CHANGES IN FINANCIAL AND ACCOUNTING ENVIRONMENT IN ALBANIA AND THE IMPACT ON PRACTITIONERS. Rezarta Shkurti (Perri)1 Brikena Leka (Gjoni)2 Rovena Bahiti3 Elfrida Manoku (Gishto)4 ABSTRACT: This paper presents a theoretical discussion about the organization of the professions of accounting and auditing in Albania and the most recent changes that have encompassed the Albanian financial and accounting landscape after the implementation of new accounting standards, the increased requirements for electronic financial and tax reporting and the ongoing improvement and adaptation of the higher education curricula. All these factors present major challenges for the field practitioners in accounting and auditing. We try to identify which are the most prominent challenges faced by the practitioners today and identify that the ICT impact, ethical values and the globalization trend in accounting and financial reporting are some of the most emergent ones. These factors make the work of the practitioners more and more demanding and as it seems difficult to remain competitive in such a dynamic environment, we conclude with the recommendations that the curricula of the financial and accounting higher education should be adapted to include topics such as IAS/IFRS, ICT, Code of Ethics and that the professional accountancy and auditing organizations in Albania should provide ongoing training and qualification sessions on the same topics to the existing practitioners.
Keywords: accounting, auditing, accounting software, tax reporting. JEL codes: M40
Introduction During the last twenty years since Albania opened to the free market economy in 1990 a lot of changes have encompassed all the dimensions of its economy. Along with the radical transformation of the overall economic system, the necessity to create new legal and institutional infrastructure capacities was also strongly encouraged. This infrastructure would be critical for the new economic system in achieving success (or experiencing failure). Therefore in the early 90s’ a lot of changes were made in the legal framework for regulating the new market regime according the rules of the open market economy and extensive efforts were made on building the necessary infrastructural capacities through deep reforms and innovative measures in many sectors. Accounting, finance and auditing were among the many disciplines that experienced fundamental changes. The introduction of the independent accounting and auditing professions came naturally after the changes experienced in the political, social and economic life of Albania after the 90’s. Developments such as implementing a new open economy after the free market rules, the transformation of the state-owned enterprises into private companies, the establishment of new private entrepreneurships and the need for exercising appropriate and expert supervision and management of the private property required the coming into existence of several new professions, including the independent accountants and auditors. All the changes experienced by the Albanian economy after the 90’s would have not been successful without the support of the services offered from qualified experts, among which accountants and auditors played a very important role. 1 2
Tirana University, Faculty of Economy, Albania, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Tirana University, Faculty of Economy, Albania, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 3 Tirana University, Faculty of Economy, Albania, e-mail: email@example.com 4 Sevasti and Parashqevi Qiriazi University, Faculty of Economy, Albania, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, 13(1), 2011
During the last twenty years the independent accounting and auditing professions in Albania have gone through a lot of changes and efforts to improve the quality of services offered to the...