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Accounting in Germany

Up-to-date information and background knowledge can help support and grow your business internationally. On this page you can access a range of articles, books and online resources providing quick links to information such as accounting standards, GAAP comparisons and background knowledge.

Useful links

Accounting standards

Accounting Standards Committee of Germany
Standard setting body and official source of DRS.

Germany
Accounting standards updates and background information from Deloitte's IAS Plus service.

Accountancy associations and groups

National

Regional

Comparisons

IFRS versus German GAAP (revised): Summary of similarities and differences
Review from PwC, published February 2010, of IFRS, IFRS for SMEs and German accounting standards.

IFRS compared with USGAAP and German GAAP
Extract from a KPMG GAAP comparison published in March 2003. The summary looks at the regulatory background, general issues relating to financial statements/accounts, specific balance sheet items, specific income statement items and special topics.

ICAEW contact members

Contact member in Germany
ICAEW’s network of Contact Members around the world are a point of contact for enquiries and act as ambassadors in promoting ICAEW's strategy and brand in each region.

Guides and resources

Germany: Accounts
Practical business information provided by the European Commission on legal requirements and administrative procedures for companies registered in Germany. Includes links to relevant documents and legal texts.

Accounting requirements for SMEs: Germany
Information collated by the European Commission as part of a wider Accounting guide for SMEs published in 2011. Sections cover:

  • size criteria
  • different types of business
  • accounting records
  • accounting principles
  • annual accounts and financial statements
  • auditing, disclosure and publication.

Structure and organisation of the accountancy profession across 30 European countries
Survey conducted by the Federation of European Accountants (FEE) with profiles of individual countries, including Germany. The profiles, published in 2012, cover:

  • professional bodies
  • supervision
  • statistics
  • qualifications
  • market access for resident professionals, professionals from other EU member states and professionals from other countries.

10 minutes - New German GAAP in a nutshell
Short publication issued by PWC in February 2010 summarising the new accounting and financial reporting regulations following the implementation of the German Act on the Modernisation of Accounting Law (BilMoG).

Accounting for financial instruments / Rechnungslegung von Finanzinstrumenten IFRS/HGB
A bi-lingual publication by Dr Knut Henkel on accounting for financial instruments under IFRSs and HGB, available from the IAS Plus website. Published in November 2009.

The mystery of hedge accounting and its taxation in Germany
Article by Holger Häuselmann which 'discusses the issues involved in reconciliation of a potential conflict between German tax accounting and financial reporting rules applicable to a hedging position.' This article was originally published in the Journal of Taxation of Financial Products, Volume 9, Issue 2 (2011) and subsequently reproduced on the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer website.

Enforcement bodies

Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP)
The Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (Deutsche Prüfstelle für Rechnungslegung) is a government appointed private organisation for financial statement oversight in Germany established in 2005. The organisation publishes the results of their work in annual activity reports (available in English) which include statistics on the number of financial statements found to be erroneous and analysis of the types of errors found.

Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin)
Official website of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority established in May 2002. The BaFin website includes a short section (in English) which states the role they play as the second tier of financial reporting enforcement in Germany. The website includes a list of those companies subject to enforcement.

Firms

Führende Wirtschaftsprüfungs- und Steuerberatungs-Gesellschaften in Deutschland
The market research and consultancy firm Lünendonk publishes an annual report on the leading accountancy firms in Germany ('Führende Wirtschaftsprüfungs- und Steuerberatungs-Gesellschaften in Deutschland'). The introduction and table of contents is available to view without charge.

Lünendonk also publishes listings of the top 25 accountancy firms and top 10 accountancy networks in Germany which are available to download free of charge. The listings includes figures for turnover and the number of employees.

Model financial statements and disclosure checklists

Finanzberichterstattung nach IFRS Muster-Konzernabschluss
IFRS model financial statements (in German) published by PwC in November 2012.

IFRS Disclosure Checklist 2012
IFRS disclosure checklist published by PwC.

IAS Plus
The IAS Plus website from Deloitte provides IFRS model financial statements and IFRS presentation and disclosure checklists (in German) which are available to download.

IFRS adoption

IFRS application around the world – Jurisdictional profile: Germany
Profile prepared by the IFRS Foundation about use of IFRS in this country with notes on:

  • commitment to global financial reporting standards
  • extent of IFRS application
  • IFRS endorsement
  • translation of IFRS
  • application of IFRS for SMEs.

Online articles

The library provides access to a range of articles in full text from leading business, finance and management journals. Access to articles is provided to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Articles and books in the Library collection

Selected books

Each selected book features specific accounting information on this country; click on the links for more details. Alternatively, contact us if you have a particular enquiry or need further help consulting these titles.

European Accounting Guide (5th ed.)
David Alexander and Simon Archer (eds.) (2003)
Individual country chapters cover background information, accounting policies and practices, discuss the form and content of published financial statements and offer sample accounts.

International Corporate Procedures
LS Sealy et al (eds.)
A regularly updated looseleaf publication in three volumes, this reference work includes information on tax and accounting and features model company accounts. The model accounts are presented in the standard format for each country with original language and English language versions presented together.

World Accounting
Kurt S Schulzke (ed.) Each country entry contains sections on the framework of accounting (including the regulatory and standard setting regimes), individual accounting topics, auditing and appendices which can include commonly used terms and acronyms and example financial statements. This is a regularly updated looseleaf reference work in three volumes.

Find more resources

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans. You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by fax on +44 (0)20 7920 8621 or by email at library@icaew.com.

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