Monitoring of Compliance and Enforcement for High-quality Corporate Reporting: Guidance on Good Practices

Monitoring of Compliance and Enforcement for High-quality Corporate Reporting: Guidance on Good Practices

High-quality reporting enhances the investment climate and fosters competitive enterprise development. In the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a sound corporate reporting infrastructure contributes to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In particular, Goal 16 seeks to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies, with targets on the promotion of the rule of law, the reduction of corruption and bribery, and the development of effective, accountable and transparent institutions.

This document was prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat at the request of member States at the thirty-first session of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) that took place in October 2014.

It takes into consideration the feedback and results of the application of the UNCTAD-ISAR Accounting Development Tool (ADT)10 in a number of countries, which indicated that further efforts are needed in many cases to support countries in building an MCE system.

It is also based on the ISAR discussions on this matter and five country case studies covering Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom prepared for these discussions.

This guidance document was prepared in collaboration with the members of the Consultative Group convened by UNCTAD to discuss and enhance the initial draft document prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat. Significant input was provided by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to chapter V on monitoring of compliance and enforcement for professional accountants.

The objective of this guidance document is to provide policymakers with references to developments and good practices that they could consider in designing, developing and operationalizing their national monitoring of compliance and enforcement(MCE) systems.

It could also provide useful information to other stakeholders for their understanding of the main aspects and challenges of MCE-related issues and how they can contribute to its building and functioning.

The document proposes a conceptual framework to underpin the MCE system, addressing issues such as key definitions, objective and scope; key principles on which the system might be based; and core elements.

These issues are further elaborated with regard to specific areas of MCE, such as corporate reporting requirements, audit function and professional accountants.

It is built on international pronouncements and existing good practices and benchmarks to which references are provided. Examples of good national and regional practices are presented in dedicated boxes throughout the document.