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Yaoundé - 28 May 2022 -
Public management

Audit found Camtel’s 2020 accounts "regular and sincere", despite irregularities in financial management

Audit found Camtel’s 2020 accounts "regular and sincere", despite irregularities in financial management
  • Comments   -   Wednesday, 27 April 2022 14:41

(Business in Cameroon) - The FY2020 financial statements of Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel) are “regular and sincere”. This is the finding of an audit recently carried out by the public company’s auditor. Insight Gestion Sarl, the auditor, said the accounts "give a true and fair view of the assets and liabilities as well as the results of the activity of Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel)". The report was signed by the accountant Léonard Ambassa, associate manager of Insight Gestion Sarl.

According to these statements, all major indicators improved between 2019 and 2020. The total balance sheet has increased by more than CFA62 billion to a little more than CFA787 billion. Revenues rose by more than CFA42 billion to CFA156.5 billion, with net income up by CFA7.3 billion, an increase of more than CFA1.3 billion. Shareholders' equity grew by CFA4 billion to more than CFA126 billion, while the company's cash position more than doubled to nearly CFA14 billion.

Audit risks

To justify his opinion, the auditor states that his "audit consisted of an assessment of the average Acceptable audit risk (AAR) for all of Camtel's financial statements in 2020. The AAR measures the likelihood that the auditor will be wrong in forming an opinion on the financial statements. To make his opinion, Insight Gestion Sarl took into account the company’s governance, financing (equity and debt), investments (fixed assets and programs), revenues and receivables, operations (purchasing, inventory, HR, tax, cash flow, etc.) and accounting, and financial reporting.

As a result of this assessment, the average AAR of the state-owned telecom operator fell from 10.32% to 3.24% between 2019 and 2020. With this result below the criticality and tolerance threshold of 5%, Léonard Ambassa and his team concluded that Camtel's accounts for the 2020 financial year are "regular and sincere".

Shortcomings

There are however some shortcomings. The auditor indicates that "the major points of the risks that deteriorate internal control and impact the quality of the accounts" of the public company are found in another report addressed to the Chairman of the Board of Directors (COB). Insight Gestion Sarl points out the shortcomings of the accounting, payroll, and invoicing information systems, the inadequacies of the accounting procedures manual, and the absence of cost accounting. The latter is an obligation of the specifications of Camtel per its concession agreements for the establishment and operation of fixed, mobile, and fiber optic networks. Cost accounting is also a requirement of the new financial regime of the State and its divisions, adopted in July 2018. The deadline of January 1, 2022, to comply with this requirement has already passed, but Camtel has still not complied. 

The report addressed to the COB also suggests "recommendations to be implemented without delay to strengthen the internal control system and improve the quality of Camtel's accounting and financial information". Moreover, with a rate of 9.41%, the audit risk on the production of accounting and financial information remains the most important.

Aboudi Ottou and Sylvain Andzongo

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