In accounting standards is nationally or internationally applied principles of accounting . They regulate the principles according to which a company prepares its balance sheet , i.e. its balance sheet , profit and loss account and other documents for reporting on its asset, financial and earnings position.
Each of these sets of rules, such as IFRS, consists of a bundle of individual standards such as IFRS 1 , IFRS 2 , etc., each of which deals with a single problem. There are also standards for individual industries and sectors .
Accounting standards can be set by the legislator or by a committee of experts. In the latter case, they are not directly applicable law, but are either accepted by the auditors and implemented during the audit or converted into applicable law by the legislator. The international standards IFRS are adopted, for example, through an EU regulation in applicable law.
Well-known accounting standards are:
- International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS, formerly IAS) for international accounting, which are used in particular for consolidated financial statements within the European Union , set by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)
- the Commercial Code (HGB) in Germany, the Company Code (UGB) in Austria and other countries, defined by the legislator
- in addition to this, the German Accounting Standards (DRS) for the application of the partly informal principles of proper accounting in Germany, established by the German Accounting Standards Committee (DRSC)
- Specialist recommendations on accounting (FER or "Swiss GAAP") in Switzerland
- United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US-GAAP) in the USA, set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
- Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (UK-GAAP) in Great Britain , set by the Accounting Standards Board (ASB)
- Russian Accounting Standards (РБСУ or RAS) for accounting in Russia
In addition, local tax legislation may be relevant (see tax balance sheet ).
Basically, there is an effort to unify the various standards. The desire to bring about a standardization of IFRS and US-GAAP is particularly pronounced. Accounting in accordance with the German Commercial Code (HGB) also came closer to international standards thanks to the German Accounting Law Modernization Act .
Companies in Germany must generally report in accordance with the HGB. Annual financial statements in accordance with IFRS have been mandatory since 2005 for capital market-oriented groups and since 2007 for companies that have debt securities on the stock exchange or are listed on a US stock exchange. These financial statements are "liberating", which means that there is no obligation for a HGB financial statement. There are options for other companies or the individual financial statements.
Companies that are active abroad or whose shares are traded on international markets must also observe the regulations of the respective countries, which can lead to conflicting requirements and multiple accounting.
- Hartmut Bieg, Heinz Kussmaul: External accounting. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2006. google books
- Wilfried Funk, Jonas Rossmanith: International accounting and international controlling. Springer, 2007, p. 34.