What is the purpose of the balance sheet date for you?
For you as an entrepreneur, the balance sheet date serves the purpose of determining the periodic success of your company. This means that you will find this data at the same time on the same day every year. This is the only way to ensure that there can be no falsification. You choose the balance sheet date, so to speak, in order to take a sample of your company’s success. This is also the difference to the profit and loss calculations, which take the entire fiscal year into account. The balance sheet date, on the other hand, gives you information about how your success looks like over a year at a specific point in time.
What are you pursuing with an accrual investigation?
With the accrual calculation you pursue the purpose of measuring your economic success for a certain period using the balance sheet date. On the balance sheet date, you have ten days to carry out an inventory. This inventory enables you to get an idea of which assets your company has to offer. For this reason, the reporting date is also based on the reporting date principle described above.
What does the balance sheet date mean for your inventory?
In connection with the balance sheet date, an inventory is mandatory. In Section 240 (1) and (2) of the German Commercial Code (HGB), the legislature describes that both the balance sheet date and the inventory date must be carried out. But that does not mean that you have to do the balance sheet date and inventory in one day. Rather, the legislature grants you a time window of a maximum of ten days. Specifically, this means for you that the inventory must be carried out ten days before or ten days after the balance sheet date. In this case, however, you have to make sure that an advance or back calculation is possible at any time for the exact balance on the balance sheet date. In order to avoid errors in the inventory, the balance sheet date inventory is the best and also the most accurate method. As an alternative to the inventory on the balance sheet date, you also have the option.
What is a misplaced inventory?
In some cases it is not possible to carry out an inventory on the balance sheet date due to very high stocks. In this case you can use the postponed inventory as well as the time-shifted inventory. The postponed inventory is an inventory facilitation procedure, which is described in more detail in § 241 (3) HGB and R. 5.3 (1) EStR. You can carry out the postponed inventory either in the period of the last three months before the balance sheet date or in the period of two months after the balance sheet date. It is important that you document the date of the inventory carried out very precisely. The updating or back calculation must also be guaranteed for the postponed inventory.
|Update with upstream inventory||Recalculation for subsequent inventory|
|Value on the inventory date||Value on the inventory date|
|+ Value of all processes between the inventory date and the balance sheet date||– Value of all processes between the inventory date and the balance sheet date|
|– Value of all operations||+ Value of all operations|
|= Value on the balance sheet date||= Value on the balance sheet date|
What do you have to consider between the balance sheet date and the preparation of the balance sheet?
Under no circumstances should you confuse the terms balance sheet date and balance sheet preparation. The balance sheet is usually only drawn up after the balance sheet date. For the preparation of the balance sheet, you must take into account all annual financial statements, the accounting options and the value-enhancing facts. So the facts that arose after the balance sheet date. Depending on the size of the company and the complexity of a company, the preparation of the balance sheet can take a few weeks, even months. But you must not forget that you do not have unlimited time to prepare the balance sheet. Corporations must have prepared the balance sheet for the past financial year in the first three months of the new financial year.A corporation or a partnership , the legislature grants you a maximum of six months. This is regulated in Section 264, Paragraph 1, Clause 3 of the German Commercial Code (HGB). The period always begins with the balance sheet date.
Which accounting decisions are important for your balance sheet date?
As already described at the beginning, choosing the right balance sheet date can be very important for you. But there are other accounting decisions to consider that are very important.
|A corporation that owns a majority in another corporation cannot capitalize dividend claims that have not yet been approved for appropriation of profits on the balance sheet date.|
|However, the results of holdings in a partnership must be taken into account, based on the principle of mirror image theory.|
|If there is a pending transaction between two contractual partners on the balance sheet date that has not yet started or has not yet been fully completed, you must decide how you want to treat this pending transaction in the balance sheet preparation.|
The term balance sheet date means the last day in a financial year. As a rule, this is December 31st, but this is not mandatory. You can also start a business year or a business year later, but keep the period of twelve months. The reporting date principle applies to the balance sheet date. An inventory must be carried out on the reference date. Under certain conditions there is also the possibility of a postponed inventory. However, an inventory key date that is identical to the balance sheet date is ideal. A balance sheet can only be drawn up after the balance sheet date.