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    Country by Country Financial Reporting and Auditing Framework

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    Greece – SOL s.a. Certified Public Accountants – Crowe Horwath (prepared February 2015) 

    Preparation of and Filing of Statutory Financial Statements

     

    Corporations (S.A.) and Limited Liability Partnerships (EPE) are required to prepare annual financial statements and file these with the Government Gazette (http://www.et.gr).

     

    Listed companies are required to file their financial statements with the Government Gazette and present them at their website, within 3 months after the balance sheet date. All other companies are required to file their financial statements with the Government Gazette 20 days before the shareholders meeting.

     

    According to the new Legislation applicable from 1.1.2015, large and medium-sized non-listed entities are required to prepare full financial statements comprising of balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity, explanatory notes to the financial statements and management report. Large-sized entities are also required to prepare and file a statement of cash flows. Small and very small-sized companies are not required to prepare statement of changes in equity. Very small-sized companies have an option to file abbreviated financial statements. Abbreviated financial statements provide for some reduced disclosure and a condensed balance sheet and profit and loss account.

     

    Large-sized groups are required to prepare and file consolidated financial statements that also comprise a group management report.

     

    Financial Reporting Framework

     

    Listed companies in Greece are required to prepare their separate and group financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).  IFRS is that adopted by the EU. A full set of financial statements for listed companies having their registered offices in Greece also includes a group management report.

     

    All other companies in Greece, subject to any other requirements which may be otherwise specified, have the obligation to prepare their financial statements in accordance with accounting principles promulgated by the Greek Commercial Code ("Greek GAAP"). Companies may also adopt instead the IFRS financial statements with a resolution of their shareholder meeting. In this case the entity cannot change its decision before a period of five years.

     

    Also, the Greek GAAP statutory financial statements are the starting point for determining the taxable income of an entity.

     

    Audit Requirements for Corporations and LLPs Registered in Greece

     

    In general, all medium and large-sized companies must have an audit on their statutory financial statements. Regardless of their size, all listed companies are subject to a statutory audit. Some of the small-sized companies must have an audit on their statutory financial statements also (see criteria below).

     

    In addition to the audit of separate statutory financial statements of certain parent companies, their group financial statements are also subject to an audit, if a preparation is required by law.

     

    Audit Exemption

    Subject to the above, small private companies may not need an audit of their annual accounts - unless the company's articles of association say it must or enough shareholders ask for one. 

     

    A small company may qualify for an audit exemption if the company meets two out of the following three criteria on two consecutive reporting dates:

     

    • Has an annual turnover of no more than 5 million euros;
    • Has assets worth no more than 2,5 million euros;
    • Has no more than 50 employees.

     

     

    Audit Appointment, Rotation and Joint Audits

     

    Auditors are elected by the shareholders for only one year.  Greece does not have any rules relating to mandatory rotation of audit firms but there are rules regarding partner rotation. Whilst not prohibited, joint audits are very rare in Greece.

     

    Auditing Standards

     

    According to L.3693/2008 (§ 24), statutory audits are conducted in accordance with International Standards on auditing.

     

    Auditing firms have to maintain an Internal Quality Control System in compliance with ISQC1.

     

    Ethical Framework

     

    Auditors in Greece have to comply with IFAC Code of Ethics (IESBA).

     

    Audit Regulation

     

    Firms carrying out statutory audits are subject to regular inspections performed by the Accounting and Auditing Oversight Board (AAOB). The "AAOB" is the competent authority for the organization and performance of inspections that are carried out at least every 3 years if the audit firm signs audit reports of public / listed entities and once every 6 years for all other audit firms.

     

    Transparency Report

     

    Audit firms that perform audits for public interest entities are required to prepare an annual transparency report and either publish it on their websites or file it with the Accounting and Auditing Oversight Board (AAOB).

     

     

     


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