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Newsletter about proposed German 'accounting reform' legislation

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04 Aug 2008

In May, the German Government approved a draft 'accounting reform' bill – known as the Act to Modernise the Accounting Law – that is expected to bring about significant changes in how entities report under German GAAP in their individual accounts.

Goals of the reform are:
  • deregulation and cost reduction, particularly for small and medium-sized entities,
  • improving the annual financial statements drawn up under commercial law by removing some of the options that were added on the transformation of the EU's Accounting Directives into German law in the mid-1980s, and
  • bringing German GAAP closer to IFRSs.
However, the reform is not intended to simply copy the provisions of either full IFRSs or the upcoming IFRS for Private Entities. On the contrary, the German Government envisages a revised Commercial Code to be workable alternative to either of those IFRS frameworks that balances the costs to entities preparing accounts with the information needs of the users of individual financial statements. The bill is a proposal that is still being debated in Parliament and is not yet finalised, so changes may occur. The Government expects adoption of a final version some time towards the end of 2008. Deloitte Germany has prepared an English language version of their Praxis-Forum Newsletter that summarises the proposed changes (PDF 316k, 23 pages).

 

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