Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

WAR FOR THE LOCAL ACCOUNTING MARKET

The draft bills on accounting and independent financial audit provoked fierce clashes between accountants and auditors. The Chairperson of the Association of Accounting Houses in Bulgaria Hristinka Petrova and the Chairman of the Union of Accountants Prof. Ivan Doushanov accused the Institute of Certificated Expert Accountants (ICEA) and its Chairman Stoyan Dourin of attempting to monopolize the local market of accounting services. And there is much money in it. According to some financiers, companies pay about BGL400MN to expert accountants (auditors) annually. The new legal provisions will expand this market by some BGL140MN at least. This sum will be distributed among 518 auditors who are by law members of the ICEA. This makes 772,000 per capita on average.The heads of some consulting companies claim that with the introduction of a mandatory examination in international accounting standards, some of the present auditors will lose their licences and the number of ICEA members will decrease by some 200 people. On the other hand, the hunting fields for those who will remain in the business will expand and the logical question is how would the small number of expert accountants manage to audit more than 300,000 companies. As they have managed to do that till now, some insiders say mockingly. Many audits are conducted negligently. The companies' balance sheets and reports are certified almost on trust, and each expert accountant aims to audit the greatest possible number of firms and draw as many fees as possible.In that respect some businessmen propose to the Finance Minister to order to the taxation offices to publish the annual incomes of the first 20 or 30 auditors on ICEA's list.You'll see that many of them have received for their specialized services annual personal remunerations exceeding BGL300,000. If this sum is recalculated per the tariff for fees payable for auditing firms' accounting documents, it will turn out that the auditor has worked round-the-clock throughout the year, a head of an accounting house, who demanded to remain unnamed, commeneted for the BANKER weekly.Auditors themselves admit that it is exceptionally difficult to enter their elite club, and sometimes the receival of a certificae for an expert accountant depends on the personal goodwill of the members of ICEA's examining commission.

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