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Vermögens-, Finanz- und Ertragslage

English translation: s.u. (NFP)

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18:26 Mar 18, 2007
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Accounting
German term or phrase: Vermögens-, Finanz- und Ertragslage
Kurze Frage zum Begriff Vermögens-, Finanz- und Ertagslage

Vermögenslage, abgebildet durch die Bilanz
Finanzlage, abgebildet durhc die Kapitalflussrechnung
Ertragslage, abgebildet durch die GuV-Rechnung

Soweit klar.

IFRS:
IAS 1.13 "Financial statements shall present fairly the financial position, financial performance and cash flows of an entity."

Financial position, abgebildet durch balance sheet
Financial performance, abgebildet durch income statement
Cash flows, abgebildet durch cash flows

Daraus folgt:
Vermögenslage = Financial position
Finanzlage = Cash flows
Ertragslage = Financial performance

In den Bestätigungsvermerken erscheint oft diese Formulierung:

In our opinion, such consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Microsoft Corporation and subsidiaries as of June 30, 2000 and 2001, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended June 30, 2001 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

wobei "results of their operations" = "income statement"

Nun lese ich allerdings in einigen übersetzten Bestätigungsvermerkern:

In our opinion based on the findings of our audit the consolidated
financial statements comply with the IFRSs as adopted by the EU,
the additional requirements of German commercial law pursuant to
§ 315a Abs. 1 HGB and give a true and fair view of the net assets, financial
position and results of operations of the Group in accordance
with these requirements.

Warum "net assets"? Auf was soll sich das beziehen: auf die "Vermögenslage" - die wird doch bereits druch financial position abgebildet.

Warum nicht "financial position", "results of operations" and "cash flows" wie es in den Originalvermerken steht?
tsb
English translation:s.u. (NFP)
Explanation:
There isn't enough space in the "Peer comments" box for my remarks on Ted's answer, so I'll give them here in a NFP reply.

Almost all occurrences of VFE-Lage in German financial statements and management reports refer, in fact, to the VFE-Lage for which the auditor's report is issued.

In its "wisdom", the IDW unfortunately opted for a completely dippy translation of VFE-Lage as "net assets, financial position and results of operations". This was due in part to translators with little knowledge of accounting and auditing, and to German accounting and auditing specialists with an exaggerated belief in their own command of English.

The use of "net assets" is stupid enough, because "net assets" are, of course, equity. Anybody with the slightest knowledge of accounting could have told the IDW that.

But translating Finanzlage as "financial position" is simply a higher form of crap. Finanzlage is, of course *changes* in financial position or "cash flows".

But why get it right when a literal translation will do?

When I was asked to revise the draft translation of DRS/GAS 15, one of the conditions was that the IDW translation of VFE-Lage be used, even though DRS/GAS 15 doesn't actually call it VFE-Lage, but EFV-Lage. Same difference, to be honest.

In exactly the same way that when I translated, revised and edited the fourth edition of Deutsches Bilanzrecht/German Accounting Legislation, use of the IDW's mistranslation of VFE-Lage was a must. Sometimes you can't win.... (though I am now discussing with the European Commission the possibility of them getting it right in an editorial amendment to the Transparency Directive. You never know, it might just work, especially as the Commission now agrees that "financial positgion" is actually the English equivalent of the German "Vermögenslage").

And to answer "tsb's" question "Warum nicht "financial position", "results of operations" and "cash flows" wie es in den Originalvermerken steht?

Because. Because if you translate it differently (specifically: if you translate it correctly) in the auditor's report, in 99 cases out of 100, the brain-dead German WP will insist on using the IDW's crappy translation. The most recent argument I heard on that score is that everything the IDW publishes is "berufsständig", so under the German principle that everything that's published is automatically correct, the translation is per se correct. Even if it's not.

We've got other battles to fight with our "I can English" opponents where we have a better chance of winning, I think.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 hrs (2007-03-19 07:21:29 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Well "tsb", thanks for the points, although my answer was actually provided on an NFP (not for points) basis.

As to your comments:
1) Of course net assets is gibberish. Unfortunately it's what the vast majority of German WPs will insist on seeing. I've discussed this issue with several dozen of them, and most are agreed that the "official" IDW translation is wrong. But their CYA attitude means that they won't do anything about it.
2) Been there, got the t-shirt. It's incredibly difficult to persuade German WPs that their command of English is less than perfect, I'm afraid. And until they're willing to accept that mere financial translators can do a better job than they can, we'll not get much movement.
Selected response from:

RobinB
Germany
Local time: 07:59
Grading comment
Many thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2siehe unten
Ted Wozniak
2 +1s.u. (NFP)RobinB


  

Answers


51 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
siehe unten


Explanation:
Why the differences? Because the German term was originally used in DRS (where the was also an "official" English translation (often of dubious quality) and was later taken over when translating IFRS into German where the original English used a slightly different term.

DRS 15 translated it into English as "results of operations, financial position and net assets"

German Auditing standards translated it as "net assets, financial position and results of operations" in AuS 200 and the same way in AuS 400 in the sample scope paragraph for the auditor's report.

