Every year questions abound about procedural changes regarding the signature of financial statements in limited liability companies. The last time the relevant law was amended was in 2022 but that amendment has given rise to plenty of practical concerns and split interpretations. So we collated the most important information about how to properly sign end-of-year documents in accordance with current guidelines and practice.

After 1 January 2024, who should sign financial statements and how?

Financial statements have been issued in XML format for several years now. It has been the unchanging rule that the first to sign the statements is the person in charge of bookkeeping, which will usually be the chief accountant. Then the statements are signed by all the management board members in office on the date of issue.

The statements are to be signed by hand or using qualified electronic signature or trusted signature.

The digitization of the financial statements preparation and submission process has led in practice to substantial difficulties for management boards with many members or with members who are foreigners. In those cases, even if all the required signatures were able to be secured, it sometimes turned out during the filing process that the on-line Financial Documents Repository displayed error messages and blocked the upload. For example, the system still fails to recognise certain qualified electronic signatures from foreign providers (even though they comply with eIDAS requirements). There are also issues with uploading financial statements signed using different types of signature (e.g. partly using ePUAP signatures and partly using qualified electronic signatures) if the signatures are not in the right sequence and format. So, all in all, the legislators decided on certain simplifications here.

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