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Inventory – Notes – 2018 – Part II

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4) Movable fixed assets


In principle, all movable fixed assets must be included in the inventory, even if they have already been depreciated. For the exceptions, see para. 4.2 and 6.2.
The physical inventory may be waived if a special asset register (asset index) is kept. Each addition and disposal is to be entered in it on an ongoing basis (cf. R 5.4 para. 4 EStR).


Immediately deductible low-value assets must be recorded in a special list to be kept on an ongoing basis or in a special account if the acquisition/production costs are more than 250 euros and not more than 800 euros.

For assets between EUR 250 and EUR 1,000 that are included in the collective item, there are no special recording obligations – apart from recording the addition -; they also do not have to be included in an inventory.


Leased assets must be recognized in the asset register if they are attributable to the lessee (e.g. if the basic lease term is less than 40% or more than 90% of the useful life or in the case of leases with an option to purchase).[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”blue”]

5) Receivables and payables

Inventory also includes the recording of all receivables and payables, i.e. the preparation of balance lists for debtors and creditors. Bills of exchange of possession and bills of exchange of debt must also be recorded individually. The lists of balances shall be prepared on the basis of the current accounts separately for receivables and payables.[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”blue”]

6) Evaluation procedure


Individual valuation – group valuation: In principle, assets are to be recorded individually in the inventory and valued accordingly (Section 240 (1) HGB).
However, insofar as this is in accordance with the principles of proper accounting, similar inventory assets and other similar or approximately similar movable assets may be grouped together(group valuation in accordance with Sec. 240 (240)). 4 HGB, see also R 6.8 para. 4 EStR).
Simplified valuation methods include average valuation or a consumption sequence method, e.g. for fuel inventories (so-called LIFO method; R 6.9 EStR).


Fixed values: Assets of the Property, plant and equipment as well as Raw materials and supplies (with the exception of the assets mentioned in point 4.2) may, if they are replaced regularly and their total value is of secondary importance to the company, be recognized at a constant quantity and value, provided that their inventory is subject to only minor changes in size, value and composition (Fixed valuation according to § 240 para. 3 HGB). This type of evaluation can be considered, for example, for tools, bottles, barrels, packaging materials.

The items recorded by fixed values are regularly to be included only on every third balance sheet date; for movable fixed assets, a physical inventory is to be taken at the latest on every fifth balance sheet date. If a value is determined that is more than 10% higher, this new value shall be decisive (cf. R 5.4 para. 3 EStR).[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”blue”]

7) Implementation of the inventory

In the physical inventory, the existing assets are physically recorded. Inventory teams, each with a counter and a recorder, are to be formed for the respective recording locations (e.g. warehouse, sales rooms, workshop).

The following applies in particular to the inventory:

  • Stocks are recorded in local order of storage.
  • Recorded stocks are to be marked.
  • No material movement shall be made during the inventory.
  • The recorded items must be clearly identified (if necessary by material number or short designation). Quantities and unit of measure shall be indicated.

Inventory lists and records shall be numbered consecutively and signed by the enumerator and recorder. Corrections during or after the inventory must be signed off. Records may also be kept on data carriers. Inventory documents must be kept for 10 years.[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”blue”]

8) Control possibility

The evaluation must be perfectly verifiable. This requires an accurate description of the goods (quality, size, dimensions, etc.). If necessary, references to purchase invoices, suppliers or calculation documents are to be attached, insofar as this is not readily apparent from the article designation or article number. If a reduction in value (e.g. partial value depreciation) is claimed, the reason and the amount must be proven.

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9) Auditor

In the case of companies subject to mandatory auditing, it is advisable to consult with the auditor in good time before taking inventory, because inventory is also subject to the audit of the financial statements.


(For further comments and information, please see our Information Letter 12/2018).

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