Romania has made great strides over the last three decades and has come a long way, with better-than-perceived progress and major potential for further growth still remaining. The growth of Romanian economy and society is the starting point for EY Romania to sum up its active involvement in that progress throughout the 30 years since the consultancy and audit company first came to the local market, by discussing the importance of owning up the present in order to shape the future.
Between 1992, when EY started in Romania, and 2022, the country’s economy has seen a more-than-ninefold increase in the absolute value of GDP, from USD 25 billion in 1992 to almost USD 250 billion in 2021. The number of new registered companies every year has grown almost 14 times over the three decades, from about 7,000 in 1990 to more than 100,000 in 2021.
As the economy saw increasingly stronger growth rates, EY has supported the progress of entrepreneurship in Romania. In 2014, EY launched for the first time in Romania the annual international contest “EY Entrepreneur of the Year”, which offered the local entrepreneurs the opportunity to join the only global program that recognizes entrepreneurial achievements. More than 200 entrepreneurs have already been involved in this contest.
Throughout the 30 years, EY has played an active role in building up the local business and social ecosystem, by supporting the transition to a functional market economy and by connecting Romania to global business trends. By establishing its presence on the local market in 1992, EY provided both the public and the private sectors with access to its international know-how and to specialized assistance through its four integrated lines o services: assurance, tax and legal assistance, strategy and transactions, and consulting. With its multidisciplinary teams of experts, EY has assisted in high-profile local projects the aim of which was to develop and implement economic and structural policies, as well as sustainable growth strategies.
“Leadership needs to align itself to today’s realities: an agile, connected and hyper-resilient world transformed by technology. This goes both in business and for those who generate public policies. In this area of policies and vision, EY has a global perspective, created by our 300,000 colleagues worldwide. The faster the change, the more visible and better harnessed will the progress of the Romanian environment be,” says Bogdan Ion, Country Managing Partner, EY Romania and Moldova, and Chief Operating Officer for EY South-East & Central Europe and Central Asia.
The milestone projects that enabled EY Romania to help Romania advance throughout all these years include the restructuring of the common VAT system, the alignment of rules for excise and customs duties, or creating the transfer pricing practices, which were first launched by EY’s Tax and Legal Assistance Department in 2003, by anticipating the market’s needs long before transfer pricing was officially regulated in 2008.
Currently, EY teams are part of the project to introduce the Standard Audit File for Taxation (SAF-T), the biggest digitalization project implemented by the National Tax Administration Agency (ANAF), which, alongside ANAF’s other digitalization projects (such as RO E-invoice and RO E-transport), will generate a shift in the rapport between ANAF and taxpayers.
“We are witnessing irreversible changes in the relationship between authorities and taxpayers – the speed of new regulations emerging, the transparency required and the emergence of new reporting, everything is different from what we knew. This is how things are now, the taxpayers’ interactions with the tax authorities will be taken to a new level within a short timeframe, and it’s important that all taxpayers be ready,” says Alex Milcev, leader of the Tax and Legal Assistance Department.
EY Romania has made its contribution to the transformation of state-owned entities, with the privatization of Dacia and its acquisition by Renault, Enel’s acquisition of Electrica’s Muntenia Sud, Banat and Dobrogea entities, and the acquisition of Distrigaz Nord by E.ON, which were major transactions that provided Romania with significant economic benefits.
In the early 2000s, EY took part in structuring the capital and insurance market supervision activities, and provided the National Bank of Romania with assistance in developing the required policies.
EY also helped create a public policy for the development of social services, which was based on a national research that was a first for Romania. Our involvement in defining the digitalization policy for the public services of Romania’s central administration and the 2020 – 2030 digitalization strategy have been among the most important transformation projects in the public sector.
Furthermore, the Bucharest-based EY excellence center for process automation, which services both the local and the global markets, has run more than 100 projects over the latest years.
“Our activity transcends all areas of economy, not just the business sector. We are proud of our contribution to society through our role to help transform the public sector. Romania has a huge potential, not only in the technology sector – which is highly creative and innovative – but also in agriculture, manufacturing and services,” underlines Peter Latos, leader of the Consulting, Strategy and Transactions Department.
Another major structural project was aligning Romanian companies’ financial reporting and introducing standards and best practices, which helped the Assurance and Related Services Department contribute to building trust in the local business environment and encouraged partnerships with the international business environment.
“One of our goals now is to persuade and support Romanian entrepreneurs in committing to the long-term strategic planning efforts, so that they can harness financial resources to ensure accelerated growth,” says Alina Dimitriu, leader of the Assurance Department.
In order to mark the anniversary of 30 years of uninterrupted activity in Romania, EY Romania launched its EY: 30 for Romania campaign, which shall unfold throughout 2022. The campaign shall turn the spotlight on projects, figures and occasions that marked Romania’s progress over the last 30 years and shall include collaborative community engagement initiatives alongside EY partners and associates.