Uniform Act Organizing and Harmonizing Accounting Systems in the Signatory States to the Treaty on the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa with Commentaries

Elad, C. and Tumnde, M. 2007. Uniform Act Organizing and Harmonizing Accounting Systems in the Signatory States to the Treaty on the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa with Commentaries. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS-Juriscope.

TitleUniform Act Organizing and Harmonizing Accounting Systems in the Signatory States to the Treaty on the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa with Commentaries
AuthorsElad, C. and Tumnde, M.
Abstract

Prior to the adoption of the OHADA Uniform Act, companies in the Anglophone provinces of Cameroon were incorporated under Chapter 37 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and Lagos, 1958, which was modelled on the British Companies Ordinance of 1922. One major weakness of this legislation was the absence of provisions relating to accounting and auditing. Unlike the British Companies Act 1948, or the Nigerian Companies Decree 1968, it contained no provisions compelling a company to keep any books of account. Generally speaking, the accounting requirements of company law in countries that have British-style legal systems are applicable only to limited liability companies. By contrast, the accounting rules of the OHADA Act, and the commercial codes in civil law jurisdictions, have a broader scope in that they apply to all types of undertakings. For example, Part 1 of the OHADA Uniform Act (Articles 1-73) presents detailed rules relating to accounting conventions, routine bookkeeping procedures, and the probative value of accounting records.

In Part 2 (Articles 74-102), the OHADA Uniform Act attempts to blend the Anglo-American accounting model with the French uniform accounting approach by codifying key provisions of International Financial Reporting Standards, and incorporating them as numbered Articles within its framework, in line with the civil law tradition wherein codes and statutes are highly structured and systematized. But it is important to note here that many of the international accounting standards that were incorporated into the OHADA Uniform Act are outdated versions which have been substantially revised in recent years or superseded by newer standards. Furthermore, the OHADA Act introduces some novel ideas, such as the notion of “combined accounts” which is not found in English-speaking countries. Also, whereas Articles 71 and 111 require large companies to prepare special employee (or human resource) reports, known as the “bilan social”, no specific guidance on the form and content of such reports is given in the OHADA Act, although it is the subject of detailed legislation in France.

JournalCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS-Juriscope
Year2007
Web address (URL)http://www.juriscope.org/infos_ohada/actseng/Act%20on%20Accounting.pdf
Publication dates
Published2007
Page range1-46

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