The entry into force of the OHADA Treaty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) resulted in the immediate application of the Treaty, its Regulations and Uniform Acts. It also led to the repeal of any DRC anterior legal instruments contrary to the Treaty and its Uniform Acts. In particular and in accordance with article 10 of the OHADA Treaty, it repealed all instruments contrary to the Uniform Act organising and harmonising company accounting systems (Uniform Act on accounting law) dated of 24 March 2000.
However, regarding the Uniform Act on accounting law, the DRC government requested the postponement of its application to allow Congolese economic operators to master and better grasp the new accounting system. The DRC request was granted by OHADA Decision No. 09/2012/CM/OHADA dated of 14 December 2012 and signed by the President of the OHADA Council of Ministers held in Cotonou, Benin, on 13-14 December 2012.
Based on this Decision, the DRC Minister of Finance issued a press release on 21 February 2013 to inform all companies operating in the DRC that the Uniform Act on accounting law would enter into force on two different dates. For companies’ individual accounts, the entry into force will occur on 1 January 2014 for the financial year open as of that date. For companies consolidated and combined accounts, the entry into force will occur on 1 January 2015 for transactions and corporate accounts for the financial year open as of that date.
Practically, to close their accounts for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 financial years, companies operating in the DRC are required to adhere to the following practical arrangements:
- Accounts for 2012 financial year will be kept in compliance with the provisions of the DRC accounting system still in force. Annual accounts and tax returns will therefore be prepared and filed using the current DRC Accounting System (PCGC) templates. These templates are exclusively obtainable from the DRC Accounting Agency (CPCC) and the DRC Tax Authority (DGI);
- Accounts for 2013 financial year will be kept concurrently in compliance with the DRC accounting system and the OHADA accounting system to enable economic operators to ensure consistency in their financials, data and information in both accounting systems. To that end, annual accounts will be prepared and filed using the DRC accounting system. Such will also be the case with tax returns related to these annual accounts that have to be filed with the DGI. However, the opening balance at 01 January 2014 and the 2013 annual accounts will have to be redrafted using the OHADA accounting system.
- Accounts for 2014 financial year and for subsequent financial years will be kept in compliance with the OHADA accounting system. Individual annual accounts will be produced using the new accounting system while first comparative annual accounts will be those redrafted from 2013; and
- Finally, for financial year 2015, companies operating in the DRC will produce their first consolidated and combined accounts under OHADA accounting law, in accordance with Decision No. 09/2012/CM/OHADA dated of 14 December 2012.
Consequently, any early application of the Uniform Act on accounting law by companies operating in the DRC will be deemed as an outright violation of the DRC accounting legislation because the DRC accounting legislation remains in force until the dates set in the above mentioned Decision of the OHADA Council of Ministers of 14 December 2012. The press release warns that those who violate the DRC accounting legislation will be exposed to the applicable criminal and fiscal sanctions for production of false and/or inaccurate accounts.