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Germany

Financial reporting framework in Germany

Adoption of IFRSs in Europe effective in 2005

In June 2002, the European Union adopted an IAS Regulation requiring European companies listed in an EU securities market, including banks and insurance companies, to prepare their consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRSs starting with financial statements for financial year 2005 onwards. EU countries have the option to:

  • Require or permit IFRSs for unlisted companies.
  • Require or permit IFRSs in parent company (unconsolidated) financial statements.
  • Permit companies whose only listed securities are debt securities to delay IFRS adoption until 2007.
  • Permit companies that are listed on exchanges outside of the EU and that currently prepare their primary financial statements using a non-EU GAAP (in most cases this would be US GAAP) to delay IFRS adoption until 2007.

The European IAS regulation applies not only to the 28 EU Member States but also to the three members of the European Economic Area (EEA) — Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Germany is an EU Member State. Consequently, German companies listed in an EU/EEA securities market follow IFRSs since 2005. In February 2012, the European Commission published the results of an updated survey of the (then) 27 EU member states and the 3 EEA member states regarding the four options above. For information on each country's plans, click to access:

The European Commission has adopted the following wording for use in the notes to the accounts and in the audit reports of companies subject to EU Regulation 1606/2002/EC (the 'IAS regulation'):

  • "in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the EU" or
  • "in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the EU".

Companies may also state, in a footnote, compliance with IFRSs as adopted by the IASB, if that is the case.

Consistent with the Directives, Germany has adopted the following requirements:

Listed companiesCompanies that have applied for listingNon-listed companies
Consolidated financial statements Mandatory adoption of IFRSs starting 1 January 2005 Mandatory adoption of IFRSs starting 1 January 2007 Option to choose between HGB and IFRSs starting 1 January 2003
Individual financial statements All companies must prepare financial statements in accordance with HGB. For informative purposes, they may also prepare financial statements in accordance with IFRSs. Starting 1 January 2005 large corporations may use IFRSs instead of HGB for publishing their individual financial statements in the Federal Gazette.

IAS Plus in German

Deloitte Germany offers a German translation of IAS Plus including all news stories and background material. The information is supplemented with news from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein: www.iasplus.com/de.

Frequently Asked Questions on German Accounting Standards

Here is the Link to the FAQ File (in English) on the website of the German Accounting Standards Board.

Related news

  • New Conceptual Framework bulletin on complexity

  • Feb 10, 2014

  • The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the National Standard Setters of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have published the latest issue of their joint publication series on the IASB's Conceptual Framework project. This bulletin explores the complexity found in financial statements and what can be done to the conceptual framework to reduce some of these complexities.

  • Two new Conceptual Framework bulletins

  • Sep 12, 2013

  • The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the National Standard Setters of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have published two more issues of their joint publication series on the IASB's Conceptual Framework project. The new publications are dedicated to accountability and the role of financial reporting as well as the asset/liability approach.

  • Two new Conceptual Framework bulletins

  • Jul 08, 2013

  • EFRAG and the National Standard Setters of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have published two more issues of their joint publication series on the IASB's Conceptual Framework project. They are dedicated to the role of the business model in financial reporting and the role of a Conceptual Framework.

  • FEE comments on the conceptual framework bulletins

  • Jul 01, 2013

  • On 11 April 2013, EFRAG and the National Standard Setters of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom published the first three issues of a joint publication series on the IASB's Conceptual Framework project. The European Federation of Accountants (Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens, FEE) has commented on these bulletins.

  • European field-test of the proposed accounting guidance for insurance contracts

  • Jun 24, 2013

  • The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the national standard-setters of France (ANC), Germany (ASCG), Italy (OIC) and the United Kingdom (FRC) are performing a field-test in order to evaluate how the proposals contained in the IASB's Exposure Draft ED/2013/7 'Insurance Contracts' would affect European companies applying IFRS.

  • G8 stress the need for transparency in the use of natural resources

  • Jun 19, 2013

  • Meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland on 17-18 June 2013, the Group of Eight (G8) finance ministers discussed the themes of 'Tax, Trade and Transparency' and agreed to make sure the world’s poorest people benefit from the natural resources of their various countries by improving the transparency of their extractive industries and land rights.

