Legal audit in Morocco
In the Moroccan economic landscape, the mission of the statutory auditor or legal auditor is provided for by several laws in Morocco. It concerns in particular:
- First, all public limited companies
- Secondly, all other forms (notably SARL ) whose turnover is greater than 50 million dirhams.
The auditors in Morocco play a crucial role, ensuring the transparency and compliance of corporate practices.
In Morocco, the auditing standards and legal obligations governing this function are specific and require in-depth understanding. Indeed, legal audit in Morocco is carried out in accordance with the standards of the Profession in Morocco (auditing standards manual) and international ISA standards.
The auditor seeks a dual objective within the framework of a Legal mission (also called in french Commissariat aux comptes or CAC). Its purpose is to express an opinion on:
- First, the regularity and sincerity of the annual accounts
- Secondly, the faithful image they give of the results of operations as well as the financial and asset situation at the end of the financial year.
The legal auditor (CAC) expresses his opinion in a report he establishes following its audit work and summary meetings held with the managers of the company he is auditing.
As part of his audit process, the legal auditor gives comments on internal control , procedures, organization and the accounting information system.
This article offers a comprehensive guide to legal audit in Morocco, exploring its different aspects in this area. We will discuss current auditing standards, associated legal requirements, and highlight auditing services, highlighting Upsilon Consulting’s unique expertise and offerings.
Follow us in this detailed exploration to better understand the importance and nuances of auditing in Morocco.
What is the legal audit in Morocco?
Auditing, an essential function in the world of corporate governance in Morocco, represents much more than simple auditing of accounts. This is a legal audit engagement, governed by specific legal bases, aim at ensuring the transparency and reliability of a company’s financial information.
In Morocco, the regulatory framework, notably established by Law 17-95, defines the conditions and obligations of this function.
Companies, in particular limited companies or those whose turnover exceeds a certain threshold, are required to submit to this independent expertise.
Legal audit engagement
This is a legal mission whose objective is to inform the shareholders and partners of the company (suppliers, bankers and shareholders) on the quality of the financial statements and whose purpose is the issuance of general and special reports.
The legal certification mission can take the form of:
- Opinion on individual accounts
- Opinion on the consolidated accounts
- Audit of intermediate accounts
- Limited review mission
A legal obligation
The legal audit (CAC) engagement in Morocco is made obligatory by law in the following cases:
- When the company is incorporated in the form of an SA;
- When the turnover of a financial year is greater than 50 MMAD.
The CAC mission is also obligatory when it is stipulated in the statutes or when 10% of the partners require it.
An audit of the accounts approved by the board of directors or management. This audit gives rise to a “General Report”.
A check of regulated agreements. This verification gives rise to a “Special Report”.
Specific verifications provided for by law (equality between shareholders, continuity of operations, compliance with legal obligations, regulated agreement, etc.).
The CAC reports are part of the documents to be presented to the meeting and filed in the court registry.
Upsilon Consulting is a member of the order of chartered accountants and therefore we are authorized to carry out legal audit engagement.
What are the procedures for a legal audit engagement ?
Moroccan legislation, concerned with ensuring transparent and reliable corporate governance, imposes strict legal obligations in terms of statutory auditing. This mission is made obligatory for all public limited companies (SA) as well as for companies whose annual turnover exceeds 50 million dirhams. In addition, the statutory auditor becomes necessary when this requirement is stipulated in the company’s statutes or requested by at least 10% of the partners. The mission of the auditor is not limited to a simple accounting audit; it extends to an opinion on the individual and consolidated accounts, the audit of intermediate accounts, and may include limited examination missions.
The advantages of such a mission are multiple for companies. It guarantees the reliability of the financial information disseminated, detects risks and gaps in the internal control system, contributes to the improvement of business management through relevant recommendations and ensures crucial transparency towards partners such as banks and suppliers. These procedures, governed by the standards of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Morocco, aim to maintain a high level of quality and independence in the exercise of this vital profession for the Moroccan economy.
Stages of an audit engagement
The auditor’s mission takes place in several key stages, each of which has its crucial importance. Engagement planning is the first step, where the auditor collects essential elements to understand the company, its audit risks, and develops a suitable audit approach. This phase is followed by an in-depth review of procedures, particularly internal control, to assess the effectiveness of the systems in place and determine the risks of materiality in the accounts. Then, the review of the accounts makes it possible to ensure their regularity, sincerity, and the fidelity of the image that they reflect of the economic reality of the company.
This rigorous and detailed approach not only contributes to the certification of accounts but also brings significant added value to the audited companies. It guides towards better financial organization and greater reliability of information, key elements for strategic decision-making and strengthening stakeholder confidence.
During the planning period , the auditor will collect elements of knowledge of the company, this knowledge allows him to:
- First, identify audit risks
- Second, build a suitable audit approach
- Finally, set a materiality threshold
The mission is carried out taking into consideration the identified risks.
The risk- based approach makes it possible to optimize the time allocated to the mission and to provide added value to the client .
Review of procedures and internal control
The Internal Control Review is a key phase of the audit approach.
The auditor carries out a review:
- First, the good design of procedures aimed at reducing the risks of significant errors in the accounts;
- Then, the proper execution of these procedures by the client’s teams.
