• Date: 3/27/2014

Audit Committee News - Q2 2014 

Following years of deliberations, the Swiss legislator has decided to modernize the accounting rules. The new accounting law came into force on 1 January 2013 with a transitional period of two years (three years for consolidated financial statements).
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However this was no masterstroke: SMEs are spared from excessive regulation and hidden reserves are largely preserved. Board members should nonetheless familiarize themselves with the stumbling blocks of the new law, which is independent from the legal form. In particular, the at least partial abolition of the “flower bunch theory” in favor of an individual valuation could result in a need for depreciation in certain group financial statements, which companies may prefer to recognize over two years (2014 / 15) rather one year (2015).


The Accounting and Reporting Recommendations (Swiss GAAP FER) are becoming increasingly popular among listed companies. In recent years, many companies have switched from the IFRS to the more pragmatic Swiss GAAP FER. The FER Commission has taken this evolution into account by publishing the new “Complementary recommendation for listed companies” (FER 31).


The FATCA agreement has spawned renewed interest in recent weeks. Most banks seem to be well advanced in their preparations. But what about other companies that may also be affected by this law?


As regards corporate governance, we take a look in this issue at the independence of Board members and compare the regulatory environment in the EU with the situation in Switzerland. Finally, in our “Audit Committee Handbook” series, we provide guidelines for the ongoing assessment and improvement of your work within the audit committee.

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