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Accounting law

Although German commercial law is not subject to the same dynamics of change as, for example, the IRFS, the International Financial Accounting Standards, it is still changed on a regular basis – at times with a far-reaching effect. Besides the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch - HGB), this often also affects some parts of the tax legislation as well as provisions of the German Stock Corporation Act and Publicity Act. In this context, interfaces must be defined and the legal implications carefully examined.

In addition to the scope of individual new provisions, the depth of the respective amendments often demand a timely intensive discussion of accounting requirements under commercial law at the individual companies. In many cases the practice shows that particularly small and mid-sized German enterprises are not aware in good time or to the full extent of the challenges that they must face in connection with the changes in accounting.

The most sweeping reform of German commercial law since the 1980s was in 2009 through the Act to Modernise German Accounting Law (BilMoG) that was often referred to as a paradigm change in accounting. Insight into the implications of the reforms through BilMoG is provided in an expert discussion on BilMoG with Karl Petersen and Prof. Dr. Christian Zwirner by C.H. Beck.

Through the German Act on the Amendment of Accounting Law for Micro-Entities (MicroBilG) the enterprise category of a micro-entity envisaged at EU level was incorporated in German commercial law for the first time in 2012 with special requirements and relief being codified for the accounting and the disclosures of these companies.

Just a few years later the German Accounting Directive Implementing Act (BilRUG) occasioned the next comprehensive revision of accounting standards under commercial law and supplementary provisions under company law. This can be attributed to the current EU accounting directive 2013/34/EU through which the previously separate European accounting directives for accounting in separate and consolidated financial statements were combined. The BilRUG was published in the Federal Law Gazette on July 22, 2015 and came into effect the following day. You can find an overview in our BilRUG-Radar (PDF 7.1MB [in German]).

At this point we would like to inform you of selected issues and problematic areas in connection with revisions to accounting law.

Kleeberg cooperates closely in the field of accounting law with the German trade journal: "Zeitschrift für Bilanzierung, Rechnungswesen und Controlling" (BC). We also publish articles on current developments in accounting law on a regular basis here. Further information on this cooperation and selected publications in these journals are available here.

Please get in touch: it is our pleasure to advise you!

Contact address for the subject accounting law: bilanzrecht[at]