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Georgian accountants and auditors learn about anti-money laundering/countering financing of terrorism compliance and the risks associated with the sector

Online event 20 December 2021
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Georgian accountants and auditors learn about anti-money laundering/countering financing of terrorism compliance and the risks associated with the sector

The Council of Europe in cooperation with the Service for Accounting, Reporting and Auditing Supervision (SARAS) organised an online training on “Anti-money laundering/countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance for accounting/auditing sector”.

The activity assisted SARAS - the anti-money laundering/Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) supervisory institution of the sector in the country - to raise awareness and inform auditors and accountants on their exposure to the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing. Other topics for this training included relevant international standards and the most frequent AML/CFT typologies and red flags. The Georgian Law on AML defines auditors and accountants as obliged entities, which rendered this training instrumental in the effective implementation of the law.

In addition to 40 representatives of the private sector, participants in the meeting also included representatives of the SARAS and the Financial Monitoring Service (FMS – the Georgian Financial Intelligence Unit, FIU), which highlighted the importance of cooperation between the supervising authority, the FIU and the reporting entities. FMS representative explained key aspects of the application of the 2019 Georgian AML/CFT legal framework as well as the money laundering and terrorism financing risks to which auditors/accountants are exposed according to the National Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Risk Assessment of Georgia (2019).

The meeting also gave the opportunity for participants to receive answers on specific questions raised from their daily professional activity related to the identification and verification of customers, reporting of suspicious activity and transactions to the FMS, and the efficient application of the Risk Based Approach (RBA).

Based on the follow-up request from SARAS, and due to the high demand from reporting entities (accountants and auditors), two more similar trainings are planned for early 2022.

This capacity-building activity contributes to the Georgian authorities’ efforts to implement the recommendations made by MONEYVAL (in their Mutual Evaluation Report in 2020), which included the establishment of effective AML/CFT supervision, and the development of a sound understanding by supervisors and obliged entities of the AML/CFT risks associated with the sector, as well as the relevant AML/CFT obligations.

This training is part of a series of activities designed to support more effective and efficient compliance of Georgian non-financial institutions with international AML/CFT requirements.

The activity was organised in the framework of the project “Enhancing the systems of prevention and combating corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing in Georgia”, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe in their Partnership for Good Governance II.