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Vienna, 31.03.2016 Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance evaluates the Austrian Financial Reporting Enforcement Act International expert heads study

As required by law, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance began an evaluation of the Austrian Financial Reporting Enforcement Act (Rechnungslegungs-Kontrollgesetz – RL-KG) at the end of 2015. It decided to commission an academic analysis to provide well-founded objective results that would help with the evaluation.

Prof. Bernhard Pellens, chair of international corporate accounting at the Ruhr University Bochum, agreed to perform the analysis. He performed a similar study on enforcement in Germany in the past. The evaluation will be based on a statistical analysis of a survey of market participants, auditors and other stakeholders.

Continuous improvement of the enforcement procedure, aimed at ensuring a transparent, well-functioning capital market, is a priority for Austrian Minister of Finance Hans Jörg Schelling. “I am glad that the most highly renowned expert for accounting and corporate governance in the German-speaking world has agreed to assist us in evaluating the Financial Reporting Enforcement Act”, stated the Minister of Finance. Prof. Pellens’ related experience will help the Ministry of Finance objectively evaluate how effective the Austrian enforcement framework is and identify any needed improvements.

The Ministry of Finance is hoping for broad, constructive participation in the study by all stakeholders in order to ensure that a representative dataset is available for evaluating the act. The evaluation is aimed at obtaining the most comprehensive picture possible of the experiences of all stakeholders with the still relatively new Austrian enforcement procedure.

The Austrian Ministry of Finance plans to publish the evaluation results for the Financial Reporting Enforcement Act in the summer of 2016.

Information on the Austrian Financial Reporting Enforcement Act (RL-KG):

In order to ensure that important capital market information provided by companies is accurate, the Financial Reporting Enforcement Act created a legal framework in 2013 for reviewing accounting data in Austria (“enforcement”). The main objective is to monitor the financial information of capital market-oriented companies. 

The Financial Reporting Enforcement Act establishes a review system for checking compliance with accounting requirements based on a procedure developed in consultation between the private sector Austrian Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (AFREP) and public sector Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA).