Consolidated financial statements – the extended transition period is ending
The new accounting rules must be applied to consolidated financial statements starting in 2016. A legal entity is required to prepare a consolidated financial statement if it controls one or more companies that are required to provide accounts (Art. 963 SCO).
Transparent and informative consolidated accounts help you with the management of your company. They are also an excellent basis for making strategic decisions in connection with corporate transactions, new funding or succession solutions.
Forward-looking planning will spare you from unnecessary and chaotic ad-hoc projects. Attempting to implement financial reporting to the required standard under significant time pressure will cause considerable diversion of management resources, often when it is most inconvenient.
The three-year transition period for switching consolidated financial statements to the new accounting rules will expire at the end of 2016. Many companies, especially foundations and associations, will find themselves subject to a new obligation to prepare consolidated financial statements. By contrast, some companies will now be able to claim exemption from this obligation, as the corresponding criteria have been expanded.
Criteria for exemption from the obligation to prepare consolidated financial statements
Two of the following three size criteria may not be exceeded in two consecutive years:
- CHF 40m turnover
- CHF 20m in total assets and
- 250 full-time equivalents
In addition, it must be possible, even without a consolidated financial statement, to make a reliable assessment of the company’s financial situation.
Fundamentally, the new accounting law will not result in significant changes to Swiss consolidated accounting practise. Furthermore, there will continue to be limited rules applicable to unlisted companies.
The minimum requirement is compliance with the fundamental principles of proper accounting. These fundamental principles require that the accounts
are clear and comprehensible,
- are complete,
- are reliable,
- contain all material information,
- have been prepared with care,
- are consistent in presentation and valuation,
- have been prepared in accordance with the gross principle.
As a result, consolidated accounting values will continue to be reliable. At first glance, this appears to be a very SME-friendly solution. However, if you want to provide an informative consolidated financial statement, the new minimum statutory requirements are not enough.
The primary aim of the new accounting law is to enable companies to present their financial situation so that third parties can form a reliable assessment. This aim should not be neglected.
Take advantage of the adoption of the new required standard as an opportunity to exceed the mandatory minimum. Transparent consolidated financial statements will allow you to create added value for your company. Now is the right time to seize the opportunity.
Careful planning for the introduction of transparent and reliable consolidated accounting is the foundation for a successful project. We would be pleased to assist you with this process.