The Certified Public Accountants in Greece mainly audit companies that have the form of the Societe Anonyme (SA) and the Limited Liability Company (LLC). This is not restrictive, but it is the overwhelming majority.
The audit of the annual financial statements by the Certified Public Accountants can be:
(i) Compulsory, if the company meets the conditions determined by the law. If it exceeds, for 2 consecutive years, 2 of the following criteria:
(a) Total assets: € 4,000,000
(b) Net turnover: € 8,000,000
(c) Average staff: 50 people.
Or if the obligation arises from other provisions and laws.
(ii) Optional, if the company, even though does not comply with the above conditions, voluntarily chooses to entrust the audit of its financial statements to a Certified Public Accountant.
Companies that elect, on a mandatory or voluntary basis, a Certified Public Accountant to audit their annual financial statements in accordance with Laws 4174/2013 (Article 62Α), 4410/2016 (Article 56) and 4449/2017 (Article 2) , also acquire the right to assign to the Certified Public Accountant the tax audit of the specific fiscal year.
In order to profit from the benefits of collaborating with a CPA, both for the audit of the financial statements, as well as for the tax audit, a significant number of companies elect a CPA, despite the fact that they do not meet the requirements of the total assets, net turnover and the staff number. They also elect a CPA even if they have exceeded the criteria for only one year.
But what are the benefits of working with a CPA?
BENEFITS FROM AN AUDIT CONTROL
CO-OPERATION WITH RECOGNIZED PROFESSIONALS: CPA’s have a high level of knowledge, are required to be continuously educated and informed, have extensive experience, are controlled and supervised by competent official institutions, as well as the Ministry of Finance, are bound by the Law for objectivity, independence and their confidentiality.
Their increased professional qualifications are defined by certain directives of the European Union, which have been adopted by the Greek law.
RESPONSIBLE AND ACCURATE INFORMATION: The election and cooperation with a CPA covers the need for accurate and reliable financial information, as well as the need for external audit of the accounts for large and small companies.
The main purpose of the audit is to establish whether the financial position and the results of the company are presented correctly in its financial statements.
In order to achieve those objectives, audit procedures are carried out, with the use of which the following objectives can be achieved:
The size of today’s Societe Anonyme, the number and complexity of the various transactions, and generally of its financial operations, as well as the fact that the company is often run by the Board of Directors, which is not always compiled from the company’s shareholders, make it very difficult for the Company to be controlled by the majority of the shareholders themselves.
Thus, the audit of the CPA’s, because it also includes the audit of the Company’s management and executives subjects, is the only real safeguard for the interests of the majority of the shareholders.
PROSPECTION OF THE COMPANY AND ACQUISITION OF PRESTIGE IN THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS: Also, the fully documented findings of the audit, which are published and become known by the audit certificate, in addition to the reliability of the financial statements, contribute to:
(a) Strengthening the status and position of the firm amongst other firms inside and outside its sector,
(c) Attracting partnerships and developing businesses that are organized and operate efficiently,
(d) Strengthening the confidence of banks and other partners
(e) Widening the market for products and services offered by businesses.
The role of the CPA is particularly important now that the barriers of the capitals movement from one country to another have been abolished. Thus, the positive assurances of the CPA on the reliability of accounts enable, for example, Greek companies to gain capital from international financial markets, expand their exports to other countries markets, merge their productive activities with the ones of foreign companies and so on.
The European Union has recognized the contribution of audit to the facilitation of capital movement and the development of a single European market, and for this reason the institutions in charge seek to harmonize the profession of auditing to its countries.
FACILITATION OF CONTROL BY THE MOTHER COMPANY: Especially in the case of a subsidiary’s audit by a CPA, the Auditor’s report is crucial information and an important tool for the mother company and it’s auditors.
In fact, the CPA’s of the mother company have the ability and obligation to request and receive from the CPA of the subsidiary any information needed to complete the audit of the parent company.
BENEFITS FROM TAX AUDITING
The most important benefit gained from the tax auditing of the CPA is that the audit is carried out by the Certified Public Accountant and not by an auditor who is an employee of the Ministry of Finance.
This means that this audit is carried out immediately during the fiscal year, and specifically at the end of it, as the tax audit is carried out in parallel with the regular audit.
Thus, the company has direct information on its tax issues.
Also, when the tax audit is performed by the CPA, the executives of the company cooperate with someone who they know and who knows them, who knows the company, its conditions and its peculiarities, and with whom there is a relationship of honesty and cooperation.
The company’s benefits from the use of the tax audit certificate are also the following:
A very important point is that, under the provisions of the current tax legislation, the tax audit certificate provided by the CPA is taken into account when selecting cases for tax audit by the Ministry of Finance.