Title: Bookkeeping and the probative value of accounting records: Savary's legacy lingers on in the OHADA Treaty states

Authors: Charles Elad, Martha Tumnde

Addresses: Department of Finance and Business Law, Westminster Business School, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS, UK. ' University of Buea, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, P.O. Box 63 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon

Abstract: This paper extends the work of Howard (1932) by using a content analysis of legal texts spanning several centuries to demonstrate that there are remarkable similarities between the bookkeeping provisions of Savary|s Code of 1673, the Napoleonic Commercial Code of 1807 and the recent OHADA Uniform Act on Accounting of 2000. In particular, the paper shows how some vestiges of 17th century bookkeeping law in the OHADA Act, which have intrigued accounting historians over much of the past century (see, e.g., Littleton, 1933, 1941; Howard, 1932; Parker, 1966; Forrester, 1998; Richard, 2005), continue to pose significant problems of interpretation and enforcement in a contemporary African setting with wider sociopolitical ramifications.

Keywords: OHADA plan comptable; bookkeeping law; Code Savary; probative value; accounting records; content analysis; legal texts; Napoleonic Commercial Code; critical accounting; Africa; Cameroon.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2009.025332

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2009 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.82 - 109

Published online: 19 May 2009 *

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