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Exemption from the obligation to carry out quality control of auditors and auditing firms

According to §§ 57a paragraph 1 sentence 1 and 130 paragraph 3 of the Wirtschaftsprüferordnung (WPO), auditors and sworn accountants in their own practice or auditing firms are obliged to undergo quality control if they intend to carry out statutory audits.
They can only be effectively appointed as statutory auditors if they have a certificate of participation or exemption in accordance with Section 319 (1) sentence 3 of the German Commercial Code (HGB).

In order to avoid hardship traps, the competent body may, upon request, exempt from the obligation to carry out quality control and grant a temporary derogation. According to § 8 (2) of the Articles of Association, an exemption permit for quality control can be granted with effect for the future for a maximum of three years.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the Chamber of Auditors.

This procedure can also be carried out through a "Point of Single Contact". The "Point of Single Contact" is a special service offered by municipalities and the state for service providers.


  • Need for exemption
    • The need for the granting of an exemption is given if there is an obligation to carry out a quality control in accordance with § 57a para. 1 sentence 1 of the Wirtschaftsprüferordnung (WPO) and no certificate of participation in the quality control has been issued. This is the case if it is credibly demonstrated that it is intended to carry out statutory audits.
  • Hardship
    • A case of hardship exists when the public interest in carrying out the quality control must take precedence over the interest of the applicant to be able to carry out statutory audits without having to have carried out a quality control beforehand. This is the case where the obligation to carry out quality control would impose a disproportionate burden on the applicant.

Which documents are required?

Documents may be required. Please contact the competent authority.

What are the fees?

Fees are charged in accordance with the scale of fees of the competent authority.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Deadlines may have to be observed. Please contact the competent authority.

Processing duration

Processing Time: 3 Months
§ 4b Wirtschaftsprüferordnung (WPO)

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)