True and fair for Swiss companies

For companies whose business and investors are mainly within Switzerland, Swiss GAAP FER is an alternative to IFRS and the Swiss Code of Obligations, and is a way of promoting transparency by accounting in line with stakeholder needs and thereby creating trust in financial reporting.

Modular application of Swiss GAAP FER

Swiss GAAP FER is structured in a modular way. It is based on a framework of principles that apply to all organisations, but its recommendations vary with the size of the organisation and its business sector. Companies with less than CHF 10 million in total assets and CHF 20 million in annual turnover, and fewer than 50 full-time equivalent staff, can restrict themselves to applying the overall framework and the six core FER recommendations. For larger organisations there are twelve further FER recommendations, relating to specific business transactions or items in the annual financial statements. Four sector-specific FER recommendations, for insurance companies, health insurance funds, pension schemes and non-profit organisations, contain specific rules applicable to the particular nature of their reporting requirements. In addition, FER 30 and FER 31 apply to groups and listed companies.

Switching to Swiss GAAP FER

When you are applying Swiss GAAP FER for the first time, after switching from Swiss Code of Obligations accounting or moving from IFRS, a number of considerations need to be borne in mind from an early stage. In contrast to Code of Obligations accounts, Swiss GAAP FER enables reporting according to the true and fair view principle and thereby enhances the comparability required by investors and providers of capital. Familiarity with and acceptance of these standards in Switzerland also make them an attractive alternative to IFRS. In recent years an increasing number of listed companies have switched. Swiss GAAP FER is also a permissible accounting option for the Swiss stock exchange under its Swiss Reporting Standard and the standard for real estate companies. Other reasons for switching are the cost-effectiveness of using Swiss GAAP FER and the regulatory stability it offers.

How Deloitte can help

Our financial reporting and accounting team has many years of experience in a number of sectors working with small, medium-sized and large national and international companies, and includes experts in Swiss GAAP FER, IFRS and US GAAP. We will be glad to make our comprehensive expertise available to you in helping you to apply or switch to Swiss GAAP FER and respond to new challenges in reporting.

Our solutions for financial reporting include the following:

  • advice on sector-specific issues in accounting according to Swiss GAAP FER and the optimal choice of disclosure methods
  • comprehensive assistance in accounting and financial reporting process integration for major transactions such as mergers, acquisitions, divestments and IPOs
  • process management in the switch to Swiss GAAP FER accounting standards
  • drafting accounting manuals, guidelines and reporting position papers
  • auditing annual financial statements for single entities and groups

Swiss GAAP FER checklist 2023

This checklist shall support in applying the Swiss GAAP FER standards as well as in reviewing the completeness of its disclosure requirements. It comprises, based on our experience, the most relevant requirements in regard of application and disclosure of Swiss GAAP FER for stand-alone financial statements and consolidated financial statements.

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Swiss GAAP FER Model Financial Statements

The present consolidated financial statements illustrate the accounting and disclosure requirements according to Swiss GAAP FER for the year-end 31.12.2020 of International FER Holding AG. The publication is based on the professional recommendations for accounting (status: January 1, 2020).

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The purpose of this guide is to focus on the similarities and differences between Swiss GAAP FER and IFRS that are most commonly encountered in practice. The brochure aims to assist companies to make a good assessment of which accounting standards suit them most in terms of efficiency and applicability.

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Oliver Köster

Oliver Köster


Oliver leads the Complex Accounting Assurance practice in Switzerland, specialised in providing services related to financial reporting. He has over 20 years of experience in IFRS and US GAAP financia... More

Christophe Aebi

Christophe Aebi


Christophe is in charge of the privately held and family business segment at Deloitte. He is an audit Partner at Deloitte with over 20 years of experience auditing national and international companies... More