Benin

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate

  Ordre des Experts-Comptables et Comptables Agréés du Bénin

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The corporate financial framework of Benin is determined by legislation issued by two regional bodies: The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA). Legislation issued at the regional level by WAEMU and OHADA has a significant impact on the legal and regulatory framework for commercial entities, banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies in Benin as well as on the accountancy profession. Benin, as a member of the two regional groups, harmonizes national laws with directives issued at the regional level.

    OHADA and WAEMU are responsible for the development of member countries’ accounting standards while Member States are required to establish a Conseil National de la Comptabilité (CNC) with responsibility for implementation of accounting and auditing directives at the national level. The WAEMU Treaty gives responsibility to the WAEMU Council to set the accounting standards to be applied by the member states. In accordance with the WAEMU Regulation No. 3/97/CM/UEMOA, the WAEMU delegated its accounting standard-setting activities to the Conseil Comptable Ouest Africain (CCOA), which in turn now adopts the OHADA standards for application in the WAEMU member states.

    Accounting Framework

    In January 2017, the Commission de Normalisation Comptable de l’OHADA (CNC)-OHADA, established in 2009 through an OHADA Uniform Act, adopted the OHADA Uniform Act on Accounting and Financial Information (AUDCIF) to update the previous OHADA Uniform Act on Organizing and Harmonizing Company Accounting Systems 2/2000. The previous Act had outlined the OHADA Accounting System and applicable standards—known as SYSCOHADA.

    The OHADA AUDCIF revised the SYSCOHADA, namely the OHADA general accounting plan, as well as the consolidated and combined accounting rules to serve as a single accounting reference in all OHADA member states. The OHADA AUDCIF became effective on January 1, 2018 for individual accounts and on January 1, 2019 for consolidated accounts. The SYSCOHADA continue to differ from the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and are generally applied by small and medium-sized entities (SMEs); however, the AUDCIF now requires that listed companies and companies seeking financing in a public capital market apply IFRS in consolidated statements. All other companies are permitted but not required to use IFRS.

    Auditing Framework

    The OHADA Uniform Act Relating to Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups 4/1997 (revised January 2014) stipulates that statutory audits are mandatory for all public companies, limited liability companies (LLCs) and partnerships that exceed one of these three thresholds: (i) total balance sheet in excess of CFA franc 125 million; (ii) sales volume greater than CFA franc 250 million; or (iii) more than 50 permanent employees with a total balance sheet in excess of CFA franc 250 million and sales volume of CFA franc 500 million. Banking and insurance legislations also require mandatory audits of banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies.

    Audit standard-setting at the regional level is determined by WAEMU Regulation No. 01/2009/CM/UEMOA of 2009, which established the Council of the Chartered Accountants Profession (le Conseil Permanent de la Profession Comptable, CPPC). The CPPC is responsible for defining auditing, ethics, and quality control standards for the WAEMU member states.

    However, in June 2017, the OHADA issued Regulation No. 01/2017/CM/OHADA Pratiques Professionelles de la Comptabilité et de l’Audit dans les pays membres de l’OHADA to harmonize regional auditing standards with international best practice. The regulation, effective from January 1, 2018, states that all audits must be conducted in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) as issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). Therefore, ISA as issued by IAASB are effective in Benin as of the date of the assessment.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    Chartered Accountants in Benin are regulated at the regional level by West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No. 12/2000/CM/UEMOA. Benin, as a member country of the WAEMU, must apply the regional requirements. The Ordre des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agréés du Benin (OECCA-Benin) was established by Law No. 2004-03 of 2006 as the national professional accountancy organization (PAO) responsible for regulating Chartered Accountants, the only professionals permitted to offer public accounting and auditing services, within the jurisdiction.

    WAEMU Regulation No. 12/2000/CM/UEMOA introduced the Degree in Accounting and Finance (DECOFI) and the Higher Education Degree in Accounting and Financial Management (DESCOGEF) as requisites to practice in any WAEMU country. The DESCOGEF is for the Certified Accountant title and is received after a one year “Comprehensive Theoretical and Technical Training” program at an institution accredited by the Regional Commission for the Formation of the Accounting and Financial Experts (CREFECF), an external body recognized by WAEMU. Subsequently, to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, DESCOGEF-holders are eligible to complete a three-year internship under the supervision of a professionally qualified accountant. Individuals complete two years in an audit firm and one year in an accounting firm. Finally, individuals with an internship certificate must pass a final examination leading to the DECOFI and Chartered Accountant qualification. The final examinations are also overseen by the CREFECF. The title of Chartered Accountants is only granted to those registered by a PAO in WAEMU countries.

