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
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.
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
Jules Thomas, general manager of International Management and
Investment Consultants, said the new regulations are likely to deter foreign
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
"This will make doing business in Cambodia more
expensive and more difficult and is likely to put off investors from coming
"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."