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  Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The corporate financial framework of Côte d’Ivoire 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 Côte d’Ivoire, as well as on the accountancy profession. Côte d’Ivoire, as a member of the two regional groups, harmonizes national laws with directives issued at the regional level.

    WAEMU’s eight member states share the CFA franc as a common currency, a common securities regulator, and a stock exchange. In addition, since its creation, WAEMU has also progressively developed activities to assist with accounting and auditing standard setting and to support the development of the accountancy profession. OHADA sets common business regulations, including accounting standards, and adopts unified commercial laws and other legislative norms that become domestic law in its 17 member states. Member states are required to establish a Conseil National de la Comptabilitié (CNC) with the responsibility for the implementation of accounting and auditing directives at the national level.

    OHADA and WAEMU are responsible for the development of member countries’ accounting standards. The WAEMU Treaty makes the WAEMU Council responsible for setting the accounting standards to be applied by its member states. In accordance with WAEMU Regulation No. 3/97/CM/UEMOA, WAEMU delegated its accounting standard-setting activities to the Conseil Comptable Ouest Africain, which in turn now adopts the OHADA standards for application in the WAEMU 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, auditing, and financial reporting requirements for the OHADA member states. The Conseil National de la Comptabilité-Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa, established in 2008 through an OHADA Uniform Act, adopted the OHADA Accounting System in 2001, which differs from IFRS and comprises a three-tier system that allows companies to prepare full or abridged financial statements based on their size. With assistance from the World Bank, revisions to the OHADA legislation governing accounting standards are underway to align their requirements with international best practices. As of 2016, a new Uniform Act on accounting standards is being finalized and will be 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.

    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 that statutory audits are mandatory for all public companies and limited liability companies 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) have more than 50 permanent employees. Banking and insurance laws also require mandatory audits of banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies.

    Auditing 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 standards for the WAEMU member states. In 2010, the World Bank provided funding to the CPPC to develop ISA-based auditing guidelines. As of 2016, however, the CPPC has not yet established auditing standards at the regional level.

    In 2014, due to delays at the regional level in adopting auditing standards, the Ministry of Finance approved a Ministerial Order, submitted by the Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire, which establishes French translations of Clarified ISA and IAASB pronouncements as national auditing and assurance standards.

    Banking and insurance regulatory bodies—the Banque Centrale des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (the Central Bank of West African States, BCEAO), the WAEMU Banking Commission, and the Commission Régionale de Contrôle des Assurances (Regional Insurance Control Commission)—issue instructions on accounting and auditing requirements for entities under their purview. The OHADA Uniform Act Relating to Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups, the Instruction of the Governor of the BCEAO of January 1st, 1996, and the WAEMU Treaty together oblige banks and other financial institutions to use the Bank Chart of Accounts established by the WAEMU Banking Act (1990) supplemented by BCEAO Regulations. Banks are required to appoint two auditors who are subject to prior approval by the Banking Commission. Insurance companies are required to apply accounting standards outlined in the Conférence Interafricaine des Marchés d’Assurance (Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets, CIMA) Code 1992. The CIMA Accounting Chart differs significantly from IFRS. Listed entities must comply with regulations issued by the regional stock exchange, Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    Entry requirements for the accountancy profession are set at the regional level by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No. 12/2000/CM/UEMOA, which introduced the Degree in Accounting and Finance (DECOFI) and the Higher Education Degree in Accounting and Financial Management (DESCOGEF) as pre-requisites to practice the profession. The Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire (OEC-CI) states that the qualification system has been reformed to align with International Education Standards. The DESCOGEF qualification is for Certified Accountants and the DECOFI qualification is for Chartered Accountants. Only Chartered Accountants registered by a professional institute in WAEMU countries are permitted to practice auditing. Furthermore, candidates for entry to the profession must complete three years of verified practical experience and pass final examinations administered by the Regional Commission for the Formation of the Accounting and Financial Experts, an external body recognized by WAEMU.

    Additionally, WAEMU Regulation No. 01/2009/CM/UEMOA of 2009 grants the Conseil Permanent de la Profession Comptable (CPPC) the responsibility for defining auditing, ethics, and quality control standards.

    Côte d’Ivoire’s Law No. 92-568 of September 11, 1992, transposes the entry requirements set at the regional level into national legislation. Law No. 92-568 authorizes the Ministry of Finance to determine qualification requirements in accordance with regional requirements. Candidates for membership in the OEC-CI are required to hold either the Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts-Comptables qualification or the DESCOGEF or DECOFI qualifications established by WAEMU. There are no requirements for candidates to sit for a local examination on the business and legal environment of Côte d’Ivoire.

