In accordance with the requirements of § 316 para. 2 of the German Commercial Code (HGB), consolidated financial statements and group management reports, which are to be drawn up by German limited companies (Kapitalgesellschaften), meet the conditions specified in § 290 HGB, or by companies of other legal forms in accordance with § 11 in conjunction with § 14 (German Publication Act) PublG, are to be checked by chartered accountants. Voluntarily consolidated financial statements and group management reports are to be checked if they are to have a discharging effect in regard to subordinate parent companies.
Areas of especial interest in consolidated financial statements are the auditing of the determination of the group of consolidated companies, the correctness and the correct integration of the individual financial statements of the companies to be incorporated into consolidated financial statements and the auditing of the consolidation-related adjustments.
Determination of a group of consolidated companies is governed by §§ 290 et seq. HGB and § 11 PublG. This means that any audit of consolidated financial statements has to examine observance of the rules and ascertain, with regard to the determined group of consolidated companies, whether all companies which should be included in consolidated financial statements have actually been correctly included.
In accordance with § 317 para 3 sentence 1 HGB the auditor of annual accounts must also audit the individual financial statements (Commercial Balance Sheet l) to be incorporated into the consolidated financial statement. However, this check can be renounced if the annual financial statement of the subsidiaries have been audited in accordance with §§ 316-324 HGB..
The correct incorporation of the individual financial statements into the consolidated financial statement includes the auditing of the uniform corporate accounting procedure and also the evaluation and thus the auditing of Commercial Balance Sheet ll and/or supplementary Statement (§§ 300 para. 2 and 308 HGB) created for this purpose.
A key component of the audit of the consolidated financial statement is formed by the consolidation-related adjustments. These include in particular the capital consolidation (§§ 301, 302 HGB), the consolidation of debts (§ 303 HGB), the treatment of interim results (§ 304 HGB), the expenditure and revenue consolidation (§ 305 HGB) and the deferred tax assets (§ 306 HGB).
The results of the audit will be documented in detail in a consolidated audit report and in condensed form in an auditor’s report.
- §§ 290-315 HGB – Financial statement and management report
- §§ 316 ff. HGB - Audit
- §§ 11, 14 PublG