Continental European accounting model and accounting modernization in Germany

Andreas Hellmann*, Hector Perera, Chris Patel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Classification techniques based on one or few dimensions are widely used in research studies and textbooks to explain and predict the development of accounting systems internationally. However, their usefulness in international accounting has been limited in today's globalized world. For example, in the context of the EU, IFRS are required for consolidated accounting, while national accounting systems continue to be the dominant system for unconsolidated accounting in many countries. Using Germany as a case study, the objective of this paper is to examine whether Germany can still be classified within the Continental European model of accounting following the Act to Modernize Accounting Law (Bilanzrechts-modernisierungsgesetz - BilMoG), which was promulgated on May 29, 2009. This Act introduced some major reforms to the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch - HGB), such as removing the close connection to tax rules and introducing new recognition and valuation regulations, which changed traditional principles of orderly accounting (Grundsätze ordnungsmäßiger Buchführung). As a result, the current German approach of financial reporting separates Germany from the traditional Continental European model of accounting and moves it somewhere on a spectrum between the traditional Continental European model of accounting and the Anglo-American model of accounting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-133
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Accounting
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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