Liliane Preusser

Branch manager
Phone: +48 32 330 12 00

Renata Kabas-Komorniczak

Tax adviser (Poland)
Branch manager
Phone: +48 22 696 28 00

A prerequisite under which entities can efficiently perform business transactions is a proper (in all aspects) finance and accounting system which will be used as a basic source of information about all processes running within a company. In the age of the information society, an efficient system of recording the business activity plays a key role for both external recipients (contractors, investors, analysts) and internal recipients (owners, shareholders, management board, managers, heads of departments accountable for performance, inspectors, accountants, tax advisers). Accounting processes and the accounting law are particularly instrumental in providing companies with confidence of legal compliance. Successful application of the relevant regulations inherently involves appropriate implementation of pertinent provisions of the accounting law.

Accounting standards in Poland

The basic source of the Polish accounting law is the Accounting Act of 29.09.1994. Since its effectiveness on 01.01.1995, the Act has been repeatedly amended and is still subject to continuous alterations as a result of adjusting the Act to the changing international accounting standards (IAS/IFRS). In addition, there are dozens of regulations of the Council of Ministers and the Minister of Finance as regards detailed accounting principles as well as several executive regulations to the Accounting Act itself.

Principles of keeping the accounting books

The Act sets forth the principles of keeping the accounting books to ensure correct operation of the accounting and internal control systems, including correct circulation and review of accounting documents (vouchers). The Act requires that the accounting books be kept in the Polish language and the Polish currency.

Tax books

Balance sheet records are to provide the base for assessment of the tax amounts. It is vital for the Company to review at all times, while selecting certain solutions for balance sheet recording and valuation, whether such solutions conform to the tax regulations, and if they do not – to keep parallel records or at least to have a possibility to demonstrate the differences for the purpose of determining the proper amount of the tax base.

Only those tax books that are kept in a reliable and faultless manner substantiate the figures resulting from the records contained therein. In the case the revenue (loss) cannot be determined on the basis of the accounting books, the Polish legislator admits the possibility to assess the revenue/loss.

International accounting standards

The world has become a global village. That is why the Polish accounting regulations yield to internationalisation, provide for comparability of figures as well as ensure transparency of the information intended for financial analyses. Most of the European countries admit the possibility to prepare consolidated financial statements of company groups according to the standards set forth in IAS or US GAAP.

Furthermore, Art. 10 item 3 of the Accounting Act stipulates that for matters not provided for under the Act, while adopting the accounting rules (policy), an entity may apply national accounting standards issued by the Accounting Standards Committee. In case no relevant national standard exists, it is possible to apply International Accounting Standards.

Integrated finance and accounting systems

The Accounting Act accounts for technological progress in electronic data processing systems (computerised finance and accounting systems).  In the case of computerised accounting books, accounting information sets organised in the form of separate electronic data files, databases or their individual separate components are regarded as equivalent to the accounting books, irrespective of the place of their origin and storage.

In the case of computerised accounting books, it is required to ensure automatic control over the consistency of entries, as well as over the transfer of the transactions and balances. An entity may keep the accounting system information sets on condition that it uses software enabling the entity to obtain readable information as regards the entries made in the accounting books, through printout or transfer to another electronic data carrier, whereas the data recording should meet the following requirements:

  1. permanently readable form of the data, consistent with the content of the accounting document;
  2. the data source is determinable;
  3. entries are identical and complete;
  4. entries are stored in a due manner and in a pre-determined order;
  5. data protection measures exclude the possibility to change the data.