Appendix (annual financial statements)

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The Appendix ( English notes ) is accounting a mandatory part of the annual accounts of certain types and contains additional information which the individual balance sheet items of the balance sheet or the income statement are prescribed (P & L).

Its purpose is to explain the asset, financial and earnings position of the company in accordance with the actual circumstances, in particular through additional quantitative and qualitative information that is not contained in the figures in the balance sheet and income statement.

Compulsory installation

The preparation of the annex is mandatory for corporations , partnerships without a natural person as a personally liable partner , cooperatives and companies that fall under the Publicity Act (§ § 264 , § 264a HGB ). In the consolidated financial statements is Notes from the parent company to set up. The document is subject to statutory auditing and disclosure requirements , with relief for small and medium-sized companies.


Section 284 and Section 285 of the Commercial Code contain a detailed catalog of mandatory information to be included in the appendix . They can be summarized under the following three points:

  • General principles of accounting, valuation and currency conversion:

The methods of accounting and valuation of individual balance sheet items used in the annual financial statements are presented and explained in the notes. It therefore contains information about which facts have been included in the balance sheet and the value with which they are shown. If the methods have changed compared to previous years, the deviations and their influence on the asset, financial and earnings position must be presented. The exchange rates must be specified for receivables and liabilities in foreign currencies.

  • Explanatory, supplementary and corrective information on the balance sheet and the profit and loss account:

Items that have been summarized in the balance sheet for reasons of clarity must be itemized in the notes. This particularly applies to fixed assets . The value and development of the individual assets are explained in the schedule of assets . The selected type of depreciation is also described in the appendix. The total sales in the income statement are to be broken down according to areas of activity and geographical markets; if the cost of sales method is used, material and personnel expenses must be stated separately.

Identification options exist for numerous mandatory information in the annual financial statements. For reasons of clarity and clarity, it can make sense to leave out items in the balance sheet and income statement and to include them in the notes. Additional information is also information on matters that do not have to be accounted for, but that are necessary for a realistic assessment of the situation, for example future, already established financial obligations.

Corrective information may be necessary in order to highlight an image that is too favorable or too unfavorable. Examples of this are one-off, extraordinary results from the sale of locations or long-term contracts that lead to losses being reported in the current financial year. The impact of tax regulations, i.e. the deviation from the tax and commercial balance sheet, is also explained in the appendix. Also pending transactions are disclosed in the notes if no other true and fair view is conveyed over a corporation Financial statements (see. § 264 para. 1 sentence 1 HGB). By § 285 No. 3 u. 3a, some explanations on pending transactions are explicitly required in the appendix.

  • Other Information:

The appendix contains the names of all members of the management and the supervisory board and details of all their remuneration and subscription rights as well as the number of employees.

The appendix in the IFRS financial statements

The tasks of the appendix in the international financial statements according to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are regulated in International Accounting Standard 1 (IAS 1). The notes contain:

  • The accounting policies : This includes information on the basis for preparing the annual financial statements and the specific accounting and valuation principles.
  • All information that is required for graduation but not already available elsewhere.
  • All information that is not required but is essential for a fair presentation , i.e. a realistic representation of the company's situation.

A correction function have the notes in contrast to HGB Notes not because the IFRS financial statements must not contain true and fair conflicting statements. Formal requirements must not lead to a disguise of the realistic representation of the company's situation. In case of doubt, a deviation from the individual regulation is required here in accordance with the principle of substance over form .