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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 27 EU Member States but also to the three members of the European Economic Area (EEA) - Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway -, as well as, for the time being, the United Kingdom.

Germany is an EU Member State. Consequently, German companies listed in an EU/EEA securities market follow IFRSs since 2005. The European Commission (EC) periodically issues a document which summarises the use of options of the IAS Regulation by European Union Member States. 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 companies Companies that have applied for listing Non-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:


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.

Correction list for hyphenation

These words serve as exceptions. Once entered, they are only hyphenated at the specified hyphenation points. Each word should be on a separate line.