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Revision of Fourth and Seventh Directives - requirements in accounting reduced

Directive of European Parliament and Council 2009/49 of 18 June 2009 (Official Journal L 164/2009) is a further step toward reducing the administrative burden on firms. It allows medium-sized companies to abolish the requirement to disclosure certain information in their accounting and also reduces the duty to prepare consolidated accounts and a consolidated annual report.

The change in the Fourth Directive relates to the publication of data on formation expenses and the net turnover within the stated subdivision. So far only small businesses have been exempt from that requirement; the revision authorizes Member States to also exempt from this requirement medium-size businesses, which are defined in Article 27 of the Fourth Directive.

Preparation of consolidated financial statements and the consolidated annual report will newly no longer cover the parent company whose subsidiaries are considered insignificant in terms of objectives pursued by the consolidation (i. e. to create a true picture of the assets, liabilities and other aspects of the enterprise group). This exemption does not depend on the discretion of a Member State, but arises directly from changes in the Seventh Directive. Transposition of the Directive is to be carried out by 1 January 2011.

European Commission originally intended to incorporate other additional amendments to the Fourth Directive, namely total exemption from financial reporting for the smallest businesses called micro-enterprises. However, this proposal was finally presented separately and now is at the beginning of the legislative process.

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