    Additionally, WAEMU Regulation No. 01/2009/CM/UEMOA of 2009 grants the Conseil Permanent de la Profession Comptable (CPPC) the responsibility for defining auditing, ethical, and quality control standards. The CPPC has yet to adopt these standards and has recommended that PAOs within member states pursue the adoption and implementation of quality assurance (QA) systems and quality control standards at a national level. Furthermore, in June 2017, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) issued Regulation No. 01/2017/CM/OHADA Pratiques Professionelles de la Comptabilité et de l’Audit dans les pays membres de l’OHADA to harmonize regional auditing and ethical standards with international best practice.

    In Benin, OECCA-Benin is responsible for: (i) maintaining a register of Chartered Accountants and Certified Accountants; (ii) approving membership applications and licensing qualified members to practice; (iii) ensuring compliance with technical and professional standards; (iv) establishing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system; (v) implementing initial professional development requirements; (vi) setting continuing professional development requirements; and (vii) monitoring conduct and performance of members, including quality assurance reviews of all audits and services carried out by members.

    Law No. 2004-03 of 2006 stipulates that Chartered Accountants and Certified Accountants, the two regulated categories of professional accountants in Benin, must be members of OECCA-Benin. Chartered Accountants must (i) obtain one of two professional certifications recognized by the government, that is, the regional DECOFI described above or hold the Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts-Comptables (CSOEC-French institute) and (ii) complete 48 hours of CPD annually.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    There is no independent audit oversight authority in Benin.

    Auditors are first regulated at the regional level by WAEMU Regulation No. 12/2000/CM/UEMOA, which introduced the Degree in Accounting and Finance (DECOFI) as a mandatory qualification for Chartered Accountants, who are the only individuals permitted to publicly practice auditing in WAEMU countries. The WAEMU Conseil Permanent de la Profession Comptable (CPPC) is responsible for defining auditing, ethics, and quality control standards based on WAEMU Regulation No. 01/2009/CM/UEMOA. However, the CPPC has yet to adopt these standards and has recommended that professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) within member states pursue the adoption and implementation of quality assurance (QA) review systems and quality control standards at a national level.

    Furthermore, in June 2017, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) issued Regulation No. 01/2017/CM/OHADA Pratiques Professionelles de la Comptabilité et de l’Audit dans les pays membres de l’OHADA to harmonize regional auditing standards with international best practice. The regulation, effective from January 1st, 2018, states that all audits must be conducted in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) as issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). Further, the regulation states that effective from January 1, 2018, professional accountants in OHADA member states must adhere to the OHADA Code of Ethics, which is based on the 2015 IESBA Code of Ethics, as well as the relevant parts of the OHADA Uniform Act on Accounting Law and Financial Information (AUDCIF).

    At the national level, auditors are regulated by the Ordre des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agréés du Benin (OECCA-Benin) in accordance with Law 2004-03 of 2006. OECCA-Benin is responsible for: (i) maintaining a register of Chartered Accountants and Certified Accountants; (ii) approving membership applications and licensing qualified members to practice; (iii) ensuring compliance with technical and professional standards; (iv) establishing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system; (v) implementing initial professional development requirements; (vi) setting continuing professional development requirements; and (vii) monitoring conduct and performance of members, including quality assurance reviews of all audits and services carried out by members.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    Ordre des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agréés du Benin (OECCA-Benin)

    The OECCA-Benin was established by Law No. 2004-03 of 2006 and it is the only legally recognized professional accountancy organization in Benin. Its membership comprises Certified Accountants and Chartered Accountants. Membership in the institute is mandatory and only Chartered Accountants registered with OECCA-Benin are permitted to offer audit services.

    OECCA-Benin is responsible for: (i) maintaining a register of Chartered Accountants and Certified Accountants; (ii) approving membership applications and licensing qualified members to practice; (iii) ensuring compliance with technical and professional standards; (iv) establishing an investigative and disciplinary system; (v) implementing initial professional development requirements; (vi) setting continuing professional development requirements; and (vii) monitoring conduct and performance of members, including quality assurance reviews of all audits and services carried out by members.

