Accounting in Switzerland

Overview by

Accounting System

Accounting Standards
The Swiss Code of Obligations does not contain any provisions on the accounting standard according to which a consolidated financial statement must be prepared. Only the IPO laws of the SWX Swiss Exchange require that an accepted accounting standard based on the "true and fair view" principle be used (such as Swiss GAAP FER, IFRS or US GAAP). However Swiss GAAP FER accounting standards are used by the national groups and small and mid-sized organizations. In addition, sector-specific standards exist to regulate accounting provisions for pension funds, insurance companies and non-profit organizations. Companies listed on the main board of the SIX Swiss Exchange and listed companies domiciled in the EU have to prepare their consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS, thus conforming to the global trend towards IFRS financial reporting.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Treuhand-Kammer, Swiss Institut of Certified Accountants and Tax Consultants (in English)
Accounting Law
The Swiss Code of Obligations (OR) needs to be followed.
Difference Between National and International Standards (IAS/IFRS)
It has become mandatory to use IFRS.
Accounting News
Accounting news in Switzerland and  Central Europe by

Accounting Practices

Tax Year
The fiscal year begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st of the same year.
Accounting Reports
Any company that is registered with the register of commerce in Switzerland needs to maintain a book-of-account and is obliged to follow the general commercial accounting principles as set forth in the Swiss Code of Obligations. Moreover it is compulsory to maintain the balance sheet, the profit-and-loss statement and the inventory in Swiss francs, but this requirement does not apply to the day-to-day bookkeeping.
Publication Requirements
As per the law, an annual financial statement with its associated income statement, balance sheet and notes must be prepared. It must be made in a manner such that company's assets and earnings can be valued as accurately as possible.

Accountancy Profession

A Swiss accountancy professional needs to have qualifications which are recognised by the Ministry for Professional Education and Technology. The official Swiss accounting and finance qualifications are Fachausweis Buchhalter, Fachausweis Controller and Diplomierter Buchalter/Controller. A qualified accountant could take one or more of the following roles: Auditor Accountant Budget analyst Controller Forensic accountant Tax accountant

The VEB (Federation of Accounting and Controllers) is the largest Swiss professional association in this industry.

Professional Accountancy Bodies
Treuhand-Kammer, Swiss Institute of Certified Accountants and Tax Consultants (in english)
Member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
Switherland is a member of IFAC.
Member of Other Federation of Accountants
Member of European Federation of Accountants (FEE).
Audit Bodies
Companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization. You can contactn the Swiss Federal Audit Office.

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