Certified Public Accountants (CPA / ACCA) in Turkey

accountants turkey

For foreign-capital companies planning to invest in Turkey, partnering with the right tax and accountants is paramount. This article introduces these key professionals in a clear and straightforward manner.

Categories of Certified Public Accountants in Turkey

Certified Public Accountants (Financial Advisors) in Turkey fall into two primary categories:

  1. Serbest Muhasebeci Mali Müşavir in Turkish (SMMM): Equivalent to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) in Turkey.
  2. Yeminli Mali Müşavir (YMM): Sworn-in Certified Public Accountants who hold a higher level of authority than SMMMs.

Is it Mandatory for Foreign Companies to Work with an SMMM in Turkey?

Yes, it is mandatory, particularly for the preparation and approval of tax declarations. This requirement can be fulfilled in one of two ways:

  1. Contracting an Independent SMMM: Hiring an SMMM through a contractual agreement.
  2. Employing an SMMM Directly: Hiring an SMMM as an in-house employee.

Is it Necessary for Foreign Companies to Engage a YMM in Turkey?

The necessity of working with a YMM depends on the specific circumstances of the company, such as its size determined by total assets, net sales, or the number of employees. A company might need to contract with a YMM for the following reasons:

  1. Approval of Tax Declarations: If certain criteria are met, a YMM must approve the Corporate Income Tax Return, Withholding Tax Return, and VAT declaration. In such cases, an SMMM cannot approve these tax declarations.
  2. Tax Certification: YMMs in Turkey are required to prepare tax certification reports for VAT and Corporate Income Tax based on specific criteria.
  3. Independent Audit: Depending on the criteria met, a company may be subject to an independent audit. Such audits can be performed by SMMMs or YMMs who hold an independent audit certificate.

Duties of Certified Public Accountants (SMMMs) in Turkey

Certified Public Accountants (SMMMs) in Turkey have a range of responsibilities, which include:

  1. Bookkeeping: Maintaining accurate records in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and relevant legislation.
  2. Financial Statement Preparation: Creating financial statements that accurately reflect the company’s financial position.
  3. Tax Declarations: Preparing and approving various tax declarations.
  4. Accounting Systems: Establishing and enhancing accounting systems for efficiency and compliance.
  5. Consultancy Services: Offering consultancy on business management, accounting, finance, and financial regulations.
  6. Examinations and Audits: Conducting detailed examinations, analyses, and audits.
  7. Tax Opinions: Providing written opinions on tax-related matters.
  8. Arbitration and Expert Witness Services: Acting as arbitrators, expert witnesses, and handling similar tasks.

These tasks can be carried out either by an independent SMMM under a contract with your company or by an SMMM employed directly by your company.

Duties of Sworn-in Certified Public Accountants (YMMs) in Turkey

Sworn-in Certified Public Accountants (YMMs) perform several critical functions, distinct from SMMMs, including:

  1. Financial Advisory Services: Performing duties similar to those of SMMMs, except for bookkeeping, which is prohibited for YMMs.
  2. Tax Certification: Conducting tax certification processes for legal entities and individuals, a responsibility unique to YMMs.

Detailed Overview of Duties and Responsibilities

Bookkeeping and Financial Statements

SMMMs are responsible for keeping accurate financial records that comply with GAAP and relevant Turkish legislation. They prepare comprehensive financial statements that provide a clear picture of the company’s financial health. These records and statements are critical for making informed business decisions and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Tax Declarations and Compliance

SMMMs prepare and approve tax declarations, ensuring that all filings are accurate and submitted on time. They help companies navigate complex tax regulations and take advantage of available deductions and credits. For larger companies or those meeting specific criteria, YMMs must approve these tax declarations to ensure an additional layer of scrutiny and compliance.

Establishing and Improving Accounting Systems

SMMMs play a vital role in setting up and enhancing accounting systems within a company. They ensure that these systems are efficient, comply with all legal requirements, and are capable of handling the company’s accounting needs as it grows.

Consultancy and Advisory Services

Both SMMMs and YMMs provide consultancy services on various aspects of business management, including accounting, finance, and compliance with financial regulations. This advisory role is crucial for companies looking to optimize their operations and ensure they are adhering to all relevant laws.

Examinations, Analyses, and Audits

SMMMs conduct detailed examinations and analyses of financial records to identify any discrepancies or areas for improvement. They also perform internal audits to ensure that the company’s financial practices are sound. For more rigorous oversight, YMMs can conduct independent audits, particularly for companies that are required to undergo such scrutiny due to their size or industry regulations.

Written Opinions on Tax Matters

SMMMs and YMMs provide written opinions on various tax issues, helping companies understand their tax obligations and plan accordingly. This guidance is invaluable for strategic planning and ensuring that the company remains compliant with all tax laws.

Arbitration and Expert Witness Services

In cases of financial disputes or legal proceedings, SMMMs and YMMs can serve as arbitrators or expert witnesses. Their expertise in financial matters makes them valuable resources in resolving disputes and providing testimony in court.

Specialized Services Provided by YMMs

YMMs, with their advanced qualifications and experience, offer specialized services that go beyond the scope of SMMMs. This includes tax certification for legal entities and individuals, ensuring that all tax-related matters are thoroughly reviewed and compliant with Turkish laws. Their involvement is particularly crucial for larger companies or those with complex financial structures.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Accounting Professional

Selecting the appropriate accounting professional is critical for the success of any foreign-capital company operating in Turkey. The right professional can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the complex Turkish tax and accounting landscape, ensuring compliance, and optimizing financial performance.

Benefits of Working with SMMMs

Working with SMMMs provides companies with comprehensive accounting and tax services, including bookkeeping, tax declarations, and financial consulting. They help businesses maintain accurate financial records, ensure compliance with all relevant laws, and provide strategic advice to optimize operations.

Advantages of Engaging YMMs

For companies that require a higher level of scrutiny and certification, engaging YMMs is essential. YMMs provide an additional layer of assurance through their tax certification and independent audit services. They are particularly beneficial for larger companies or those with complex financial needs.

Ensuring Compliance and Efficiency

By working with qualified SMMMs and YMMs, companies can ensure that they remain compliant with all Turkish tax and accounting regulations. These professionals help streamline financial processes, reduce the risk of penalties, and provide peace of mind that all financial matters are being handled accurately and efficiently.


Understanding the roles and responsibilities of Certified Public Accountants in Turkey is crucial for foreign-capital companies looking to invest and operate in the country. SMMMs and YMMs play vital roles in ensuring compliance, optimizing financial performance, and providing strategic advice. By choosing the right accounting professionals, companies can navigate the complex Turkish tax and accounting landscape with confidence, ensuring their success and growth in this dynamic market.

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