    OECCA-Benin is actively involved in the regional standard-setting bodies. The institute’s president chairs the Conseil Permanent de la Profession Comptable (CPPC), the regional auditing standard-setter.

    In addition to being an Associate member of IFAC, OECCA-Benin is a member of the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa, the Fédération Internationale des Experts-Comptables Francophones, and a founding member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants.

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    At the regional level, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No. 01/2009/CM/UEMOA authorizes le Conseil Permanent de la Profession Comptable (CPPC) to establish a quality assurance (QA) review system. Draft regulation establishing this requirement was finalized by the Council of Ministers of the WAEMU in 2014. However, due to delays the CPPC has recommended that professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) within member states pursue the adoption and implementation of QA systems and quality control standards at a national level.

    Furthermore, in June 2017, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) issued Regulation No. 01/2017/CM/OHADA Pratiques Professionelles de la Comptabilité et de l’Audit dans les pays membresde l’OHADA mandating PAOs within OHADA member states, which includes Benin, to develop and implement QA review systems.

    The Ordre des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agréés du Benin (OECCA-Benin) approved internal regulations in 2014 establishing a QA review system for its members. The implementation of the QA review system has been delayed until 2021 due to resource allocations although the institute has taken steps in the interim to establish a QA Committee and obtain assessments and understandings on how members are implementing quality control standards. OECCA-Benin has declared its commitment to operationalize its QA system in line with the requirements of SMO 1 when it carries out its first round of compulsory QA reviews in 2021.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    Chartered Accountants in Benin are first regulated at the regional level by West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No. 12/2000/CM/UEMOA. Benin, as a member country of the WAEMU, must apply the regional requirements at the national level. he Ordre des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agréés du Benin (OECCA-Benin) was established by Law No. 2004-03 of 2006 as the national professional accountancy organization (PAO) responsible for regulating professionals within the jurisdiction.

    As noted, WAEMU Regulation No. 12/2000/CM/UEMOA introduced the Degree in Accounting and Finance (DECOFI) and the Higher Education Degree in Accounting and Financial Management (DESCOGEF) as requisites to practice in any WAEMU country. The DESCOGEF qualification is for the Certified Accountant designation and is received after one year “Comprehensive Theoretical and Technical Training” program at an institution accredited by the Regional Commission for the Formation of the Accounting and Financial Experts (CREFECF), an external body recognized by WAEMU. Subsequently, to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, DESCOGEF-holders are eligible to complete a three-year internship that must be verified by a professionally qualified accountant. Individuals complete two years in an audit firm and one year in an accounting firm under the supervision of a qualified Chartered Accountant. Finally, individuals with an internship certificate must pass a final examination leading to the DECOFI and Chartered Accountant qualification. The final examinations are also overseen by the CREFECF. The title of Chartered Accountants is only granted to those registered by a PAO in WAEMU countries. These are also the only individuals permitted to conduct audits.

    At the national level, OECCA-Benin has determined that professionals that satisfy the regional educational requirements or hold the Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des either Experts-Comptables (CSOEC-French institute) qualification may join the institute and use the title of Chartered Accountant. According to the Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes (CNCC) and Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts-Comptables (CSOEC), the DEC qualification is aligned with the 2019 IES requirements.

    The OECCA-Benin has also set a CPD requirement whereby all members must complete 48 hours of CPD per year, which meets the recommended input-based approach of 120 hours in a three-period outlined in IES 7.

    It is not clear from the available information if the regional IPD requirements align with the 2019 IES requirements. Moreover, within the OHADA there is a Chartered Accountant Diploma and curriculum reform under consideration that would enable accountancy education (IES 1–4) to align with the IES requirements.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    The Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) Uniform Act Relating to Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups 4/1997 (revised January 2014) stipulates that statutory audits are mandatory for all public companies and limited liability companies (LLCs) that exceed determined thresholds. Banking and insurance legislations also require mandatory audits of banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies.

    In June 2017, the OHADA issued Regulation No. 01/2017/CM/OHADA Pratiques Professionelles de la Comptabilité et de l’Audit dans les pays membresde l’OHADA to harmonize regional auditing standards with international best practice. The regulation states that effective from January 1, 2018, all audits in member states, which includes Benin, must be conducted in accordance with ISA as issued by the IAASB.

