When is a certified chartered accountant required?

By László Killik on 5/13/2022

Since the introduction of the Online Reporting and Form Completion System, known in Hungarian as the Online Beszámoló és Űrlapkitöltő Rendszer (OBR), companies that are required by the Hungarian Accounting Act to have a certified chartered accountant perform their duties are unable to publish their annual accounts.

A certified chartered accountant is required

Based on the provisions of the Hungarian Accounting Act, in connection with the functions related to drawing up the (simplified/consolidated) annual accounts and to supervising and managing the accounting services:

  1. companies shall contract the services of an accounting firm whose member appointed to supervise and manage accounting services and draw up annual accounts who is certified as chartered accountant or
  2. companies shall contract the services of or employ natural persons certified as auditors or chartered accountants, holding professional qualifications and, accordingly, holding a license (certificate) of entitlement to provide such services.

Not everyone needs a certified chartered accountant

Any companies whose annual (annualized) net sales in the two financial years preceding the given financial year or, in the absence of such, the net sales expected in the current financial year do not exceed ten million forints, shall be exempted from the obligation described above.

The tasks covered by accounting services include in particular:

  • performing tasks related to drawing up the accounting policy, bookkeeping, the system and method of preparing annual accounts (including the development of the internal information system), carrying out tasks related to the preparation and regular maintenance of the system of accounts, bookkeeping, and annual accounts, including the keeping of general ledger records, the preparation of postings, drawing up the annual accounts, the analysis of data in the annual accounts and accounting records, and the drawing of conclusions on which economic decisions are based,
  • the creation and provision of accurate internal and external information by ensuring the legality, regularity, reliability and supporting evidence of the accounts and the data contained in the annual accounts and compliance with the requirements of the basic accounting principles.

Consent of a certified chartered accountant

Without the consent of a certified chartered accountant, a company cannot legally publish its annual accounts in the OBR system. In order to avoid misunderstandings, it is advisable for companies to state in the contract of services whether the accountant they engage is duly licensed and certified, and whether s/he agrees to have his/her name and registration number listed in the OBR as the certified chartered accountant responsible for the company’s accounting services.

What if more than one certified chartered accountant worked for a company in the same financial year

In the case of a change of accountant during the year, it is also essential for the company to agree with the new accountant on the conditions necessary for him/her to be listed as the certified chartered accountant responsible for the company’s accounting services. This is particularly a problem if the new certified chartered accountant is engaged after the end of the given financial year and only prepares the annual accounts, and the accounting tasks were managed and directed by the previous accountant.

Only one certified chartered accountant can be listed in the OBR system, but there may have been more than one certified chartered accountant performing the accounting tasks of a company during the financial year. In our opinion, in such cases, a good solution might be to present in the notes to the accounts which tasks were performed by which certified chartered accountant. We believe that in such cases, the company should list in the OBR system the certified chartered accountant who is responsible for the preparation of the annual accounts.