Russell Bedford International
Russell Bedford International

Russell Bedford Supports World Bank Doing Business Report for Seventh Consecutive Year

While emerging markets continue to drive the reform process, the benefits of online filing remain heavily concentrated in developed economies

London, United Kingdom, November 05, 2015 --( Professional services network Russell Bedford International has again supported the compilation of the annual World Bank Doing Business report, with more than 40 member firms contributing information on tax regulation, recent reforms and the genuine financial and manpower costs of tax compliance for local businesses.

The World Bank Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations for companies in 189 economies worldwide.

While the new report, Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency shows the UK up two places from eighth to sixth (now ahead of Germany, the US, and Japan, ranked 7th, 15th, and 34th), there is little change elsewhere among the world’s top 10 countries for ease of doing business – headed, once again, by Singapore – with Sweden the only new entrant, at number 8.

As in previous years, the report points to a greater prevalence of reforms in developing economies, with 85 of these implementing a total 169 business reforms over the past year (in contrast to 62 reforms implemented across high-income economies). This trend is most evident in easier business incorporation, with 45 economies, 33 of which were developing economies, undertaking reforms to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business.

Russell Bedford member firms again contributed data to the report’s Paying Taxes survey, with the involvement of firms from both advanced economies (the UK, US, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and others) as well as emerging markets including Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, and Egypt.

This year’s Paying Taxes report highlights the importance of electronic filing, citing more than 40 per cent of tax authorities now allowing companies to file taxes online: a trend most marked in Europe and Central Asia, where over 85 per cent of jurisdictions now allow online filing, in contrast to less than 30 per cent in 2006. Again though, this trend is most marked in high-income economies: less than 10 per cent of governments in Sub-Saharan Africa allow online filing, and less than 30 per cent in South Asia and the Middle East & North Africa.

Russell Bedford International chairman Bill Rucci commented: “It is gratifying to see that the impetus for reform remains strong, particularly in emerging economies. But it is of some concern that the weakest economies are missing out on the opportunities offered by technology to cut red tape, encourage entrepreneurship, and stimulate growth.”

About Russell Bedford International

Established in 1983, Russell Bedford International is a global network of independent firms of accountants, auditors, tax advisers and business consultants. Ranked amongst the world’s leading accounting and audit networks, Russell Bedford is represented by some 600 partners, 5000 staff and 290 offices in more than 100 countries in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Russell Bedford International is a member of the IFAC Forum of Firms and a member of EGIAN, the European Group of International Accounting Networks and Associations.


Kempton Bedell-Harper,
Russell Bedford International
T: +44 20 7410 0339

About the World Bank Doing Business project

The Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 189 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level.

The Doing Business project, launched in 2002, looks at domestic small and medium-size companies and measures the regulations applying to them through their life cycle.

By gathering and analyzing comprehensive quantitative data to compare business regulation environments across economies and over time, Doing Business encourages economies to compete towards more efficient regulation; offers measurable benchmarks for reform; and serves as a resource for academics, journalists, private sector researchers and others interested in the business climate of each economy.

In addition, Doing Business offers detailed subnational reports, which exhaustively cover business regulation and reform in different cities and regions within a nation. These reports provide data on the ease of doing business, rank each location, and recommend reforms to improve performance in each of the indicator areas. Selected cities can compare their business regulations with other cities in the economy or region and with the 189 economies that Doing Business has ranked.

The first Doing Business report, published in 2003, covered 5 indicator sets and 133 economies. The new report covers 11 indicator sets and 189 economies. Most indicator sets refer to a case scenario in the largest business city of each economy, except for 11 economies that have a population of more than 100 million as of 2013 (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Russian Federation and the United States) where Doing Business, also collected data for the second largest business city. The data for these 11 economies are a population-weighted average for the two largest business cities. The project has benefited from feedback from governments, academics, practitioners and reviewers. The initial goal remains: to provide an objective basis for understanding and improving the regulatory environment for business around the world.
Russell Bedford International
Kempton Bedell-Harper
+44 20 7410 0339