Taking particular consideration of the concerns of SMEs, in 2007 a draft bill was prepared which provided for some additional requirements for large companies and also some easements with regard to accounting. Large companies subject to a full audit would also have had to prepare a cash flow statement, a management report and additional notes.
The corresponding statement on the revision of stock corporation law was published on 21 December 2007, together with the new proposals relating to accounting. However, the proposed amendments that were submitted have been considerably watered down during the course of the parliamentary debate. As a result, the modernization of the accounting provisions will be far more moderate than was originally intended. There are no details available yet regarding a possible date on which the new accounting provisions will enter into force.
Once the new accounting provisions enter into force on 1 January 2012, particularly the limiting criteria which require companies to prepare consolidated financial statements will change. These have increased considerably in the course of the parliamentary debate:
- balance sheet total: CHF 20 million (previously CHF 10 million)
- annual sales: CHF 40 million (previously CHF 20 million)
- full-time employees: 250 (previously 200)
The draft bill of 2007 would also have envisaged the formulation of the obligation to file consolidated financial statements irrespective of legal form. This went too far for the Council of States, which therefore proposes that the preparation obligation may in certain cases be transferred to a controlled company. The Councillors have also dispensed with the intention to prescribe a recognized accounting standard (e.g. SWISS GAAP ARR, IFRS) for consolidated financial statements that are required by law.
- We will follow the parliamentary discussions and comment on the changes to ensure that you are always fully up to date.
- We will support you in terms of clarifying the potential implications of the new law.