Risk reporting according to KonTraG

Risk reporting in accordance with KonTraG - According to Section 264, Paragraph 1, Sentence 1 and 3 of the German Commercial Code, the legal representatives of large and medium-sized corporations are obliged to prepare a management report. Section 289 (1) of the German Commercial Code (HGB) states: “In the management report, at least the course of business and the situation of the corporation must be presented in such a way that a picture that reflects the actual circumstances is conveyed; in doing so, the risks of future development must also be addressed. "
Der letzte Halbsatz dieses Paragraphen ist durch Art. 2 des Gesetzes zur Kontrolle und Transparenz im Unternehmensbereich (KonTraG) eingefügt worden. Eine § 289 Abs. 1 HGB entsprechende Regel für den Group management report enthält § 315 Abs. 1 HGB. Gemäß § 317 Abs. 2 HGB soll der Abschlussprüfer prüfen, ob die Risiken ( Risiko) in Lagebericht bzw. Konzernlagebericht zutreffend dargestellt sind. Die Vorgaben des § 289 Abs. 1 bzw. § 315 Abs. 1 HGB sind in ihrer Verbindung mit der Angabepflicht nach Abs. 2 Nr. 2 zu sehen, wonach der (Konzern-) Lagebericht auf die voraussichtliche Entwicklung der Kapitalgesellschaft eingehen soll.

The additions made by the KonTraG considerably increase the interest in information of the addressee of the management report and make it clear that in the past, companies did not fully comply with the requirements of the legislature for reporting that corresponds to the actual circumstances. Another special feature of the amendment to the law is that the reporting in the management report and the group management report should only present the risks. A kind of offsetting of opportunities and risks with the result that reporting is limited to residual risks is just as inadmissible as risk compensation.

The identification of dangerous developments, the assessment of incorrect assessments and, if necessary, the limitation of risky transactions are decisive for the risk report of the company or the group. The risk report should be designed in such a way that the recipients receive information that they can use as a basis for decision-making. It is true that the individual target groups or interest groups have, in some cases, heterogeneous information needs. Above all, they all want information about the future development of the company or the group. The focus here is on the question of their future economic viability. It must be made clear that the decision-makers have recognized the risks and used them as a basis for their decision.
In its accounting standard “Preparation of the management report”, the IDW has set out the risks that, in its opinion, the management has to comment on in more detail. According to this, the presentation should be limited to material risks of future development. At the same time, the reporting should show whether the management assesses the development as favorable or as unfavorable. This means those risks that either endanger the continued existence of the company or can have a significant impact on the asset, financial or earnings position. The IDW sees risks that endanger the continued existence of the company in a close connection with the continued existence of the company (going concern). For each balance sheet date, a future-oriented assessment of the viability of the company based on the circumstances at that point in time must therefore be made.

The course of business and the situation of the company or the group are to be presented in such a way that a picture that reflects the actual circumstances is conveyed. The reporting must meet the requirement of conscientious and faithful accountability. The material requirements are determined by the functions of the management report in providing information and reporting. The reporting must be based on these functions and must provide complete, true, clear and understandable information that is necessary to convey a true and fair view of the company's situation.

In order to present the risks in the management report as closed as possible, the first thing that is decisive is the existence of a coherent concept with which risks in the company can be identified early, which includes all areas of the company, which is systematically applied and in which the efforts and risks are adequately documented. The concept must also be adequately effective. The plausibility of corporate planning is being questioned more.

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