliable financial information enables to make projections and plan accurately, and make right decisions, and it is an essential prerequisite of reliable functioning of a business. Auditor practices have an important role here.
Improving audit system has drawn significant government attention in recent years. Audit in Uzbekistan has taken quite solid positions throughout its development. In the last 5 years the amount of audit services in monetary terms has grown by approximately five times. Along with growing economic capacity of the companies and understanding the significance of auditing in Uzbekistan, demand for audit services is also growing not only in quantity but also in quality.
Despite progressive development of this sector of services, there are still a number of issues that need to be addressed. In particular, this relates to non-standard pre-service and in-service training of auditors, inadequate mechanism of control over the audit quality, issues related to certification of auditors and lack of clear implementation by auditing organizations and auditors of their responsibilities as well as inadequate regulatory framework of audit activities. A major issue of audit is making it mandatory. Another equally important barrier for developing audit practices can be named as inadequate number of auditors nationwide for auditing domestic businesses.
Domestic audit practices are still lagging behind the requirements set by international practices. This creates serious hurdles for its international integration.
Proposals to address the issues in the audit sector of the country as well as practical recommendations to improve audit practices were developed in the framework of the previous round table. Amid active discussions unfolding, avenues for further improving domestic audit practices were identified along with discussion of the regulations pertained to audit practices, competency of auditors and managers of audit organizations and ways of enhancing their responsibility. Meanwhile, specific recommendations for implementing in-house business standards of audit organizations were developed and rating system indicators were determined.
The need for developing integrated quality and efficiency standards of audit practices fully in compliance with international standards for improving the quality of audit services and competition among auditing organizations were noted in the round table.
Round table participants expressed the hope that in future audit system in Uzbekistan will play more a significant role in disclosing accounting and financial information as well as improving investment climate in Uzbekistan.
Further improvement of audit practices in Uzbekistan will facilitate improved information sources for businesses, reduced risks both for local and foreign investors, and ensure high growth rates in the private sector of the economy.
Officials of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, entrepreneurs, auditors, accountants, representatives of public organizations, representatives of international organizations and development institutions, accounting and audit faculty as well as practitioner accountants and auditors participated in the round table.