ARCHIVE - Seminar│A New Presentation of Accounts│HAM2

The topic

Switzerland’s cantonal and municipal authorities are currently preparing to go through a second phase in the harmonisation of how they present their accounts and budgets. A first phase took place in the 1980s, but that harmonisation only affected the cantons and municipalities. An eagerness towards a further harmonisation has seized every institutional level in Switzerland, including the Confederation. In fact, the latter has already moved to the new presentation of accounts, as have most cantons and some municipalities.

The transformation is being prepared in the remaining cantons and communes. The Conference of the Cantonal Finance Directors published a manual presenting a new Harmonized Accounting Model (HAM2) in this matter. The manual comprises 21 technical standards which public authorities are recommended to implement in their legislation with the goal of instituting a better quality of reporting for their accounts and budgets.

The principal changes are as follows: a structure of financial statements that resembles that of the private sector, including a statement of financial performance (income statement), a statement of financial position (balance sheet), a cash-flow statement and the notes to the account; wider and more accurate accounting and valuation rules; a harmonised, more detailed and coherent chart of accounts for all Swiss public authorities; a consolidation of  accounts for subordinate entities. This reform will bring Swiss practices closer to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

The recommendations recommendations are meant to align the financial reporting of Switzerland’s public authorities with the true and fair view principle, and thus provide a more accurate picture of their financial situation. While HAM2 introduces some restrictive elements, it remains quite flexible: depreciation methods, ability to use extraordinary depreciation charges, thresholds for capitalisation, the scope of consolidation, etc. The leeway left to public authorities should allow them to find a solution adapted to their individual needs.

  • Provide participants with an understanding of the standards recommended by the new harmonized accounting model;
  • Apply the new standards practically, especially within their authorities;
  • Discuss the effects of the changes on public management and public policy.
Target audience

This seminar is aimed at all individuals who, whether at the policy level or at the administrative level, will have to:

  • contribute to the implementation of HAM2 in cantonal or communal administrations;
  • work on preparing accounts for public authorities;
  • work with public authorities’ accounts (the media, elected representatives, managers within the administration, etc.). 

Speakers 2021 (2022 tbc)

  • Martine Brunschwig Graf, Economist, former National Councilor and President of the Council of State, Geneva
  • Cécile Ecabert, Deputy to the Head of the Finance Department of the City of La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Evelyn Munier, Policy Officer, Public Finance Unit, IDHEAP
  • Nils Soguel, Professor, Public Finance Unit, IDHEAP
  • Sonja Ziehli, Financial administrator of the municipality of Seedorf
2022 program tbc
Teaching methods

Presentations, discussions, and practical computer-based exercises are combined to encourage active participation and to understand the course content. A variety of lecturers and speakers from outside IDHEAP will share their experiences and thoughts.


Les participant·e·s de nos précédents séminaires ont particulièrement apprécié ...

  • Les échanges d'idées, les informations issues de la pratique des participant·e·s et des intervenant·e·s;
  • L'apport d'applications concrètes sur le terrain et les possibilités de mettre en pratique rapidement les points abordés dans le séminaire;
  • L'ambiance très sympathique dans un esprit de partage; l'engagement du personnel de l'Institut et du professeur;
  • Le choix des thèmes traités et la documentation;
  • La qualité des intervenant·e·s; le bon équilibre entre participant·e·s du secteur public et du secteur privé; l'apprentissage d'éléments tels qu'ils sont mis en pratique dans les administrations publiques (ou tels qu'ils devraient être mis en pratique).

Indicateur de satisfaction des éditions précédentes



  • Conférence des directrices et directeurs cantonaux des finances-CDF (2008). Manuel Modèle comptable harmonisé pour les cantons et les communes MCH2. Berne : CDF.

  • Konferenz der kantonalen Finanzdirektorinen und Finanzdirektoren-FDK (2008). Handbuch Harmonisiertes Rechnungslegungsmodell für die Kantone und Gemeinden HRM2. Bern: CDF.

  • Soguel, N. (2020). Comprendre et gérer les finances de ma collectivité. Lausanne : EPFL Press


Participants will be awarded a certificate of continuing education for their active, regular attendance of the seminar. The certificate indicates that the course is worth 25 continuing professional education (CPE) credits and 32 hours of continuing education as recognised by EXPERTsuisse.

Registration fees
Practical information

Program management

Prof. Nils Soguel and Ms. Evelyn Munier

Date, time and place

The seminars take place on March 24th and 25th, 2022 (Thursday-Friday), and April 7th and 8th, 2022 (Thursday-Friday), from 9:15 am to 4:30 pm approximately, at IDHEAP.

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Prof. Nils Soguel
+41 21 692 68 50

Rue de la Mouline 28 - CH-1022 Chavannes-près-Renens
Tel. +41 21 692 68 00
Fax +41 21 692 68 09