Accounting Law Modernization Act

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Basic data
Title: Law to modernize accounting law
Short title: Accounting Law Modernization Act
Abbreviation: BilMoG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Commercial law , accounting law
Issued on: May 25, 2009
( BGBl. I p. 1102 )
Entry into force on: May 29, 2009
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The law for the modernization of accounting law (Accounting Law Modernization Act, BilMoG) is a German article law for the reform of accounting law .


Deregulation and cost reduction

One focus of the reform is deregulation and cost reduction in favor of small and medium-sized enterprises . For this purpose, sole traders are exempted from the accounting obligation under commercial law if they only run a small business. This should be the case if they do not exceed EUR 500,000 in sales and EUR 50,000 in profit in two consecutive financial years. § 141 (1) sentence 1 AO In the case of a new establishment, the exemption already applies if the values ​​are not exceeded on the first reporting date after the new establishment. If there is no accounting obligation under commercial law according to § 241a HGB , but the criteria of § 141 AO are exceeded, an independent tax balance sheet must be drawn up. If the limits of § 141 AO are not exceeded, an income surplus calculation is sufficient. In addition, the threshold values ​​of Section 267 of the German Commercial Code (HGB), which divides corporations into the three size classes small, medium-sized and large, were raised by 20% for total assets and sales. The size classes determine, among other things, the scope of the company's information obligations. They also have an impact on the statutory audit requirement, since small corporations are not required to audit (based on international accounting standards ).

Improvement of the informative value of the annual financial statements

In addition, the BilMoG is intended to improve the informative value of the annual financial statements under commercial law . As can be seen from the justification for the law, this is done by approximating the accounting rules according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), although overall a clear set of rules should be retained. The main changes are:

In addition to the material changes, there are numerous new annex provisions with regard to approach and assessment, which are intended to provide more information.

When revising the HGB, the German legislator largely followed the international regulations, in particular the IFRS.

Implementation of European legal requirements

Finally, the Accounting Law Modernization Act is intended to implement Directive 2006/43 / EC (Auditing Directive ) (in addition to Directive 2008/30 / EC ) and the so-called Amendment Directive ( Directive 2006/46 / EC ). According to this, an independent member of the supervisory board of capital market-oriented stock corporations should have expertise in the areas of accounting and auditing. In addition, the commercial law standards on auditor independence will be changed ( Section 319a HGB) and expanded ( Section 319a HGB, Section 319b HGB).

Course of the legislative process and entry into force

The draft bill was presented to the public by the Federal Ministry of Justice on November 8, 2007. The draft was then sent to the circles involved, in particular the business associations and the governments of the federal states, for comments. The raising of the tax thresholds from 350,000 euros to 500,000 euros (sales, § 141 AO, changed from August 26, 2006) and from 30,000 euros to 50,000 euros (profit, § 141 AO, changed from September 14, 2007) has already been brought forward. On May 21, 2008, the government draft was approved by the Federal Cabinet. The government draft was submitted to the Federal Council at the beginning of July. The deliberations in the Bundestag began at the end of September and ended on December 17, 2008 with an expert hearing in the Bundestag Legal Committee. The final approval by the Bundestag took place on March 26, 2009, the approval of the Bundesrat took place on April 3, 2009. Compared to the version of the government draft, significant changes have been made. The fair value measurement of financial instruments in the trading portfolio was not implemented as planned for all companies, but only for banks. The accounting of self-created fixed assets was not prescribed as an obligation, but merely implemented as an option.

In its 214th session on March 26, 2009, the German Bundestag adopted the draft law for the modernization of accounting law (Accounting Law Modernization Act - BilMoG) introduced by the Federal Government on the basis of the recommendation for a resolution and the report of the Legal Affairs Committee. The concerns discussed in the expert panel were taken up. The law was passed by the Federal Council at the meeting on April 3, 2009. The law was promulgated on May 28, 2009 in the Federal Law Gazette and entered into force on May 29, 2009.

First time application

The first application of the new accounting regulations under commercial law by the BilMoG is regulated in Articles 66 and 67 EGHGB:

  • The relief regulations (deregulations) according to § 241a HGB, § 242 HGB, § 267 HGB and § 293 HGB may already be applied to financial statements for the financial year beginning after December 31, 2007.
  • The regulations for the implementation of EU legal requirements are generally to be applied for the first time to financial statements for the financial year beginning after December 31, 2008.
  • The regulations that affect the Audit Committee are to be applied for the first time from January 1, 2010.
  • The other regulations are to be applied for fiscal years beginning after December 31, 2009. They can optionally also be used for previous fiscal years beginning after December 31, 2008. If the option is exercised, these provisions must be applied in full. A so-called “norm picking”, i. H. the deliberate application of only individual regulations (which are advantageous for the balancing person) is not permitted.

Articles 66 and 67 of the EGHGB contain numerous additional provisions for the transition to the new accounting law. Here, the balance sheets are given numerous options on how to deal with the "old cases" still in the annual financial statements.