The German term was then used in the German IFRS in the following instances:

Framework for "financial position, performance and changes in financial position"

IAS 1 for "financial performance and financial position"

IAS 10 for "operating results and financial position"

IFRS 1 - for "financial position, financial performance and cash
flows"

So you can see that different English terms have been translated into the SAME German phrase.

In addition, auditing firms have their own boilerplate for the auditors statements and what KPMG uses in English, for example, may be slightly different from what Deloitte uses.

So what you have to do is translate it based on the specific context. If the reference is to a particluar IFRS/IAS, then use the term in the original English version of that IFRS. If it for the auditor's report, then use the AuS wording, if it is a HGB report, then you might want to use the DRS wording.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 55 mins (2007-03-18 19:22:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

And just to round things out, the Swiss FER/ARR translated the German term as "financial position, results of operations, and cash flows" in FER 2

Ted Wozniak
United States
Local time: 00:59
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 722
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you for your comments. Net assets has been driving me around the bend...I think I'll stick to ISA 700


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alison Schwitzgebel: you got there before me. the question came in just as i was about to get the four kids out of the bath and it's taken me this long to get back to my computer!
46 mins

agree  RobinB: Subject to my separate comments.
1 hr
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
s.u. (NFP)


Explanation:
There isn't enough space in the "Peer comments" box for my remarks on Ted's answer, so I'll give them here in a NFP reply.

Almost all occurrences of VFE-Lage in German financial statements and management reports refer, in fact, to the VFE-Lage for which the auditor's report is issued.

In its "wisdom", the IDW unfortunately opted for a completely dippy translation of VFE-Lage as "net assets, financial position and results of operations". This was due in part to translators with little knowledge of accounting and auditing, and to German accounting and auditing specialists with an exaggerated belief in their own command of English.

The use of "net assets" is stupid enough, because "net assets" are, of course, equity. Anybody with the slightest knowledge of accounting could have told the IDW that.

But translating Finanzlage as "financial position" is simply a higher form of crap. Finanzlage is, of course *changes* in financial position or "cash flows".

But why get it right when a literal translation will do?

When I was asked to revise the draft translation of DRS/GAS 15, one of the conditions was that the IDW translation of VFE-Lage be used, even though DRS/GAS 15 doesn't actually call it VFE-Lage, but EFV-Lage. Same difference, to be honest.

In exactly the same way that when I translated, revised and edited the fourth edition of Deutsches Bilanzrecht/German Accounting Legislation, use of the IDW's mistranslation of VFE-Lage was a must. Sometimes you can't win.... (though I am now discussing with the European Commission the possibility of them getting it right in an editorial amendment to the Transparency Directive. You never know, it might just work, especially as the Commission now agrees that "financial positgion" is actually the English equivalent of the German "Vermögenslage").

And to answer "tsb's" question "Warum nicht "financial position", "results of operations" and "cash flows" wie es in den Originalvermerken steht?

Because. Because if you translate it differently (specifically: if you translate it correctly) in the auditor's report, in 99 cases out of 100, the brain-dead German WP will insist on using the IDW's crappy translation. The most recent argument I heard on that score is that everything the IDW publishes is "berufsständig", so under the German principle that everything that's published is automatically correct, the translation is per se correct. Even if it's not.

We've got other battles to fight with our "I can English" opponents where we have a better chance of winning, I think.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 hrs (2007-03-19 07:21:29 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Well "tsb", thanks for the points, although my answer was actually provided on an NFP (not for points) basis.

As to your comments:
1) Of course net assets is gibberish. Unfortunately it's what the vast majority of German WPs will insist on seeing. I've discussed this issue with several dozen of them, and most are agreed that the "official" IDW translation is wrong. But their CYA attitude means that they won't do anything about it.
2) Been there, got the t-shirt. It's incredibly difficult to persuade German WPs that their command of English is less than perfect, I'm afraid. And until they're willing to accept that mere financial translators can do a better job than they can, we'll not get much movement.

RobinB
Germany
Local time: 07:59
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 909
Grading comment
Many thanks!
Notes to answerer
Asker: In other words, Vermögenslage = Financial position Finanzlage = Cash flows Ertragslage = Financial performance (or results of operations) But if you use this approach, you'll have a lot of explaining to do (i.e. use it at your own peril)! I just can't bring myself to use "net assets", as it is utter gibberish (imho).

Asker: Perhaps the IDW might like to adopt the approach used elsewhere, e.g. ISA 700 In our opinion, the financial statements give a true and fair view of (or “present fairly, in all material respects,”) the financial position of ABC Company as of December 31, 20X1, and of its financial performance and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards. Good luck!

Asker: Sorry to bother you again. I was just wondering whether you had received any feedback from the European Commission as to the use of financial position, performance and changes in financial position (cf. Kudoz list of March 18, 2007)?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Reinhard Wenzel: See link "Der Saldo der Vermögenslage wird als Reinvermögen bezeichnet" (net assets/net worth) see link http://www.ebs.de/fileadmin/redakteur/funkt.dept.accountin/A...
1 day4 hrs
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Changes made by editors
Mar 29, 2007 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Field (write-in)Finanzlage » (none)


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