Zertifikatslehrgang Swiss Law for Foreign Accountants

Current situation

The Swiss Federal Act on the Licensing and Oversight of Auditors (Audit Oversight Act, AOA) and the Ordinance on the Licensing and Oversight of Auditors (Audit Oversight Ordinance, AOO) entered into force on 1st September 2007. Article 3 AOA requires that individuals and audit companies be approved by the Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA) to provide audit services. To this end, the FAOA maintains a public register of licensed auditors (Art. 15, para. 2 AOA).

The requirements to be approved as an audit expert or auditor are set out in Article 4 of the AOA (training, professional practice, reputation). Also formulated there are the additional requirements for individuals who have completed their training abroad.
Individuals who have completed outside of Switzerland a training (including education and experience) that is comparable to Swiss qualifications may apply to the FAOA for approval and registration in the auditors' register. Among the conditions to the granting of such approval is the proof by the applicant that he/she possesses the required knowledge of Swiss Law.

The examination

According to articles 6 and 34 AOO, in their revised version with effect on October 2010, to prove such sufficient knowledge of Swiss law the applicants are required to pass an examination. The FAOA has delegated to EXPERTsuisse the organisation of the examination and approved the examination regulations prepared by EXPERTsuisse Ltd. Candidates will have the choice to take the examination in German, French, Italian or English. An additional exam is scheduled to take place on December 16th 2020. Information regarding the next session of November 2021 will be published at a later date.

The course

As a result of the modifications to articles 6 and 34 AOO candidates will no longer be required to follow any particular preparation course in order to take the examination. However, EXPERTsuisse continues to offer a course with the purpose of preparing the candidates to such examination. The course is conducted entirely in English and runs over four days. The next course is scheduled to take place in Berne in October/November 2021 in anticipation of the examination in November 2021.