With its statement published at the end of November 2009 ("IDW RS HFA 28") on the transitional regulations of the BilMoG, the Institute of Auditors (IDW) expresses itself on a large number of issues relating to the transition to the new accounting law. In many cases, the IDW statement provides clarity with regard to individual regulations that are not clearly regulated by law. It will help users of the new regulations from 2010 onwards. With the transition to the new regulations, the balance sheet relationship will be broken. The opening balance values ​​as of January 1, 2010 must be determined separately. In doing so, he must observe the new commercial law principles. On the other hand, the changeover to the new regulation gives him leeway in accounting policy in numerous areas. Against this background, more attention must be paid to the changeover to the new German accounting law.


In addition to the following books, comments and monographs, numerous articles on the BilMoG and individual, selected aspects have been published in German specialist literature since November 2007 (publication of the draft bill for the BilMoG). An overview of the specialist literature can be found here: [1] (PDF; 371 kB)
  • Felice-Alfredo Avella, Ralph Brinkmann: Fast introduction to BilMoG. Haufe-Lexware, 1st edition 2010, ISBN 978-3-648-00458-6 .
  • Beck's balance sheet comment. Trade and tax balance. CH Beck, 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-59392-5 .
  • Hartmut Bieg, Heinz Kussmaul, Karl Petersen, Gerd Waschbusch, Christian Zwirner: Accounting Law Modernization Act. Accounting, reporting and auditing according to the BilMoG. Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-486-58972-6 .
  • Deloitte (Ed.): The Accounting Law Reform 2010/11. Commercial and tax balance sheet according to BilMoG. 4th edition, Stollfuß, Bonn 2011, ISBN 978-3-08-440146-8 .
  • Jörg Baetge, Hans-Jürgen Kirsch, Stefan Thiele (eds.): Accounting law. Bonn, ISBN 978-3-08-350700-0 .
  • Thomas Drapinski: Effects of the Balance Sheet Modernization Act (BilMoG) on accounting in the Commercial Code - § 253 HGB-E and § 254 HGB-E. Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-86815-252-4 .
  • Christoph Ernst, Sassen, Remmer: Aims and means of the BilMoG. In: C.-Chr. Freidank, P. Altes (ed.): The law for the modernization of accounting law. Berlin 2009, pp. 27-48.
  • Hans Friedrich Gelhausen, Gerd Fey, Georg Kämper: Accounting and auditing according to the Accounting Law Modernization Act. Düsseldorf 2009, ISBN 978-3-8021-1360-4 .
  • Jan Janssen: Accounting in medium-sized companies. Suitability of national and international accounting regulations, taking into account the changes brought about by the IFRS for Private Entities and the Accounting Law Modernization Act. Gabler, 2009, ISBN 978-3-8349-1603-7 .
  • Harald Kessler, Markus Leinen, Michael Strickmann: Handbuch BilMoG. 2nd edition, Haufe-Lexware, 2010, ISBN 978-3-648-00257-5 .
  • K. Küting, N. Pfitzer, C.-P. Weber (Hrsg.): The new German accounting law - manual for the application of the Accounting Law Modernization Act (BilMoG). 2nd updated edition, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-7910-2914-6 .
  • Dirk J. Lamprecht In: Current accounting. Dashöfer, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-941201-04-0 .
  • Karl Petersen, Christian Zwirner: BilMoG - The new accounting law. That's changing - act now. Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-58561-6 .
  • Karl Petersen, Christian Zwirner (ed.): BilMoG. Laws - Materials - Explanations. Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-58457-2 .
  • Karl Petersen, Christian Zwirner: Accounting and auditing in transition. Overview of the new German accounting law - Changed framework conditions due to the passed Accounting Law Modernization Act (BilMoG). In: KoR. 2009, Supplement 1 to Issue 5 ( [PDF; 989 kB]).
  • Karl Petersen, Christian Zwirner: Group accounting according to HGB including BilMoG. Weinheim 2009, ISBN 978-3-527-50396-4 .
  • Karl Petersen, Christian Zwirner, Kai Peter Künkele: Balance sheet analysis and balance sheet policy according to BilMoG. Herne 2009, ISBN 978-3-482-59921-7 .
  • Karl Petersen, Christian Zwirner, Kai Peter Künkele: Changeover to the new German accounting law. Case study on the effects of the transition on accounting regulations according to BilMoG. In: KoR. 2009, supplement 1 to issue 9. In: DB. 2009, supplement 6 to issue 37 ( [PDF; 1.4 MB]).
  • Karl Petersen, Christian Zwirner, Kai Peter Künkele: Changeover to the new German accounting law. Transitional regulations of the BilMoG according to IDW RS HFA 28. Presentation, examples and tips for implementation in practice. In: DB. 2010, supplement 4 to issue 17, April 2010 ( [PDF; 2.0 MB]).
  • Carsten Theile: Accounting Law Modernization Act. Herne 2008, ISBN 978-3-482-57561-7 (2nd edition, 2009, ISBN 978-3-482-57562-4 ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Press release of the Federal Ministry of Justice of May 21, 2008 ( Memento of May 6, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Press release of the Federal Ministry of Justice of March 26, 2009 ( Memento of May 25, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Green light for new accounting law - companies are relieved - Reuters - April 3, 2009