    The OEC-CI was originally established in accordance with Decree No. 95-904 of November 3, 1995 as the Ordre des Experts-Comptables et des Comptables Agréés. Under Order No. 2009-387 of December 1, 2009, the Order was renamed the Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire. The Order’s membership continues to consist of Chartered Accountants and Certified Accountants. Although there are no licensing requirements for members of the profession, the OEC-CI decides on membership applications to the Order for qualified individuals in accordance with conditions outlined in Order No. 2009-387. Chartered Accountants must be members of the OEC-CI to practice public accounting and conduct audits. The OEC-CI is also responsible for: (i) monitoring accountants in public practice; (ii) advocating for the interests of the profession; (iii) ruling on membership applications; (iv) ensuring that members adhere to ethical standards; (v) representing the profession to government and other third parties; (vi) maintaining a registry of its members; and (vii) investigating and disciplining its members for breach of rules.

    The OEC-CI has a Disciplinary Board that can prosecute and punish violations committed by members of the Order. The National Commission of Discipline (NCD) and the Supreme Court (both independent bodies of the profession) can, however, rule on Disciplinary Board decisions. NCD decisions can be appealed to the Administrative Committee of the Supreme Court.

    There is no quality assurance (QA) review program in place at the regional level. The OEC-CI prepared for the establishment and implementation of a regional QA review system by drafting Ministerial Order No. 224 MPMEF/CAB and receiving approval from the Ministry of Finance in October 2014. The Ministerial Order provides a legal framework for establishing national QA reviews pending the adoption of a QA review system by the CPPC.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    There is no independent audit oversight body at the regional or national level.

    Auditors are regulated at the regional level by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No. 12/2000/CM/UEMOA, which introduced the Degree in Accounting and Finance as a mandatory qualification for Chartered Accountants, who are the only individuals permitted to perform audits 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.

    The CPPC was the recipient of funding from the World Bank in 2010 to develop ISA-based auditing guidelines. As of 2016, however, the CPPC has not yet established auditing standards at the regional level.

    Although delays at the regional level have stalled the establishment and implementation of a quality assurance (QA) system, the Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire (OEC-CI) prepared for the creation and implementation of a regional QA review system by drafting Ministerial Order No. 224 MPMEF/CAB and receiving approval from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in October 2014. The Ministerial Order provides a legal framework for establishing national QA reviews pending the adoption of a QA review system by the CPPC. Additionally, in 2014 the MoF approved a Ministerial Order, submitted by the OEC-CI, which establishes French translations of Clarified ISA and IAASB pronouncements as national auditing and assurance standards.

    The OEC-CI also regulates auditors at the national level. The OEC-CI is responsible for maintaining a register of accountants practicing public accounting, ensuring that members adhere to ethical requirements, and investigating and disciplining its members for breach of rules.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    The Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire (OEC-CI) was originally established in accordance with Decree No. 95-904 of November 3, 1995, as the Ordre des Experts-Comptables et des Comptables Agréés (OECCA-CI). Under Order No. 2009-387 of December 1, 2009, the Order was renamed the Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire (OEC-CI). The Order’s membership continues to consist of Chartered Accountants, who must be members of the OEC-CI to practice publicly and conduct audits, and Certified Accountants. The OEC-CI’s functions include: (i) monitoring the public practice of accounting; (ii) advocating for the interests of the profession; (iii) ruling on membership applications; (iv) ensuring that members adhere to ethical standards; (v) representing the profession to government and other third parties; (vi) maintaining a registry of its members; and (vii) investigating and disciplining its members for breach of rules.

    In addition to being a member of IFAC, the OEC-CI is a member of the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa and the Fédération Internationale des Experts-Comptables et Commissaires aux Comptes Francophones (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 assist the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) in improving the investment climate in 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 will be 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, to replace the one on Relating to Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups of April 17, 1997, to adopt auditing standards in accordance with international standards. Additional components of the project include developing a code of ethics and 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 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 also included assisting 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 to accelerate the implementation of this part of the project.

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. The Council of Ministers of the WAEMU finalized draft regulation establishing this requirement in 2014. Due to delays, the CPPC has recommended that member states pursue the adoption and implementation of QA systems and quality control standards at the national level.

    The World Bank is also supporting the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) in developing and implementing a 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 countries that are OHADA member states, and WAEMU will adopt the OHADA system for its member states.

    Although delays at the regional have stalled the establishment and implementation of a QA review system, the Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire (OEC-CI) has prepared for the creation and implementation of a system by drafting Ministerial Order No. 224 MPMEF/CAB and receiving approval from the Ministry of Finance in October 2014. The Ministerial Order provides a legal framework for establishing national QA reviews, which OEC-CI indicates would be implemented in accordance with the SMO 1 requirements, pending the CPPC’s adoption of a QA review system.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    Entry requirements for the accountancy profession are set at the regional level by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No. 12/2000/CM/UEMOA. The regulation introduced the Degree in Accounting and Finance (DECOFI) and the Higher Education Degree in Accounting and Financial Management, for Chartered Accountants and Certified Accountants, respectively, as mandatory requirements to practice accountancy within WAEMU countries. The Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire (OEC-CI) indicates that the regional qualification system has been reformed to align with IES. To practice the profession, candidates are also required to complete three years of verified practical experience and must pass final examinations with the Regional Commission for the Formation of the Accounting and Financial Experts, which is an external body recognized by WAEMU.

