Value increase principle

Also known as: Due date principle

Das Wertaufhellungsprinzip dient der Erfassung und Berücksichtigung von Risiken, die einem Unternehmen zwischen Balance sheet date und tatsächlicher Bilanzerstellung, zur Kenntnis gelangen. Sie sind offen zu legen, indem sie in die Bilanzerstellung als Wertkorrektur Eingang finden.

Definition / explanation

The background to the value adjustment principle is the requirement for a timely balance sheet. There are often months between the balance sheet date and its actual completion. During this period, new information emerges. If they concern the evaluation of the balance sheet to be drawn up, there is an obligation to present these facts and to incorporate them into the balance sheet.

This obligation arises from the principle of caution. The principle of prudence is one of the most important principles of proper bookkeeping.

Value increase principle in practice

The balance sheet has the balance sheet date at the end of the year (December 31) on which all trade accounts receivable for the year are recorded and reported. In January of the following year, the company learns that a customer will be on December 20th. (i.e. in the balance sheet period) has filed for bankruptcy.

The increase in value principle requires that he includes this new information in the ongoing preparation of the balance sheet and that the customer's claim is adjusted in value. If in doubt, the receivable must be written off completely and the company must show a lower amount of receivables in the balance sheet.

Legal regulation in the Commercial Code

The value increase principle is regulated in Section 252 of the Commercial Code. The timeframe that comes into consideration for the consideration is also staked out here. According to this, the fact that leads to a value-based change must have occurred by the reporting date.

In the above example, this means that the customer does not file for bankruptcy until January, and not in the balance sheet year on December 20, this is a fact that affects the new financial year. Then the fact is only to be dealt with in the new financial year.


  • the increase in value principle is used to record and take into account risks that occur between the balance sheet date and the actual preparation of the balance sheet
  • occurring risks (e.g. bankruptcy of a Customer) are made in the balance sheet as a value adjustment
  • The increase in value principle is regulated in Section 252 of the Commercial Code
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