Saudi Arabia flag Saudi Arabia: Business Environment

Accounting and accounting rules in Saudi Arabia

Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The tax year is the State's fiscal year. A taxpayer's tax year begins on the date the taxpayer obtains a commercial registration or license, unless otherwise provided.
A taxpayer may use a different tax year in the following circumstances:
- the different year was approved by the Directorate before the effective date of the income tax regulations;
- the taxpayer uses a Gregorian financial year;
- the taxpayer is a member of a group of companies or a branch of a foreign company that uses a different financial year.
Accounting Standards
Saudi Arabia uses accounting standards issued by the Saudi Organisation for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA) which are fully compliant with IFRS. Saudi standards includes requirements on matters that are not covered by IFRS (such as Zakat or religious tax). SMEs currently use standards issued by SOCPA, however the transition to IFRS for SMEs is expected to take place in 2018.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Accounting Reports
The companies need to maintain their accounting reports, especially the balance sheet and the profit and loss account.
Publication Requirements
The balance sheet and profit and loss account need to be published every fiscal year. Many Saudi companies are making their financial reports available on the Internet.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
SOCPA , Saudi Organisation for Certified Public Accountants
Certification and Auditing
Only licensed auditors, recognised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry can perform auditing in Saudi Arabia.

The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) is an Islamic international autonomous non-profit corporate body that prepares accounting, auditing, governance, ethics and Sharia standards for Islamic financial institutions and the industry.

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Latest Update: July 2024