Balance sheet date

Also known as: Annual financial statements under commercial law

In accounting, the balance sheet date is the last day of a financial year. On this day, the annual financial statements of a company are usually drawn up.

Definition / explanation

The day on which a company prepares its annual financial statements is usually the last day of a financial year, which usually also represents the end of the calendar year.

The figures available on this day, the balance sheet date, form the basis for the balance sheet of a business entity. Another date can also be selected for the balance sheet date, but this must then be retained.

The purpose of the balance sheet date is to enable the economic success to be determined in the appropriate period within a certain period of time. On this day (10 days of leeway) an inventory must be carried out, which provides information about the assets of the company.

The balance sheet date is based on the reporting date principle, which means that all assets available on the reporting date must be recorded in the balance sheet.


  • The balance sheet date is the last day of a financial year
  • on the balance sheet date, the reporting date principle applies
  • the balance sheet date does not necessarily have to be December 31. being
  • An inventory must be carried out on the balance sheet date
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