    Ivorian Law No. 92-568 of September 11, 1992, transposes the entry requirements set at the regional level into national legislation. Law No. 92-568 authorizes the Ministry of Finance to determine qualification requirements in accordance with regional requirements. Professional accountants are required to hold either the DECOFI qualification or the Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts-Comptables qualification to be admitted into the OEC-CI. With funding received from the World Bank, WAEMU assisted the OEC-CI in developing training programs in line with the requirements of the revised IES.

    Although some initial professional development requirements appear to be in place at the regional level, the extent of full compliance with IES requirements needs to be clarified. This is also the case with continuing professional development requirements.

    It is also unclear whether IES have been translated into French and are available to those with responsibility for professional accountancy education programs.

    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 legislation also requires mandatory audits of banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies.

    The Conseil Permanent de la Profession Comptable (CPPC) is the regional auditing standard setter based on the West African Economic and Monetary Union Regulation No. 01/2009/CM/UEMOA of 2009. The CPPC received funding from the World Bank in 2010 to develop ISA-based auditing guidelines. It is not clear what the status of this project is, nor is the timeline known for the adoption and implementation of ISA at the regional level.

    In 2014, in the absence of standards issued by the auditing standard setter, the Ministry of Finance approved a Ministerial Order, submitted by the Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire (OEC-CI), which establishes French translations of Clarified ISA and IAASB pronouncements as national auditing and assurance standards.

    The OEC-CI encourages its members to refer to the standards posted on the websites of CPA Canada and the Instituut van de Bedrijfsrevisoren–Institut des Réviseurs d'Entreprises (the Belgian Institute of Auditors) as they reflect the most up-to-date translations of ISA into French.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    At the regional level, the 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. The CPPC has not yet adopted a Code of Ethics.

    The World Bank is also supporting the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (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 countries that are OHADA member states, and WAEMU will adopt the OHADA system for its member states.

    At the national level, the Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire (OEC-CI), authorized by Law No. 92-568 of September 11, 1992, sets ethical requirements for its members. In 2008, the OEC-CI developed a Code of Ethics that was approved by the Ministry of Finance under Order No. 223/MPMEF/CAB 06 October 2014. This rule requires OEC-CI members to adhere to the IESBA Code of Ethics and all of its future revisions.

    The OEC-CI encourages its members to refer to the Code of Ethics on the websites of CPA Canada and the Instituut van de Bedrijfsrevisoren–Institut des Réviseurs d'Entreprises (the Belgian Institute of Auditors) as they reflect the most up-to-date translations of the ethics code into French.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    At the regional level, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No.09/2009/CM/UEMOA requires adoption of IPSAS by members of the WAEMU by 2017.

    At the national level, the Conseil National de la Comptabilitié-Côte d’Ivoire (CNC-CI), established by Law No. 2003-120 of May 2003, and led by the Chairman of the Treasury, has official responsibility for adopting public sector accounting standards. IPSAS have not been adopted at the jurisdiction level. Instead, Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire states in its 2016 SMO Action Plan that the CNC-CI has adopted the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa Accounting System standards for public sector entities. The availability of translated IPSAS in Côte d’Ivoire is unclear.

    Current Status: Partially 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. The West African Economic and Monetary Union will adopt the OHADA system for its member states.

    At the national level, in accordance with Order No. 2009-387 of December 2009, the National Commission of Discipline (NCD) and the Supreme Court are responsible for the investigation and discipline of members of the accountancy profession. The NCD was established under Law No. 92-568 in September 1992 as an independent body to prosecute and punish violations and misconduct committed by members of the Ordre des Experts-Comptables de Côte d’Ivoire (OEC-CI).

    The OEC-CI also has a Disciplinary Board that can prosecute and punish violations committed by members of the Order. The NCD can rule on the decisions of the Disciplinary Board. NCD decisions can be appealed to the Administrative Committee of the Supreme Court.

    The OEC-CI states in its 2016 SMO Action Plan that it is in the process of benchmarking the I&D system in the jurisdiction against the revised SMO 6 requirements.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    Because the Côte d’Ivoire is a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), its accounting standards are defined in WAEMU Regulation No. 04/96/CM/UEMOA, WAEMU Regulation No. 05/CM/UEMOA, 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. WAEMU Regulation No. 3/97/CM/UEMOA authorizes the Conseil Comptable Ouest Africain to set accounting standards for member states and it has adopted the standards set by OHADA. The OHADA Accounting Standards are not in line with IFRS.

    OHADA is working on aligning its standards with IFRS. With support from the World Bank, a new Uniform Act on accounting standards is being finalized and will be 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.

    Banks are obliged to prepare their financial statements in accordance with the Bank Chart of Accounts determined by the WAEMU Banking Act (1990), while insurance companies use the CIMA Accounting Chart outlined in the Conférence Interafricaine des Marchés d’Assurance (CIMA) Code 1992. Some IAS and IFRS requirements had initially been incorporated into the WAEMU Banking Law, the Banque Centrale des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (the Central Bank of West African States) regulations, and the CIMA Code but were not updated in an ongoing manner.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

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Methodology

Methodology
Last updated: 04/2016
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