During this phase, interviews with key personnel and process validation tests are generally used.
The auditor produces a letter of recommendation on internal control procedures . _ _ _
The review of accounts consists of verifying the annual or periodic accounts produced by the client and ensuring that they reflect a faithful image of the latter ‘s economic reality .
Our approach , compliant with ISA standards , includes :
- First, analytical analyzes of key positions;
- Second, direct confirmation procedures;
- Third, physical quantification procedures (including support for stock IP)
- Fourth, evidence-based verifications
This is a concerted approach and involves allowing the client to correct any errors before our reports are issued .
Who are we ?
Upsilon Consulting is a leading accounting, auditing and consulting firm, member of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Morocco.
Upsilon Consulting has a multidisciplinary team of practitioners. We are accountants, auditors, lawyers, tax specialists, consultants. Through extensive experience in their respective fields of intervention, the members of our team have:
- Consolidated their skills in auditing and consulting large and medium-sized organizations;
- Developed expertise and in-depth know-how in tax, legal and management advice for SMEs and large companies;
- Served clients in Morocco and abroad;
- Worked at the service of renowned clients and gained their trust;
- Acquired solid knowledge in various sectors of activity as well as growth factors and levers to help our client companies better optimize their development potential.
Upsilon Consulting is the exclusive accounting member of IR Global in Morocco.
IR Global is a multi-disciplinary professional services network providing legal, accounting and financial advice to businesses and individuals worldwide.
Advantages of an Audit Mission for Companies in Morocco
A CAC mission to Morocco offers a range of substantial benefits for businesses, beyond simple compliance with legal obligations. First, it ensures the reliability of the company’s financial information. This assurance is crucial not only for managers in their strategic decision-making, but also for external partners such as investors, banks and suppliers.
Secondly, the auditor plays a fundamental role in detecting risks and weaknesses in the company’s internal control system. This assessment can lead to significant improvements in internal processes and procedures, thereby strengthening the resilience and operational efficiency of the company.
Third, auditing contributes to better business management. By identifying weak points and providing relevant recommendations, the auditor helps the company optimize its operations and strengthen its position in the market.
Finally, this mission ensures increased transparency of the company with its stakeholders. The reports issued by the auditor, in particular the general report and the report on regulated agreements, are reference documents for shareholders, thus strengthening the trust and credibility of the company.
The role of the auditor extends beyond simple certification of accounts. It also includes related missions such as verifying compliance with equality between shareholders, expressing opinions on various financial aspects of the company, and an alert role in the event of identified criminal acts. These diversified interventions allow the auditor to provide significant added value, thus supporting companies in their quest for reliable financial information and effective internal control.
Diligences of an Audit Mission in Morocco
The audit mission in Morocco, governed by the professional standards of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Morocco, involves a series of meticulous procedures. The process begins with an in-depth analysis of the financial situation of the company, where the auditor immerses himself in the activity, the economic, legal and tax environment, as well as the organizational structure of the entity. This step is crucial to identify audit risks and build a suitable approach.
The assessment of internal control constitutes another key phase, during which the commissioner assesses the effectiveness of the systems in place to reduce the risks of errors or fraud. This review often includes interviews with key personnel and process validation testing. The objective is to ensure that internal control procedures are adequately designed and executed.
Collecting evidence is also an essential step. The auditor gathers sufficient and appropriate evidence to support his or her conclusions, which may include documents, testimony, written confirmations, or field observations. On the basis of this work, the auditor issues a certification report attesting to the regularity, sincerity and reliability of the accounts.
In addition, the auditor ensures compliance with the applicable legal and regulatory provisions, as well as the accounting and tax rules in force. This continuous monitoring ensures that the company operates within the required legal and regulatory framework, thereby strengthening the confidence of shareholders and other stakeholders.
This rigorous and comprehensive approach, from planning the mission to issuing the final report, reflects the commitment of the auditors to providing a high quality service, contributing to reliable and transparent corporate governance in Morocco. .
Main questions and answers about auditing in Morocco
What are the legal obligations of the auditors in Morocco?
- Obligation for public limited companies (SA) and when the turnover exceeds 50 million dirhams.
- Legal certification mission which may include various audits and examinations.
- Also obligatory according to the statutes of the company or at the request of 10% of the partners.
What are the advantages of an auditing mission for companies?
- Reliability of financial information.
- Detection of risks and flaws in the internal control system.
- Improved business management thanks to recommendations.
- Assurance of transparency towards the company’s partners.
What are the procedures for an audit mission in Morocco?
- Analysis of the financial situation of the company.
- Assessment and evaluation of internal control.
- Identification of risks linked to the activity and reliability of accounts.
- Collection of evidence and certification of accounts.
What is the role of the auditor in Morocco?
- Legal control of the entity’s books and assets.
- Alert mission in the event of criminal acts observed.
- Evaluation of contributions in kind made by partners or shareholders.
What are the civil, criminal and disciplinary responsibilities of the auditor in Morocco?
- Civil liability is linked to fault, damage and causality.
- Criminal liability is applied in the event of violation of criminal laws in the exercise of one’s profession.
- Disciplinary liability is linked to violations of professional and ethical standards.