Cameroon

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Institute of Chartered Accountants of Cameroon

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    Cameroon is one of seventeen member states of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), a regional group in Africa aimed at promoting economic growth and development. Legislation issued at the regional level by OHADA has a significant impact on the legal and regulatory framework for commercial entities, banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies in Cameroon as well as on the accountancy profession.

    OHADA sets common business regulations for its member states, including accounting standards, adopts unified commercial laws and other legislative norms that, once adopted, become domestic laws in its member states.

    The OHADA Uniform Act Relating to Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups 4/1997 (revised January 2014) and OHADA Uniform Act Organizing and Harmonizing Company Accounting Systems 2/2000 stipulate accounting reporting requirements for its members. In 2001, OHADA mandated the use of the OHADA Accounting System, which is not similar to IFRS. The OHADA Accounting System is a three-tier system that obligates companies to prepare full or abridged financial statements depending on their size and provides the basic legal framework for accounting. With the assistance of the World Bank, OHADA is currently in the process of revising the OHADA Acts in order to converge the OHADA Accounting System with the IFRS and IFRS for SMEs. As of 2016, a new Uniform Act on accounting standards is being finalized and submitted to the Council of Ministers for review. The new Act is expected to introduce IFRS for public interest entities as well as a revised OHADA Accounting System for Small and Medium Enterprises. As an OHADA member state, Cameroon is required to establish a Conseil National de la Comptabilité which is responsible for adopting and implementing at the national level the accounting and auditing directives issued by OHADA.

    Banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies are governed by sector-specific accounting plans. Banks are regulated by the Bank of Central African States and its Banking Commission. The COBAC Chart of Accounts is not in line with IFRS and regulations do not require that banks make their audited financial statements public. Insurance companies are required to apply accounting standards outlined in the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets (CIMA) Code 1992, that is, the CIMA Accounting Chart which differs significantly from IFRS. Finally, listed entities must comply with OHADA standards.

    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 and limited liability companies (LLCs) that exceed one of these three thresholds: (i) share capital in excess of CFA franc 10 million; (ii) sales volume greater than CFA franc 250 million; or (iii) more than 50 permanent employees. Banking and insurance legislations also require mandatory audits of banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies. Article 695 of the OHADA No. Act 4/1997 requires the financial statements to be audited by a statutory auditor. Only professional accountants registered by a professional institute in the community as Public Accountants may perform the duties of a statutory auditor. The Act does not specify auditing standards that must be applied. With assistance from the World Bank, OHADA envisions the adoption of a new OHADA Uniform Act Relating to Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups of April 17, 1997 that stipulates auditing standards.

    In the absence of legal adoption of auditing standards at the regional level, the Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Cameroon has adopted the French translation of Clarified ISA for application by its members in 2015.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), a regional organization of which Cameroon is a member state, was established to promote sub-regional integration. In 2001, the Council of Ministers of CEMAC created the requirement to establish professional accountancy organizations in all the member states to further harmonize the regulation of the accounting profession.

    CEMAC sets entry requirements for the accounting profession. All members of the accountancy bodies in the CEMAC region must be accredited and authorized to practice based on set criteria by the CEMAC. In line with this requirement, only professional accountants registered by a professional institute in the community as Public Accountants may perform the duties of a statutory auditor.

    At a national level, Law No. 85/11 1985 establishes the Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Cameroon (ONECCA-Cameroon) as the body responsible for the regulation of the accountancy profession. Law No. 2011/009 reiterates the CEMAC entry requirement and stipulates that candidates for membership to ONECCA-Cameroon must hold a professional accounting diploma recognized by the State of Cameroon, complete three years of practical experience, and pass examinations organized by ONECCA-Cameroon. In partnership with INTEC-Paris (Institut national des techniques économiques et comptables (National Institute of Economic and Accounting Techniques)), ONECCA-Cameroon has established INTEC-ONECCA within Cameroon as a center of higher education that delivers accounting qualifications based on course of study. Individuals can obtain a French Diploma in Management and Accounting, a Higher Degree of Management and Accounting, or a Chartered Accountancy Degree (DEC). In accordance with Law No. 2011/009, accountants must be members of ONECCA-Cameroon in order to practice. Only members who hold a DEC qualification or equivalent are permitted to conduct audits in Cameroon.

    In 2014, ONECCA-Cameroon established requirements at the national level whereby individuals with foreign qualifications must pass an examination set by ONECCA-Cameroon specifically on the business regulatory framework in Cameroon. Furthermore, since Cameroon is a member of the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa, an Accounting Technician qualification from a member state is regionally recognized in Cameroon.

