What is an annual report? 

An annual report is an accounting collection that presents to interested parties (owners, investors) the financial position and performance of an enterprise at the end of a financial year.

What can I do with the annual report? 

There are many advantages to the current year's accounts.

 

One of the reasons is that the annual report contains a wealth of information. And this information can be beneficial for many people: it can be helpful for owners, banks, and the authorities, for partners, suppliers, and customers.


To give just one example: if we want to take out a loan for our business, the bank that we apply to will look carefully at our accounts and, on that basis, among others, will decide whether or not to grant us a loan. And even if they do give us credit, they will not leave us alone and will regularly ask for our financial statements.

Who has to provide annual report in Switzerland?

All kinds of companies that are registered to do business. 

A company whose revenue is less than CHF500'000 has to prepare annual reports too, but they can use simple cash in cash out accounting. 

When do I have to prepare the annual report? 

The annual report must be prepared within six months of the end of the financial year and submitted to the responsible management organization or the responsible persons for approval.

Who will look into these documents?

Auditing of accounts is mainly for larger companies.

Sole proprietorships and partnerships are not obliged to use an external auditor. If your annual turnover is less than CHF100'000 you are exempt from the accounting requirement and therefore from the audit. 

What are the components of the annual report?

For a sole proprietorship
Larger comapanies

Balance sheet - Income statement - Cash flow statement  - Notes with additional information

When do I have to prepare the annual report? 

The annual report must be prepared within six months of the end of the financial year and submitted to the responsible management organization or the responsible persons for approval.

Requirements regarding annual reports

In the annual accounts, the corresponding values of the previous year must be shown alongside the figures for the relevant financial year.

Article 958d(2) CO

Principles
  • they must be clear and understandable;
  • they must be complete;
  • they must be reliable;
  • they must include the essential information;
  • they must be prudent;
  • the same rules must be applied in presentation and valuation;
  • assets and liabilities and income and expenditure may not be offset against each other.

Article 958c(1) CO

Retention of records

Annual reports and audit reports (signed hard copies) must be retained for ten years.

Article 958f(1) CO 

Language

Financial reports are presented in one of the official Swiss languages or in English.

Article 958d(4) CO 

Currency

Financial reports are presented in the national currency or in the currency required for business operations. If the national currency is not used, the values must also be shown in the national currency. The exchange rates applied must be published in the notes to the accounts and if applicable explained.

Article 958d(3) CO