Access to the Profession

The appointment as Wirtschaftsprüfer (auditor) requires the successful completion of an examination (§ 15 WPO). This means first of all the regular Wirtschaftsprüfer examination (professional examination) (§§ 5 et seq., 12 et seq. WPO).

The Wirtschaftsprüferkammer (WPK) has been responsible for the examination procedure since 1 January 2004. WPK established an "Examination Unit for the Professional Examination at the Wirtschaftsprüferkammer" (Examination Unit). The unit acts autonomously. WPK’s regional offices support the work of the unit.

The Wirtschaftsprüfer examination (professional examination) is held twice a year in a nationwide standardized manner. It consists of a written and an oral part. The papers in the written part are selected by the Task Commission, which is comprised of a representative of a federal state (chair), the head of the Examination Unit, and representatives of the profession, academia, the business world, fiscal administration and lawyers.

The examination generally takes place at the WPK regional offices. Applications for admission to the examination should be sent to the regional offices.

Entrance paths for university graduates are shown on the table below:

§ 8 WPO§ 8a WPO§ 13b WPO
University Studies
(usually Bachelor's Degree)
University Studies
Individual exams are credited in the WPK Examination
Practical Training (Employment)Practical Training (Employment)
After at least
8 semesters of regular studies:
at least 3 years of work experience
After fewer than 8 semesters of regular studies:
at least 4 years of work experience
6 months of practical training (work experience), including 3 months of audit experienceAfter at least
8 semesters of regular studies:
at least 3 years of work experience
After fewer than 8 semesters of regular studies:
at least 4 years of work experience
For auditors / audit firms or other auditing institutions, including at least 2 years of audit experienceMaster's studies
"Auditing"
For auditors / audit firms or other auditing institutions, including at least 2 years of audit experience
 WP examination (shortened)  
WP examinationAt least 2 years of work experience/auditsWP examination (shortened)
Appointment as auditor by WPK

Regular Auditor Examination (Wirtschaftsprüfer examination)

Applicants who cannot be admitted to the aptitude test as Wirtschaftsprüfer according to Part Nine of WPO must take the regular professional examination in order to be appointed as Wirtschaftsprüfer. Additional information on this examination may be found in the "Information Guide of the Examination Unit for the Auditor Exam at the Wirtschaftsprüferkammer for the Examination as Wirtschaftsprüfer" (in German).

Admission

The applicant has to submit documents (§ 1 Auditor Examination Directive (WiPrPrüfV)). All documents are to be submitted in German. Based on these documents, the Examination Unit decides on the admission of the applicant to the examination.

Admission is independent of the nationality of the applicant.

Shortened Examination

There are different ways to shorten the professional examination (§ 6 Auditor Examination Directive in connection with §§ 13 to 13b WPO). Probably most relevant in this context: Applicants who have already passed the German Tax Advisor (Steuerberater) examination can waive Tax Law.

The application for admission to the Wirtschaftsprüfer Examination is to be made at one of the regional offices of the WPK.

Staging of the Examination

The examination is held in German only.

Written Examination (§ 7 para. 2 WiPrPrüfV):

  • 2 tests "Financial Auditing, Company Valuation and Professional Statutes"
  • 2 tests "Applied Business Administration, Economics"
  • 1 test "Business Law"
  • 2 tests "Tax Law"

Oral Examination (§ 15 WiPrPrüfV):

  • Short Presentation
  • 2 examination sections "Financial Auditing, Company Valuation and Professional Statutes"
  • 1 examination section "Applied Business Administration, Economics"
  • 1 examination section "Business Law"
  • 1 examination section "Tax Law"

Examination Dates* per year: 2

  • 1st Examination date:
    Written exams in February, oral exams in May/June
  • 2nd Examination date:
    Written exams in August, oral exams in November/December

 *) The Examination Unit has the right to amend the scheduling of these dates, should this become necessary for organizational reasons.

Downloads

  • "Information Guide of the Examination Unit for the Auditor Exam at the Wirtschaftsprüferkammer for the Examination as Wirtschaftsprüfer" - in German (PDF 193 KB)

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