    The institute’s functions are to: (i) license practicing accountants and maintain a register of practicing accountants; (ii) set and maintain initial professional development requirements; (iii) set and monitor compliance with continuous professional development requirements; (iv) promote and implement international accounting standards; (v) establish and implement quality control standards and a quality assurance review system; (vi) establish an investigation and discipline system for its members; (vii) set ethical requirements for members; and (viii) establish auditing standards in the absence of regional standards.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    The audit profession is self-regulated and is not subject to an independent audit oversight authority.

    Auditors are regulated at both the regional and national level. The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), a regional organization of which Cameroon is a member state, was established to promote sub-regional integration. In December 2001, the Council of Ministers of the CEMAC countries set entry requirements for the profession. All members of the accountancy bodies in the CEMAC region must be accredited and authorized to practice based on set criteria by the CEMAC. In line with this requirement only professional accountants registered by a professional institute in the community as Public Accountants may perform the duties of a statutory auditor.

    Auditors are also regulated at the national level by the Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Cameroon (ONECCA-Cameroon) in accordance with Law No. 85/11. Under Law No. 2011/009, membership to ONECCA-Cameroon is mandatory and only Chartered Accountants are permitted to practice auditing. The institute’s functions are: (i) license practicing auditors and maintain a register of practicing auditors; (ii) promote and implement international auditing standards; (iii) establish and implement quality control standards and a quality assurance review system; (iv) establish an investigation and discipline system for its members; and (v) set ethical requirements for the members.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    The Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Cameroon (ONECCA-Cameroon) was established in 1985 under the Law No. 85/11. In accordance with Law No. 2011/009, membership to ONECCA-Cameroon is mandatory for Charted Accountants. ONECCA-Cameroon’s membership comprises of Chartered Accountants and Accounting Technicians. The institute’s functions are to: (i) license practicing accountants and maintain a register of practicing accountants; (ii) set and maintain initial professional development requirements; (iii) set and monitor compliance with continuous professional development requirements; (iv) promote and implement international accounting standards; (v) establish and implement Quality Control standards and a quality assurance review system; (vi) establish an investigative and disciplinary system for its members; (vii) set ethical requirements for members; and (viii) establish auditing standards in the absence of regional standards.

    In addition to being a member of IFAC, ONECCA-Cameroon is a member of the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa, the Pan African Federation of Accounting, and the International Federation of Francophone Accountants.

  • Projects or Other Information

    Since 2012, the World Bank has been working on the implementation of a project to provide assistance to the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) in order to improve the investment climate within the OHADA member countries. The project aims at improving corporate financial reporting through the update of the OHADA Uniform Act Organizing and Harmonizing Company Accounting Systems of February 22, 2000, to bring it in line with international best practices. As of 2016, a new Uniform Act on accounting standards is being finalized and submitted to the Council of Ministers for review. The new Act is expected to introduce IFRS for public interest entities as well as a revised OHADA Accounting System for Small and Medium Enterprises.

    In addition, the project envisions the adoption of a new OHADA Uniform Act Relating to Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups of April 17, 1997, which would establish applicable auditing standards. Additional components of the project also include developing a code of ethics; establishing a quality assurance (QA) review system and an effective investigation and discipline (I&D) mechanism. As of 2016, the Code of Ethics has been drafted and has been distributed for consultations before being approved by the accountancy profession. It is expected to be completed by April 2017. The status of the QA review system and the I&D system elements are unknown at this time.

    Furthermore, the project included providing assistance to the OHADA Secretariat in the development of a regional professional qualification curriculum and continuing professional development. The World Bank reports that the implementation of this component has been delayed and a mid-term review is underway.

    Separately, in 2013, in partnership with International Cooperation of the French Accountancy Profession and the World Bank, ONECCA-Cameroon carried out a study on its accountancy training and syllabus. Based on the study, ONECCA-Cameroon is now drafting a reform on the national accounting training system to present to the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa.

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    The World Bank is supporting the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) in developing and implementing a quality assurance (QA) review system in its member countries. The status of this project is unknown. OHADA will be directly responsible for the implementation of the QA system in its member states.

    In 2001, the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) issued Decision No. 30/ 01 which states that all accountants in public practice must comply with quality control standards. As such, Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Cameroon (ONECCA-Cameroon) is responsible for the quality control of its members and has adopted ISQC 1.

    CEMAC also delegated the responsibility for QA reviews to national authorities. As such, ONECCA-Cameroon is responsible for establishing a QA review system. As of 2016, there is no mandatory QA review system in place at the national level; however, ONECCA-Cameroon reports that it intends to begin QA reviews in 2018 and is working with the International Cooperation of the French Accountancy Profession to establish a partnership for this initiative. It states that its system is expected to be in line with the revised SMO 1 requirements.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and the Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Cameroon (ONECCA-Cameroon) establish the initial professional development (IPD) requirements for the profession at the regional and national level, respectively.

