The paper analyzes in brief the development and the characteristics of the audit profession in Bulgaria. The editor’s idea has been just to stress some main aspects of the revival of the audit activity after the reforms in the country after 1989.
In the Balkans, the tradition of accounting doesn’t date back too long ago. The auditing profession birth came naturally as a requirement of the new processes undertaken after the 90’s. The independent external financial control (as synonymous to the term “independent external audit” wording such as “audit”, “independent financial control”, “external independent audit” etc. shall be understood) was introduced in Bulgaria back in 1931 by a special Law for the establishment of CPA (certified public accountants) Institution. By this law, at a comparatively early stage of the country’s capitalist development the function of independent financial control was introduced. After the end of World War II, Bulgaria was included in the countries under the sphere of influence of the former USSR and the economy became centrally planned. Back in 1948, in the first post-war Law on Accounting, the function of the auditor was revoked, the Institution was closed down and its property nationalized.
The radical change of the economic system since 1989 necessitated the introduction of mechanisms for the management of the newly built market economy. Back in 1991, a new Law on independent financial control was logically restored and, again, by tradition, an Institution of the certified accountants was established.
Accountancy was adopted, which was the second of its kind specialized legislative act in the country’s new history after the above mentioned pre-war law. Through this Law, independent financial control was logically restored and, again, by tradition, an Institution of the certified accountants was established.
The “transformation” of the certified chartered accountant’s competences in the field of audit is defined in Art.20 of the Law on Independent Financial Audit. According to this law, a certified chartered accountant acquires the right to sign the Auditor’s reports and to express an opinion on the company’s financial reports only after he has at least one year of professional experience at a specialized audit firm or at a company of a registered auditor and after he is registered in the special Register of Auditors in Bulgaria. This register is established, maintained, and controlled by ICEA.
Once registered in the Register of their profession, the auditors are granted an individual number and a seal. The names of the respective experts and specialized companies are published in the official gazette of Bulgaria and have the right to work, if such right is not disputed by court proceedings or by other serious professional collisions – one year.
According to latest data (from 2010), 141 companies and 596 physical persons
– certified chartered accountants and auditors, registered in ICEA, have the right to carry out independent external financial audit in Bulgaria