World Bank – Accountants get global role

The World Bank is rapidly recruiting senior accountants to act as global financial watchdogs in a bid to stave off a repeat of the economic collapse that has spread through South-East Asia and other emerging economies over the past two years.

The move follows a recognition within the bank that the regional economic collapses that threatened to plunge the world into recession at the end of last year were caused by lax accounting practices.

The bank has appointed FEE secretary-general John Hegarty as its new regional financial management adviser for Europe. He will take up his role in Washington on 1 August advising countries moving to a market economy.

‘If the financial information isn’t right problems are hidden, so part of the bank’s campaign has been a heavy recruitment of accountants,’ he said. ‘The bank is taking a stand on the global issues of accounting and financial architecture and it will be a chance for me to participate in the development of the profession.’

Hegarty, who has been with FEE for over 12 years and has worked with the European institutions towards harmonisation of the profession, said the bank – which provides around £12.5bn in loans each year to more than 100 developing countries – and other global bodies are becoming increasingly interested in accountancy because of regulation.

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