Key facts about the ASCG

 Overview

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 15 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.

 Objectives and tasks

The association was founded with the objectives of:

  • promoting the further development of financial reporting in the public interest by bringing together those that show an interest in the technical world of financial reporting, particularly accountants;
  • being recognised by the Federal Government as the German Standard Setter, supported in its goals and heard as a competent advisor, without compromising the sovereignty of the legislator and the courts; and
  • representing the views of German Industry in the area of financial reporting internationally.

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:

  1. Develop recommendations for the application of GAAP in the area of group financial reporting;
  2. Advise the Government on legislative affairs domestically and at the EU level in the area of financial reporting;
  3. Represent the Federal Republic of Germany in international fora concerned with financial reporting;
  4. Develop interpretations on International Financial Reporting Standards pursuant sec 315e (1) of the Commercial Code;
  5. Raise the quality of financial reporting generally; and
  6. Promote research and education in the aforementioned fields.

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.

financing

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.

 Processes

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. Subjects that are of mutual interest to entities applying German GAAP and IFRSs are being pursued jointly by both Committees (e.g. Group Management Reporting). 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

REPRESENTATION AND MEMBERSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL FORA/BODIES

The ASCG is a member of the most important organisations in the area of financial reporting. These are: the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) of the IASB where twelve national standard setters and regional organisations come together on a quarterly basis to advise the IASB on technical issues. The ASCG is a founding member 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.