The Impact of International Financial Reporting Standards on the Modernisation of the German Commercial Code

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An Act to Modernize Accounting Law (Bilanzrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz - BilMoG) has been promulgated on 29 May, 2009, and it introduces some major changes to the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch - HGB), such as removing the close connection to tax rules and controversial policy options currently available to companies for financial reporting. This paper provides a critical examination of the recent reforms of the regulatory environment for accounting in Germany. Data for the study were also collected through interviews of a selected group of individuals and an online focus group, who had an influence on and/or interest in accounting regulation in Germany. Findings of this study raise two issues related to international financial reporting. First, we found that although as a result of the reforms, German accounting shifted away from the Continental European model and closer to the Anglo-American model, the reforms were aimed at addressing some domestic concerns, and not necessarily at converging with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Second, this suggests that the new German law on financial reporting by firms is likely to act as an impediment to any effort to harmonize financial reporting standards within the European Union unless such effort is based on the German model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication21st Asian-Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherAsian-Pacific Conference
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventAsian-Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues - Las Vegas, USA
Duration: 22 Nov 200925 Nov 2009


ConferenceAsian-Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues
CityLas Vegas, USA


  • Convergence
  • Handelsgesetzbuch (German Commercial Code)
  • International Financial Reporting Standards
  • Bilanzrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz (Act to Modernize Accounting Law)


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