Junior Management Science, Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2022, 412-428

From Wuhan into the Balance Sheet: Accounting for Provisions due to COVID-19 According to the German Commercial Code (HGB) and IFRS

Lars Oliver Busch, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Bachelor Thesis)

The Corona pandemic has had a major impact on the social lives of people around the world since the beginning of 2020, leading to increased economic uncertainty. This uncertainty in turn has an impact on the accounting of companies. The following paper provides an overview of the multifaceted effects of Covid-19 on a company’s provisions, which represent a significant balance sheet item. Provisions that are significantly affected are provisions for impending losses, restructuring provisions, guarantee and goodwill provisions, and pension provisions. These are explained in more detail with regard to recognition and measurement according to HGB (German GAAP) and IFRS. The Covid 19-related effects, which can be both positive and negative, are clarified through corresponding practical examples. In addition, there is a brief presentation of other types of provisions that can be influenced by Covid-19. This work makes it clear that the pandemic as a crisis will continue to influence the balance sheets of numerous companies in the coming years.

Keywords: Corona; Covid-19; HGB; IFRS; Rückstellungen.