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French counting

French counting

T he Ministry of Finance has ordered all companies yearly accounts to be

conducted according to a slightly modified version of the French system, it has

emerged.

The regulations, backdated to Jan 1 this year, have drawn

widespread criticism among the expatriate business community, who argue that the

move puts the country out of step with most of the rest of the world.

The

Ministry is now selling for $10 a 225-page document titled "Plan Comptable

General" in Khmer, which describes how accounts are to be drawn up. A French

translation of the document is promised in around four weeks.

Mr Yian Tay

Chhoan, deputy director of accounting at the Ministry says the regulation have

already been approved by the National Assembly.

He said: "This is the

method by which all companies will have to lodge their accounts with the

government. for the purpose of assessing taxation They are free to use other

methods to report their results to parent companies."

Mr Chhoan said the

plan was drawn up last year with the assistance of French advisors and is based

on the their system with some modifications to suit Khmer

businesses.

Jules Thomas, general manager of International Management and

Investment Consultants, said the new regulations are likely to deter foreign

investors.

He said there are virtually no accountants in the country and

auditing is usually contracted out to firms in countries nearby, such as

Thailand, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

All these countries use the

more widely accepted American or British systems and would be unable to conduct

audits according to the new rules.

He said: "I can only hope that the

Ministry will change these regulations and accept accounts carried out to normal

international standards.

"This will make doing business in Cambodia more

expensive and more difficult and is likely to put off investors from coming

in.

"The most surprising thing is that the Ministry of Finance has been

forward thinking in the past and I can only think that it was extreme pressure

from the French which caused this."

Mr Chhoan defended the regulation

saying: "In the past accounting was always done by the French system and this is

what the country is familiar with."

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