Accounting in Italy

Overview by

Accounting System

Accounting Standards
Since November 2001, the organization in charge of the harmonization and control of accounting standards has been the Italian Accounting Organization (Organismo Italiano di Contabilità - OIC). The OIC replaces the "Commissione Paritetica per la Statuizione dei Principi Contabili", a commission controlled by the Italian competent accounting body and which has published 30 accounting standards. Italian accounting standards do not have force of law.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
OIC, Italian Accounting Organization
Accounting Law
Italian accounting is essentially based on the Civil Code of 1942 (especially articles 2424 and 2449), as amended by the decree of 9 April 1991 integrating the fourth and seventh European Directives. Italian accounting principles are therefore clearly stated, financial statements correctly presented and assessment criteria well specified.
Difference Between National and International Standards (IAS/IFRS)
The European Union (EU) has decreed the introduction into each country of the international accounting principles (IAS/IFRS) in accordance with the IASB (International Accounting Standards Board). According to what the EU has established through Community laws, Italy must introduce four standards concerning accountancy, the balance sheet and legal auditing of accounts.
Accounting News
OIC news, Italian tax agency publications

Accounting Practices

Tax Year
The tax year begins on 1 January and finishes on 31 December of the same year.
Accounting Reports
Italian companies must draw up the following documents in their financial statements:
- the balance sheet;
- the profit and loss accounts;
- the notes to the accounts;
- the annual report.
Publication Requirements
The annual report, the audit report, the financial statements and a copy of the minutes of the AGM must be filed with the company register 30 days after the AGM, and this filing must also be published in the official gazette of joint-stock companies (BURSAL).
Unlimited liability companies are not obliged to publish their accounts.
Companies listed on the Stock Exchange must draw up quarterly financial statements.
Unlimited liability companies (SNC, SAS) only have to draw up a balance sheet and a profit and loss account, with no obligatory form.
Small companies are authorized to draw up financial statements in a shorter form.

Accountancy Profession

Since January 2008, the Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori Commercialisti e degli Esperti Contabili is the new professional body established by the reform act. Being the competent authority, it is the only professional body in Italy. It represents all members of the profession both in the country and abroad, it monitors activities at a local scale and issues regulations and recommendations, included code of Ethics.
The Dottori are not empowered to audit accounts, so they are not, in law, auditors.
There are about 90,000 chartered accountants in Italy.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
CNDCEC, National Council of Professional Accountants
INRC, National Institut of Auditors
Member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
Member of Other Federation of Accountants
Italy is part of the IASB (International Accounting Standards Board), the EFRAG (European Financial Reporting Advisory Group) and the Federation of European Accountants.
Audit Bodies
The Civil Code obliges limited liability companies whose capital is more than 120,000 EUR to appoint, at the AGM (Assemblea dei soci) an audit committee (collegio sindicale) of three to five members who give an account of their audit in an annual report included in the financial statements of the company. This committee is appointed for three years and may be prolonged indefinitely. Since 2004, a "collegio sindicale" must contain at least one revisore contabile. The law does not impose any particular model of presentation of the audit report.
Companies listed on the Stock Exchange must have their accounts audited by external independent auditors (società di revisione).


The National Committee for companies and the Stock Exchange is an independent administrative authority whose role is to protect investors.

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