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Accountant (Accountant) give in Accounting which in the course of trade of a company resulting data of financial transactions into the books, check them and in the end result of an accounting period in the Financial Accounting preparatory activities for the financial statements through. In addition to processing the transactions of customers ( accounts receivable ) and suppliers ( accounts payable ), there are tasks such as writing tax returns , pay slips and possibly also customs declarations . The long-lived assets serving the company are recorded in an asset accounting . The accounting department provides the figures and thus the working basis for controlling and provides information for the management .

Accountants work as commercial employees. In Germany, successfully completed commercial vocational training is usually a prerequisite for employment. Without further additions, accountant is not a protected professional title , but there is professional training with the publicly recognized qualification of certified accountant . In Austria there is an apprenticeship as an accountant . The job title in connection with a self-employed activity is a protected title in Austria by the Accounting Act (BibuG).

Postings and annual financial statements made by accountants are i. d. Usually checked by auditors . Depending on the size of the company and internal organization, these can be external auditors such as auditors , tax consultants or sworn accountants or an internal audit department.


In Germany, the accountant is not a protected professional title without further additions. As a rule, only a commercial apprenticeship is required for accounting activities . In addition, advanced training to become a certified accountant can be completed. Also, tax consultants perform accounting tasks as a service provider.


In Austria, there are five protected professional titles for independent professional practice.

The commercial accountant belongs to the Chamber of Commerce . He has extensive bookkeeping, cost accounting and payroll accounting rights, but is not allowed to account. With the introduction of the accountant by the Accounting Law 2006, the possibility of taking up this profession ended on June 30, 2008.

The self-employed accountant (SBH), also a protected professional title , is a free profession and has belonged to the Chamber of Public Accountants since its introduction. The rights of the self-employed accountant are regulated in the Public Accountants Act (WTBG). Self-employed accountants are essentially entitled to bookkeeping and accounting (within certain turnover limits), but not to full tax representation. Both professions were introduced in 1999 on the occasion of the EU legally questionable legal situation, after the exclusively chartered accountants were entitled to keep records for third parties - in most EU countries, this is a free commercial .

With the introduction of the accountant by the Accounting Act 2006, the possibility of taking up this profession also ended on June 30, 2008. In addition, it was stipulated that self-employed accountants who do not meet the requirements for taking up the new occupation of accountants should be discontinued on April 1, 2008 had to leave the Chamber of Public Accountants and were assigned to the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

The accountant was introduced in 2006 after long negotiations between the two chambers. With basically the same rights, he could choose his chamber membership and change annually. He has all the rights of the previous commercial and independent accountants, is publicly appointed and has extended professional and representative rights. Previous commercial and self-employed accountants could be appointed to accountants by December 31, 2007 with simplified transitional provisions provided they had evidence of appropriate training or examination. At the end of 2012, the right to vote regarding chamber membership ended; since then all accountants have belonged to the Chamber of Commerce. In terms of professional scope, the Austrian accountant is more like a German tax consultant, as he has essential rights that are reserved for tax consultants in Germany.

The accountant and payroll calculator (new) were also created with the Accounting Act. These are partial authorizations of the new accountant, who are also subject to the appointment and supervision by the Joint Commission of Accounting Professions. By June 2011, 3,108 people or companies were publicly appointed in the new professions. There are also 856 self-employed and 2,935 commercial accountants. This means that almost 7,000 people or companies have an independent accounting profession.

A distinction must be made between the employment of the professions specified above. This is not bound to any special professional regulations.

The Joint Commission for Accounting Professions was created as a regulatory authority . This is also for technical examinations as well as the review of the other requirements for public appointment as a balance sheet accountant, personal accountant or accountant in accordance with BibuG as well as for the professional rules set out in an exercise guideline and for disciplinary opportunities.

The Accounting Act (BibuG) came into force on January 1, 2007. In an amendment in early 2008, u. a. the EU Professional Qualifications Directive implemented, which also allows foreign accountants to take up the service in Austria more easily. Further amendments in 2010 related to stricter provisions to prevent money laundering, the implementation of the new Austrian insolvency law and the regulations relating to registered partnerships.


The practically active accounting specialists are trained part-time in Switzerland ( higher vocational training ) and usually not - as is usual in other countries - at the university. Training and examination are practice-oriented and more specialized than a comparable university education. The examination developed from the master craftsman examination . The diploma accountant examination was carried out for the first time by KV Switzerland in 1909. In 1934 it received state recognition with the new Swiss Vocational Training Act .

The holder of a federal diploma in finance and accounting is comparable to the accountant . The specialist certificate is usually obtained after subject-specific, in-service training over five semesters and the final professional examination . After a further five semesters, the higher technical examination can be taken, with which the federal diploma as a qualified expert in accounting and controlling is obtained. VEB Switzerland, together with KV Switzerland and the federal government, are responsible for training and examinations .

The federal professional examination and the higher professional examination are regulated by the state and belong to higher vocational training, which, together with the universities, represents the tertiary level of the Swiss education system. The job titles are protected by law and recognized degrees with a good reputation. While holders of a certificate often take on more highly qualified tasks in accounting (such as the preparation of the annual financial statements), (young) managers are mainly recruited from the graduated experts for finance.

Web links




Individual evidence

  1. DIHK Service: Further training profile for the IHK qualification as a certified accountant