Accounting legislation in Sweden consists of mandatory accounting acts – the Annual Accounts Act of 1995 (årsredovisningslagen) and the Book-keeping Act of 1999 (bokföringslagen) being the most important. Both the Annual Accounts Act and the Book-keeping Act are general frameworks for accounting and both Acts refer to “generally accepted accounting principles”.
The Annual Accounts Act is based on an EU Directive. Credit institutions, brokerages and dealers in securities, and insurance companies, are covered by two specific accounting acts.
The Swedish Accounting Standards Board’s (BFN) main objective is to promote, in Sweden, the development of generally accepted accounting principles in terms of the current recording of transactions and the preparation of annual financial statements.
It issues general guidelines and information on accounting matters and practices. These general guidelines set out what constitutes “generally accepted accounting principles” in Sweden. The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) is responsible for issuing standards required for financial companies.
“Generally accepted accounting principles” means conducting book-keeping in accordance with prevailing laws on the field and in line with accepted practice and in compliance with BFN’s general guidelines.
The rules of the Book-keeping Act regarding the current recording of transactions, supporting vouchers and archiving apply to all entities required to maintain accounting records. All companies that conduct business activity are required to maintain accounting records. In addition, all limited companies, partnerships and co-operatives, as well as certain foundations and non-profit associations, are always required to maintain accounting records even if they do not conduct business activity.
Rules on simplified annual accounts (förenklat årsbokslut) can be found in the Book-keeping Act. Rules on annual financial statements (årsbokslut) can be found in the Book-keeping Act and the Annual Accounts Act. Rules on annual reports (årsredovisning) can be found in the Annual Accounts Act.
BFN’s guides, statements, recommendations and general guidelines can be found under Redovisningsregler. The recommendations of the Swedish Financial Accounting Standards Council (Redovisningsrådet), as well as the Book-keeping Act and Annual Accounts Act are also provided there. (In Swedish only).