The Accounting Standards Committee of Germany (ASCG) is the national standard setter in the area of group financial reporting in Germany. The organisation was established on 17 March 1998 as an independent and registered not-for-profit association by German Industry and is domiciled in Berlin. The ASCG had been formally acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice (now the Ministry of Justice and for Consumer Protection) as the private standardisation organisation pursuant sec. 342 of the German Commercial Code. Formal acknowledgement took place by means of a Standardisation Agreement on 3 September 1998. Following a temporary suspension in 2010, this agreement had been renewed on 2 December 2011.
The association was founded with the objectives of:
On the basis of these three overarching objectives six tasks have been formulated for the ASCG, which are codified in paragraph 2 section 1 of its Constitution. Accordingly, the ASCG shall, in the public interest:
The first four areas mentioned above are a direct consequence of the ASCG’s legal mandate pursuant sec 342 of the Commercial Code and the Standardisation Agreement. The latter also mentions raising the quality of financial reporting generally as another area for the ASCG.
The ASCG also decides to address topics for which there are gaps or a need for change in national and international financial accounting and reporting. In addition the ASCG’s agenda includes advisory projects for the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The ASCG finances its activities completely through membership fees, licenses, publications and other income. Income generated from royalties may only be used for the objectives codified in the Constitution; hence, the association is not a for-profit organisation but functions solely for the benefit of its members. Notwithstanding its obligation to act in the public interest, the ASCG does not receive any public money for carrying out its tasks.
c. Publications. Publications by the ASCG and the technical committees may take a variety of forms (e.g. standards, exposure drafts, comment letters, articles in specialist journals, articles on the ASCG’s website). The ASCG and the technical committees use these channels to discuss certain financial accounting and reporting issues and to circulate proposed solutions.
The technical work performed by the ASCG staff covers all the individual instruments. The staff drafts the publications and prepares and follows up the public discussions and the meetings of the working groups.
The technical work of the ASCG is largely carried out through its two Technical Committees, with President and Vice President promoting it externally. The development of recommendations on the application of GAAP in the area of group financial reporting is mainly the task of the German GAAP Technical Committee. The IFRS Technical Committee’s remit is to actively follow and comment on the work of the IASB/IFRS Interpretations Committee as well as of EFRAG. Both Committees are supported by Working Groups where subject matter and/or industry-related knowledge are being kept at their disposal. Subjects that are of mutual interest to entities applying German GAAP and IFRSs are being pursued by the Joint Technical Committee formed following the 2018 change to the charter (e.g. Group Management Reporting). The Committee consists of all members of the German GAAP and the IFRS Technical Committee.
The ASCG is a member of the most important organisations in the area of financial reporting. These are: the IFRS Advisory Council (IFRS AC) of the IASB where we advise the IASB on its strategic direction. The ASCG is holding the joint seat for the four European Standard Setters from France, Germany, Great Britain and Italy and is represented through his President. Further, the bodies of EFRAG are of high importance to the ASCG as well. Here, the ASCG is actively participating in the monthly meetings of the Technical Experts Group (through one of its Technical Directors) as well as of the EFRAG Board (through its President). Since October 2016, the ASCG’s President has formally assumed the role of Vice President of the EFRAG Board.