Guide to business in Spain Guía de negocios en España


7. Requirements concerning disclosures in the notes to the financial statements

7. Requirements concerning disclosures in the notes to the financial statements

The Spanish Commercial Code states that the notes to the financial statements must complete, expand upon and discuss the contents of the other documents that make up the financial statements.

The minimum disclosure requirements are specified in the very wording of the Revised Spanish Corporate Enterprises Law, in the Spanish National Chart of Accounts, and in the Standards for the Preparation of Consolidated Financial Statements, all of which indicate that the notes to the financial statements form an integral part of the financial statements.

In response to the relative importance that the principle of fair presentation has in accounting legislation, there is a large number of disclosures to be included in the notes to the financial statements. Among other disclosures, the notes to the separate financial statements must at least contain, in addition to the disclosures specifically provided for in the Commercial Code, the Corporate Enterprises Law and the related implementing legislation, the following information:

  • The measurement bases applied to the various items in the financial statements and the methods used for calculating valuation adjustments.
  • The name, registered office and legal form of the companies of which the company is a general partner or in which it holds, directly or indirectly, an ownership interest of not less 20%, or in which, even if this percentage is lower, it exercises significant influence.
  • The percentage of ownership of the share capital and the percentage of voting power held must be indicated, together with the amount of the equity in the investee's last business year.
  • Where there are several classes of shares, the number and par value of each class.
  • The existence of "rights" bonds, convertible debentures and similar securities or rights, indicating the number of each and the scope of the rights that they confer.
  • The amount of the company's borrowings with a residual life of more than five years, and the amount of all the liabilities for which there is a security interest, indicating their form and nature. These disclosures must be shown separately for each liability item.
  • The overall amount of the guarantee commitments to third parties, without prejudice to their recognition on the liability side of the balance sheet when it is probable that they will give rise to the effective settlement of an obligation.
  • The pension obligations and those relating to group companies must be disclosed with due clarity and separation.

Guide to business in Spain

Annex III. Accounting and audit issues


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