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AGN meeting – Public Company Information / Disclosure

A Europe-wide interesting topic for medium-sized companies on the one hand, on the other hand also a very difficult topic was the focus of this year AGN meeting in Bratislava, namely the EU-Directives concerning company publicity. Companies using a legal form of a liability limitation, e.g. LLCs (GmbHs) and GmbH & Co. KGs are being required to publish their annual financial statements to the electronic Federal Gazette in Germany within 12 months. For small companies there are a number of relieves and exceptions. At the same time due to a revision of the EU Directive, which was implemented by the German Accounting Directive Implementation Act (BilRUG) in Germany, new changes were introduced in the disclosure of financial statements 2016.

Castle in Bratislava
Castle in Bratislava (© PHB.cz -
Fotolia.com)

In the first part of the meeting, the legal framework were illuminated which apply to the disclosure in various European countries, at the same time possibilities and ways were discussed, how to exclude sensitive issues in the disclosure in medium-sized companies as far as possible. Through the focus of only a view products at medium-sized companies much more information can be gained out of the profit & loss statement about cost structure, profit margins and margins, than in large business where due to the variety of products, conclusions about the cost structure of individual products are hardly possible. At the meeting, moderated by managing director Richard Hempe of SH+C, it turned out that the EU-Directive has been implemented largely similar in different European countries and so the disclosable information in other EU countries are quite similar to Germany. The conclusion of the meeting was a debate on structure options, reducing at least the scope of the disclosure for companies with particularly sensitive data.

In another session of the meeting, possibilities to access business information within European Countries were discussed. Here soon significant differences were shown quickly, especially how the scope of accessible information and its quality is regulated in the individual EU Member States. In England, for example, very extensive company information can be centrally requested and the disclosure is strictly enforced, whereas in other EU countries the disclosure is done in PDF format, their legibility is not controlled, so that the deposits are indeed carried out formally, but the stored data in some cases are not readable. The online presentation of the access ways and possibilities in the different countries was highly interesting for the participants, because access to business data from other countries could be quickly available and through the exchange with colleagues, local specialists can acquire data at relatively short notice if necessary.

As a result of the meeting it should be noted that in the EU area a largely functioning disclosure of companies’ annual financial statements data is implemented and this data is relative simply and shortly obtainable. On the one hand, companies have a good source to gain information about the creditworthiness of customers and suppliers. On the other hand, the possibility that others can obtain information about the own company in the same way must be kept in mind. This has to be considered right at the planning of the disclosure, so as part of the annual financial statements. For further information our specialists at SH+C are available for your.

Article from: 18.10.2015