This paper develops a taxonomy of the different accounting systems that have evolved in Africa from the colonial era, through the early years of independence, to modern
times. A preliminary test of the classification scheme for the current era of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) was carried out using data from a
PricewaterhouseCoopers (2011) survey. The results confirm Nobes’ (2008) hypotheses on patterns of national reaction to IFRS. The results also show that a distinctive approach to financial accounting, which is alien to Anglo-American
practitioners, and modelled on long-established French traditions, is still entrenched in Africa’s franc zone countries in the 21st century despite sustained pressure from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for large entities to adopt IFRS. These findings provide some evidence against Alexander and Archer’s (2000) claim
that the contemporary notion of “Anglo-Saxon accounting” is a myth.