    In December 2001, the Council of Ministers of the CEMAC countries set entry requirements for the accounting profession. All members of the accountancy bodies in the CEMAC region must be accredited and authorized to practice based on set criteria by the CEMAC.

    Cameroonian Law No. 201/009 reiterates the CEMAC entry requirements and states that candidates for membership to ONECCA-Cameroon must hold a professional accounting diploma recognized by the State of Cameroon, complete three years of practical experience, and pass final examinations conducted by ONECCA-Cameroon. It is unclear if IPD requirements are aligned with the IES.

    In 2014, ONECCA-Cameroon established a requirement at the national level whereby individuals with foreign qualifications must pass an examination on the business regulatory framework in Cameroon. ONECCA-Cameroon is currently drafting a reform on the national accounting training system to present to CEMAC.

    ONECCA-Cameroon sets and monitors continuing professional development requirements which it states are in line with the IES.

    ONECCA-Cameroon has made French translations of IES requirements available on its website although it states the translation has not been approved by IFAC.

    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) and OHADA Uniform Act Organizing and Harmonizing Company Accounting Systems 2/2000 stipulate that statutory audits are mandatory for all public companies and limited liability companies that exceed determined thresholds. Banking and insurance laws also require mandatory audits of banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies.

    However, no auditing standards are specified.

    In the absence of legal adoption of auditing standards at the regional level, Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Cameroon reports that it has adopted the Clarified ISA published in 2009 without modifications as a self-regulatory requirement for its members. As of 2016, the institute reports that the standards are still pending approval by the government in order to be legally binding.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    At the regional level, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) has not established ethical requirements; however, the World Bank is supporting OHADA in the development of a Code of Ethics for its member states. As of January 2016, a draft Code has been produced and is being circulated for consultations. OHADA will be directly responsible for the implementation of the Code in its member states.

    In 2001, the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa issued regulations stating that national associations should adopt and enforce a code of ethics. In accordance with Law 2011/009 and Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Cameroon’s (ONECCA-Cameroon) Rules, which were approved by the Ministry of Finance, ONECCA-Cameroon is responsible for setting ethical requirements for the accountancy profession in Cameroon.

    In 2012, ONECCA-Cameroon adopted ethical requirements based on the 2009 IESBA Code of Ethics in its entirety; however, it is not yet legally binding as the decree to adopt the Code is still pending government approval.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    At the regional level, the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) is responsible for the adoption of public sector accounting standards for its member states and member states must transpose the regulations into national legislation and implement the directives. In 2011, CEMAC issued Directive No. 02/11-UEAC-190-CM-22 on the General Regulations of Public Accounting which aimed to align public sector accounting standards with international best practices and standards.

    The Cameroonian government is responsible for implementing public sector accounting standards. In 2007, the Government of Cameroon changed its accounting system, however, IPSAS have not been applied.

    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 investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for its member states. There is no further information available at this time on the status of a regional I&D system.

    Under Law 2011/009 and Ordre National des Experts-Comptables du Cameroon’s (ONECCA-Cameroon) Rules, which were approved by the Minister of Finance, ONECCA-Cameroon is responsible for establishing an I&D system for its members for breaches of conduct and non-compliance.

    ONECCA-Cameroon has established two bodies responsible for the I&D of its members: an Investigation and Disciplinary Committee and a Trial and Appeals Chamber. The Trial and Appeals Chamber is charged by a magistrate of the Supreme Court and is appointed by the President of the Supreme Court.

    As part of the 2016 SMO Action Plan update process, ONECCA-Cameroon conducted a self-assessment of its existing I&D mechanisms against the revised SMO 6 requirements and the results indicate that there are several areas requiring improvements in order to be in line with the SMO 6 requirements.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    The Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) is responsible for setting accounting standards for application by its member states. The OHADA Uniform Act Organizing and Harmonizing Company Accounting Systems 2/2000 mandates the use of the OHADA Accounting System, a three-tier system based on company size, which is not in line with the IFRS or IFRS for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

    OHADA is conducting a review process to align its standards with IFRS. With support from the World Bank, a new Uniform Act on accounting standards is being finalized and submitted to the Council of Ministers for review. The new Act is expected to introduce IFRS for public interest entities as well as a revised OHADA Accounting System for SMEs.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

Disclaimer

IFAC bears no responsibility for the information provided in the SMO Action Plans prepared by IFAC member organizations. Please see our full Disclaimer for additional information.

Methodology

Methodology
Last updated: 09/2016
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