The aim of UNCTAD’s work in this area is to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to improve their financial accounting and reporting practices in order to better attract investment and better manage existing resources. ISAR has recognized that the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is an important long term process that could benefit from additional study and sharing of experiences. Various stakeholders in the corporate reporting chain, including regulators, preparers, users and auditors, continue to encounter practical implementation challenges, typically related to issues of institutional development, enforcement and the capacity for technical implementation.

Financial reporting harmonization

Since the 22nd session of ISAR, the Secretariat has conducted a number of country level case studies on IFRS implementation. These country case studies have culminated in the 2008 UNCTAD publication Practical implementation of international financial reporting standards: Lessons learned. Since 2005, ISAR has published reports on practical issues surrounding IFRS implementation, including case studies of Egypt, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Brazil, Germany, India, Jamaica, and Kenya.

 Accounting for SMEs

UNCTAD has also recognized the specific concerns of financial reporting for small and medium enterprises in the implementation of international financial reporting standards. Accounting and reporting for SMEs is a critical component of a broader enabling environment that allows SMEs to compete, grow, access finance and attract investors. Building on international expertise and analysis of the specific needs of these entities, UNCTAD has developed guiding documents for both larger SMEs (SMEGA 2) and smaller SMEs (SMEGA 3).