    OECCA-Benin indicates that in the jurisdiction the regional requirement is in force and that ISA are effective as issued by the IAASB.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    At the regional level, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No. 01/2009/CM/UEMOA grants authority to the Conseil Permanent de la Profession Comptable (CPPC) to determine ethical requirements for member states. Since CPPC has yet to establish the ethical requirements, Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) issued Regulation No. 01/2017/CM/OHADA Pratiques Professionelles de la Comptabilité et de l’Audit dans les pays membresde l’OHADA to harmonize regional ethical requirements with international best practice.

    The regulation states that effective from January 1, 2018, professional accountants in OHADA member states must adhere to the OHADA Code of Ethics, which is based on the 2015 IESBA Code of Ethics and complemented by the ethical requirements related to the external auditor as contained in the OHADA Uniform Act on Accounting Law and Financial Information (AUDCIF).

    At the national level, Law No. 2004-03 requires the Ordre des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agréés du Benin (OECCA-Benin) to ensure that its members adhere to established ethical standards and authorizes the institute to establish its own ethical code. Having first issued its Code of Ethics in 2009, in 2012, the OECCA-Benin issued a revised Code of Ethics for its members to align with the French translation of the 2009 IESBA Code of Ethics. OECCA-Benin has since reviewed and revised its Code to align with the OHADA Code of Ethics. In 2020, the institute states it is considering how it can adopt the NOCLAR standard issued in 2017 by the IESBA.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    At the regional level, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No.09/2009/CM/UEMOA establishes public sector accounting standards for member states of the WAEMU, which includes Benin. Article 6 of that directive indicates that the government’s general accounting should be based on IPSAS. OECCA-Benin reports that the regulation has undergone revisions to integrate a significant number of IPSAS. The revised standards were finalized in November 2018 by the West African Accounting Council and will be subject to the review of the WAEMU in 2020.

    At the national level, the government of Benin continues to apply the “Comptabilité publique,” the public sector standards issued by WAEMU in 2011 and are accrual-basis standards that differ from IPSAS.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    At the regional level, the World Bank is supporting the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) in the development of an I&D system for its member states. There is no further information available currently on the status of a regional I&D system. The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) will adopt the OHADA system for its member states. There are provisions within the OHADA’s Uniform Act on Accounting Law and Financial Information (AUDCIF) that stipulate sanctions for non-compliance with the Act and these have been transposed into legislation at the national law.

    Furthermore, at the national level, Law No. 2004-03 grants authority to the Ordre des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agréés du Benin (OECCA-Benin) to establish I&D procedures for its members.

    The procedures outline initiation of proceedings, sanctions, and administrative procedures. The institute has a Disciplinary Board, which may receive and investigate complaints and recommend sanctions to the institute’s Council. The Council may impose the following disciplinary measures: warning, reprimand with or without record, and temporary suspension of license. Depending on the severity of the case, the Council may refer the complaint to its National Chamber of Discipline, which may impose: loss of professional designation, removal of practicing rights, and exclusion from membership. The National Chamber also serves as an appeal body for decisions made by the Council. For appeals resulting from decisions made by the National Chamber, individuals refer to the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court.

    OECCA-Benin conducted a self-assessment of its I&D system against the SMO 6 requirements and identified gaps in the initiation of proceedings (i.e. an information-based approach and linkage to QA reviews).

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    The corporate financial framework of Benin is determined by legislation issued by two regional bodies: The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA). Benin, as a member of the two regional groups, harmonizes national laws with directives issued at the regional level.

    In January 2017, the Commission de Normalisation Comptable de l’OHADA (CNC)-OHADA, established in 2009 through an OHADA Uniform Act, adopted the OHADA Uniform Act on Accounting and Financial Information (AUDCIF) to update the previous OHADA Uniform Act on Organizing and Harmonizing Company Accounting Systems 2/2000. The previous Act had outlined the OHADA Accounting System and applicable standards—known as SYSCOHADA.

    The OHADA AUDCIF revised the SYSCOHADA, namely the OHADA general accounting plan, as well as the consolidated and combined accounting rules to serve as a single accounting reference in all OHADA member states. The OHADA AUDCIF became effective on January 1, 2018 for individual accounts and on January 1, 2019 for consolidated and combined accounts. The SYSCOHADA continue to differ from the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and are generally applied by small and medium-sized entities (SMEs); however, the AUDCIF now requires that listed companies and companies seeking financing in a public capital market to apply IFRS in consolidated statements. All other companies are permitted but not required to use IFRS.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

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Methodology

Methodology
Last updated: 07/2020
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