National initiatives for improving accounting education and strengthening professional accounting organisations in Azerbaijan were discussed at a workshop recently organised in Baku by the World Bank as part of the EU4Business initiative.
The event was part of the EU-funded Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in the Countries of the Eastern Partnership (STAREP) regional programme, which supports Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine in establishing transparent policy environments and effective institutional frameworks for corporate reporting.
Internationally compatible accounting education at universities and for professional development is a key requirement to build the capacity needed to support better quality corporate financial information. The STAREP Accounting and Auditing Education Community of Practice (EduCoP) are working together to modernise the education and development of accountants and auditors and develop a timetable for overhauling accounting education.
Over 40 participants representing the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Taxes, the Azerbaijan Accountants and Risk Professionals Association, Young Accountants Public Union, universities, professional accounting organisations, and regulators took part in the Baku workshop. They considered the next steps in accounting education reform for Azerbaijan, including national reform initiatives, and worked together on developing a detailed Country Action Plan of practical next steps to further modernise accounting and auditing education at university and professional levels.
Azerbaijani members of the EduCoP outlined the lessons learned at a Regional EduCoP meeting in Minsk in October 2016, including the need to reach ‘international standard’ in education to effectively contribute to a stronger business environment. Next steps include follow-up discussion of the Action Plan among stakeholders in Azerbaijan to reach consensus on the various initiatives proposed and integrate them into a structured proposal.