Accounting policy under Polish regulations - all you need to know

Polityka rachunkowości

What is the accounting policy?

It organizes, systematizes, and simplifies the work of both accountants and the company as a whole-these are two of the most important reasons for creating a clear accounting policy

A definition of what this accounting policy is can be found in the Accounting Act, more precisely in Article 3(1) point.11. Sometimes treated only as a unnecessary obligation or another document needed for an audit by the auditor or other control bodies In fact, accounting policy is an essential part of the ledgers. The document must specify which principles have been selected by the entity and will be applied in a manner that ensures the quality of the financial statements.

Changes in accounting policy in Poland

Every company should, and indeed is required to, update its accounting policies when changes occur. The document should be accurate and reliable. This is to present as clear a picture as possible reflecting the assets and financial position of the entities.

The right to do so is created by the provisions of Article 8(2) of the Accounting Law, which states that regardless of the date of the decision, an entity may, with effect from the first day of the fiscal year, change the accounting principles applied until then to others provided for in the law.

The decision to change accounting principles can be made at any time, but its effects must be applied to the entire fiscal year, as there can be no situation in which two of the same economic events go through the accounting process differently due to a change in accounting principles in the tact of the fiscal year.

Who is required to maintain and apply the accounting policy under polish regulations?

Accounting policy is a business component required of any company regardless of its size. Each entity that keeps ledgers is required to have documentation describing in Polish the financial principles it has adopted.. This follows from Article 10 (1) of the Accounting Act.

The obligation to prepare accounting policies applies, among others, to entities with headquarters or place of management in the territory of the Republic of Poland, including:

  • commercial companies (partnerships and capital companies, including those in organization) and civil partnerships, subject to point 2, as well as other legal entities, with the exception of the State Treasury and the National Bank of Poland,
  • natural persons, civil partnerships of natural persons, general partnerships of natural persons and partnerships, if their net revenues from the sale of goods, products and financial operations for the previous fiscal year amounted to at least the equivalent in the Polish currency of EUR 2,000,000,
  • organizational units operating under the Banking Act, regulations on securities trading, regulations on investment funds, regulations on insurance and reinsurance activities, regulations on cooperative savings and credit unions or regulations on the organization and operation of pension funds, regardless of the size of revenues,
  • organizational units without legal personality, except for the companies referred to in points 1 and 2,
  • municipalities, poviats, voivodships and their associations,
  • branches and representative offices of foreign entrepreneurs within the meaning of the provisions of the Act of March 6, 2018 on the principles of participation of foreign entrepreneurs and other foreign persons in economic turnover on the territory of the Republic of Poland (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1252),
  • entities not listed above if they receive subsidies or subventions from the state budget, budgets of local government units or special purpose funds for the implementation of commissioned tasks.

Who signs the accounting policy?

Accounting policy is introduced:

  • by resolution of the board of directors (in the case of limited liability companies);
  • by resolution of shareholders (in partnerships);
  • by the owner’s decision in a company run by a natural person.

To make the accounting policy clear, some arrangements can be developed in the form of annexes to the resolution.

What should an accounting policy contain?

The accounting policy document should include necessary elements such as:

  • determination of the fiscal year and the reporting periods that comprise it-the fiscal year does not always have to coincide with the calendar year,
  • methods of valuation of assets and liabilities and determination of the financial result,
  • principles of documenting operations with accounting evidence,
  • method of keeping ledgers,
  • determination of the chart of accounts, in particular, the division of costs and revenues, the principles adopted for the classification of events, the principles of maintaining auxiliary books, their connection with the accounts of the general ledger,
  • principles of inventory of owned assets,
  • principles of valuation and depreciation of owned assets,
  • description of the data processing system, and when using computer systems – a description of the IT system, which includes a list of programs, procedures, functions,
  • description of the system for protecting data and its datasets, including accounting evidence or ledgers.

Penalty for lack of accounting policy in Poland

Practice often demonstrates that many companies do not have documentation in place describing their accounting policies, which can lead to negative consequences.

If the head of an entity (e.g., members of the board of directors of a limited liability company) fails to prepare an accounting policy in writing, he or she is subject to a fine or imprisonment for up to 2 years, or both. The most real form of penalty, however, is a financial penalty, often much higher than the fee for the office or law firm that handles the preparation of such documents.


Having an accounting policy is important not only for the entity itself, but also for the auditor, who, based on the documentation of the accounting policy, assesses the correctness of the bookkeeping, and also pays attention to the continuity of the accounting principles adopted. This is particularly important when comparing statements over the years. An expert auditor additionally verifies that the accounting principles adopted are reflected in practice and are applied by the entity.

Author: Izabela Chudzik, Accountant at MDDP Outsourcing.


Act of September 29, 1994 on accounting.