Modernisation of the German commercial code

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Abstract

Accounting practices in Germany are in a state of flux. A Bill to Modernise Accounting Law (Bilanzrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz - BiIMoG) suggests some changes to the traditional German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch - HGB), such as abolition of the reverse authoritative principle and numerous options currently available to companies for financial reporting. Driven by international pressures, the focus of the German government is to strengthen the protection of investors and adjust the German Commercial Code HGB to International Financial Reporting Standards (lFRS). However, the modernisation of German accounting law involves controversial aspects such as the influence of IFRS on the interpretation of German accounting rules or the established link between tax accounting and the HGB. The purpose of this study is to provide insights into the most recent changes of the regulatory environment for accounting in Germany by critically examining the proposals to reform the HGB and interviewing a selected group of individuals who have an influence on accounting regulation in Germany. The study found that while there was general agreement that the regulatory environment for accounting in Germany needed to be reformed, there were also strong concerns, among other things, about the use of fair value accounting and the cost of adopting IFRS. Importantly, findings suggest differences between IFRS and HGB will continue to remain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication32nd Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association
Subtitle of host publicationpapers
Place of PublicationBelgium
PublisherEuropean Accounting Association
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventAnnual Congress of the European Accounting Association (32nd : 2009) - Tampere, Finland
Duration: 12 May 200915 May 2009

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Congress of the European Accounting Association (32nd : 2009)
CityTampere, Finland
Period12/05/0915/05/09

Keywords

  • convergence
  • German accounting
  • International Financial Reporting Standards
  • Bilanzrechtsmodemisierungsgesetz (Bill to Modernise Accounting Law)

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