annual audit

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During the audit of the annual financial statements , the annual financial statements of a company are checked by an auditor for compliance with laws, compliance with the articles of association or articles of association and compliance with the principles of proper bookkeeping and provided with an auditor's report or a refusal note. The aim of the audit is to assess whether the accounting regulations have been complied with. The annual audit is an audit .

In theory, the annual audit is the comparison of an actual object with a target object. The actual object is the annual financial statements, the target object is the result compiled by the auditor. By comparing the two objects and clarifying the differences, the auditor comes to a result of check which he, for example, by the audit certificate reveal and by the audit report. However, the aim is not to confirm the creditworthiness of the audited company (see also gap in expectations ).

Legal obligation

In principle, all medium-sized and large corporations are obliged to have the annual financial statements audited by an auditor ( Section 316 HGB ). Auditors can be chartered accountants , in some cases also sworn accountants .

Voluntary final exam

Companies that do not have to be audited can undergo a voluntary audit, for example to obtain better terms for bank loans.

Exam scope

The audit also includes bookkeeping. The aim is to determine whether the statutory provisions and the supplementary provisions of the articles of association and the articles of association have been observed ( Section 317 (1) HGB ). The audit of the management report should show the consistency with the annual financial statements as well as with the knowledge gained during the audit and give an accurate idea of ​​the situation of the company ( § 317 Abs. 2 HGB ).


The auditor must report on the type and scope as well as the results of the audit in writing and with the necessary clarity ( Section 321 (1) HGB ). The basis for the report is the IDW Auditing Standard 450 (IDW PS 450) “Principles of Proper Reporting for Final Audits”. Additional regulations and industry or business-specific guidelines ( e.g. Section 53 HGrG ; Audit Report Ordinance ) must also be observed .