  • "One size does NOT fit all"

  • Jun 18, 2013

  • On 13 June, the Accounting Standards Committee of Germany (ASCG) celebrated its 15th anniversary. It did so with a symposium entitled ‘National standard-setting in the national, European and international context’ which saw a presentation by Prof. Dr. Christian Leuz of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, followed by a round of questions and answers and a panel discussion with IASB chairman Hans Hoogervorst and the chairmen of the national standard-setters of France, Italy and the United Kingdom: Jérôme Haas, Angelo Casò and Roger Marshall. The discussion was moderated by the president of the ASCG, Dr. Liesel Knorr.

  • European field-test of the proposed accounting guidance for leases

  • May 22, 2013

  • The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the national standard-setters of France (ANC), Germany (ASCG), Italy (OIC) and the United Kingdom (FRC) are performing a field-test in order to evaluate how the proposals contained in the IASB Exposure Draft ED/2013/6 'Leases' would affect European companies applying IFRS.

  • European field-test on the IASB's expected credit losses model for financial instruments

  • Apr 12, 2013

  • On 7 March 2013, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published its long-awaited proposal for a new accounting model for impairments of financial assets. Today, EFRAG and the National Standard Setters of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have launched a field-test designed to show whether the proposed new model addresses the weaknesses of the old model, whether the new model is operational and what costs and impacts will come with the new model.

  • New publication series on the IASB's Conceptual Framework project

  • Apr 11, 2013

  • EFRAG and the National Standard Setters of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have published the first three issues of a joint publication series on the IASB's Conceptual Framework project. They are dedicated to the concepts of prudence, the reliability of financial information, and uncertainty.

  • ASAF membership announced

  • Mar 19, 2013

  • The IFRS Foundation has announced the membership of the newly founded Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) that is designed to formalise and streamline the relationships between the IFRS Foundation and IASB with the global standard-setting community, in order to bring important regional perspectives to the IASB’s technical work and to offer feedback on the most important issues of the day.

  • German standard setter sees 'perception' problem with macro hedge accounting

  • Feb 20, 2013

  • The Accounting Standards Committee of Germany (Deutsches Rechnungslegungs Standards Committee, DRSC) has publicly released its response to the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) consultation around the transition from IAS 39 to IFRS 9 as part of the implementation of the forthcoming IASB's hedge accounting section of IFRS 9. The DRSC expresses concern about perception problems with what constitutes 'macro hedging'.

  • EFRAG and European National Standard Setters publish their strategy regarding the IFRS Conceptual Framework

  • Feb 06, 2013

  • The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has posted to its website a strategy document entitled 'Getting a Better Framework – Our Strategy' that was developed in cooperation with the French Autorité des Normes Comptables (ANC), the Accounting Standards Committee of Germany (ASCG), the Organismo Italiano di Contabilità (OIC) and the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The aim of the document is to ensure ultimately that the IASB's Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting reflects an underlying accounting model that European stakeholders believe is conducive to robust and effective financial reporting standards.

  • Report from recent IFASS meeting released

  • Jan 17, 2013

  • A report has been issued summarising the discussions at a meeting of the International Forum of Accounting Standard Setters (IFASS, formerly the NSS) held in Zurich on 22-23 October 2012. The meeting covered a broad range of topics, including the future relationships between the IASB and regional and national standard setters, topical issues in financial reporting, reports from regional groups and administrative matters.

  • Leading European national standard-setters submit joint comment letter on the proposed ASAF

  • Jan 09, 2013

  • The IFRS Foundation has posted to its website a joint letter received late last year from the national standard-setters of Germany (DRSC e.V), France (Autorité des normes comptables), the United Kingdom (Financial Reporting Council) and Italy (Organismo Italiano di Contabilitá) commenting on the proposed creation of an Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF). The standard-setters believe that the current suggested size and composition of the ASAF will require continued bilateral relationships between the IASB and national standard-setters.

  • Report from recent IFASS meeting released

  • Jun 04, 2012

  • The International Forum of Accounting Standards Setters (IFASS) met in Kuala Lumpur on 29-30 March 2012. A detailed report of proceedings at the meeting has now been released, outlining discussions on numerous topics such as the relationship between standard setters and the IASB, the IASB's work programme and processes, and a report on the possible adoption of IFRS in the United States noting a possible "step back".

  • FEE publishes survey on the accountancy profession in Europe

  • Mar 29, 2012

  • The Federation of European Accountants (Fédération des Experts-comptables Européens, FEE) has released a survey which provides a collection of key features on structure and organisation of the accountancy profession across 30 European countries.