Typical examination route

The Professional Examination, held twice-yearly, comprises written and oral examinations. Written examinations, which are uniform throughout Germany, are held in February and August each year. The WiPrPrüfV [Wirtschaftsprüferprüfungsverordnung - Professional Examination Regulations] regulates the details of the examination procedures.

  • Professional examination requirements

    The content of the Wirtschaftsprüfer Professional Examination are stipulated in § [Article] 4 WiPrPrüfV [Wirtschaftsprüferprüfungsverordnung - Professional Examination Regulations].

    §§ [Articles] 4 and 7 WiPrPrüfV [Wirtschaftsprüferprüfungsverordnung - Professional Examination Regulations] (subjects and number of written examinations):

    • Assurance engagements, related services and financial reporting, business valuation and professional regulations
    • Applied business administration, economics
    • Business law
    • Tax law

    The joint WPK / IDW working party dealing with the reform of the Wirtschaftsprüfer Professional Examination has produced a document establishing the detailed content of the syllabus for each subject covered in the Professional Examination.

  • Abridged Professional Examination

    Candidates can be exempted from part(s) of the Professional Examination through accreditation of their professional qualification as Steuerberater (§ [Article] 13 WPO [Wirtschaftsprüferordnung - German Law Regulating the Profession of Wirtschaftsprüfer]) or vereidigter Buchprüfer (examinations pursuant to §13a WPO will no longer be held after 31 December 2009). These professional qualifications are acquired in state examinations and are recognised per se as equal to the requirements of the Professional Examination in the respective exempted subjects.
    In addition, as explained below, certain examination results gained during a university degree course may also be accredited, provided the achievements at university are equal to the requirements in the Professional Examination. This then leads to exemption from the written and oral examinations on the respective subject. Such accreditation is only permissible for two subjects: applied business administration/economics and commercial law.

    The WPO provides the following alternatives in this respect:

    • The successful completion of a master's degree programme accredited under § [Article] 8a WPO [Wirtschaftsprüferordnung - German Law Regulating the Profession of Wirtschaftsprüfer] exempts candidates from two subjects: applied business administration/economics and commercial law in the Professional Examination. These examinations are deemed per se to be equal. This means that the Professional Examination is limited to two subjects for each of which candidates have to sit two written examinations and an oral examination.
    • Under § [Article] 13b WPO [Wirtschaftsprüferordnung - German Law Regulating the Profession of Wirtschaftsprüfer], examination results achieved during a university degree course (e.g., a diploma, bachelor's, master's degree course or in a course concluded by a state examination) can be accredited provided the Examination Unit has determined their equivalency in terms of content, form and scope. §§7 et seq. Wirtschaftsprüfungsexamens-Anrechnungsverordnung (WPAnrV) [Professional Examination Accreditation Regulations] sets forth preconditions in respect of form and content for establishing equivalency and also regulates the procedure. Prior to the start of each semester universities may apply, in advance, to the Examination Unit for confirmation that the respective written and oral examinations they plan as accreditable are equal to those of the Professional Examination. In this way students can be sure, at an early stage, as to which of their degree examinations can be credited for the Professional Examination. Confirmation by a university is no substitute for a determination by the Examination Unit.

    The degree course relevant to such accreditation has to have been successfully completed no longer than six years prior to the date of admission to the Professional Examination. A list of the degree courses approved in accordance with § [Article] 13b WPO [Wirtschaftsprüferordnung - German Law Regulating the Profession of Wirtschaftsprüfer] is available on the WPK's website (www.wpk.de).

    An abridgement pursuant to § [Article] 13 WPO [Wirtschaftsprüferordnung - German Law Regulating the Profession of Wirtschaftsprüfer] (for German tax advisors) may be claimed together with an abridgement pursuant to §13b WPO (recognized equivalent examinations). An abridgement in accordance with §13 WPO is not relevant for the training route in accordance with §8a WPO (Recognition of University Degree Credentials, Statutory Regulations).

  • Examination Unit for the Professional Examination at the WPK [German Chamber of public accountants]

    Applications for admission to the Professional Examination have to be submitted to that WPK’s state office at which the examination candidate wishes to sit the written and oral examinations. The office chosen cannot be changed during the examination process. Written examinations, which are uniform throughout Germany, are held in February and August each year.

    The WPK's state offices can provide further information.