BACH Working Group
ECB Statistics Paper Series (SPS): The bank for the accounts of companies harmonized (BACH) database
Available free of charge at https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpsps/ecbsp11.en.pdf
The Bank for the Accounts of Companies Harmonized (BACH) is a free-of-charge database containing the aggregated accounting data of non-financial incorporated enterprises for, so far, 11 European countries. While the individual accounts feeding the database were originally prepared in line with national accounting standards consistent with European Accounting Directives, they have been harmonised with a view to preserving, to the greatest extent possible, the cross-country comparability of the resulting data. This article presents the methodology underpinning BACH, including the content of the database. It describes the characteristics of national samples and outlines the harmonisation process. BACH is a unique tool for analysing and comparing the financial structure and performance of firms across European countries. A simple case study is also presented in support.