The chart of accounts for businesses

Certain businesses are subject to the standard chart of accounts (plan comptable normalisé - PCN).

The obligation to keep accounts according to an appropriate chart of accounts and to draw up an annual account concerns:

Other companies may be subject to specific or reduced requirements.

For companies subject to general accounting rules, the different accounting obligations may vary and are determined according to certain criteria, such as the size of the company, its legal form, its place of establishment, the sector of activity, the issue of securities, the notion of public interest, etc.

The content of the standard chart of accounts (PCN) will change from the financial year starting 1 January 2020. The general functioning of the new chart of accounts will also change together with the new rules for entering and validating data in the different fields and accounts.

Who is concerned

The obligation to keep appropriate accounts and draw up an inventory within the meaning of the commercial code is aimed at the following businesses:

These companies are, in principle, subject to the standard chart of accounts (PCN).

The following businesses however are not required to use the standard chart of accounts:

  • natural persons established as traders and partnerships (SENC, SCS) with an annual turnover of less than EUR 100,000 excluding VAT;
  • special limited partnerships (société en commandite spéciale - SCSp), whatever their annual turnover;
  • credit institutions;
  • insurance and reinsurance companies;
  • SEPCAVs (société d'épargne-pension à capital variable - pension fund company with variable capital);
  • SICAVs and financial holding companies whose activities are limited to investing in transferable securities or acquiring holdings;
  • temporary business associations and participating business associations;
  • companies which, following an agreement with the Minister of Justice, can prepare their accounts according to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or other accounting standards.

How to proceed

Obligations

The company's accounts must be kept in accordance with the general rules of double-entry accounting.

This principle does not apply to natural persons established as traders whose annual turnover for the last financial year is less than EUR 100,000 excl. VAT. These persons can:

  • keep simplified accounts;
  • file the required accounting documents with the RCS in accordance with the terms and conditions applicable to them.

The law does not require computerised accounting, but the accounts must be:

  • chronological;
  • all book entries must be made without delay and in an accurate manner;
  • complete, and cover all:
    • operations;
    • assets and rights of any kind;
    • liabilities, obligations and commitments of any kind.

Businesses which are subject to the standard chart of accounts (PCN) must:

Using the standard chart of accounts

Luxembourg businesses are not obliged to use the structure of the standard chart of accounts for the purpose of their internal accounting, in particular if they have:

  • their own chart of accounts; or
  • a chart of accounts used within a group to which they belong.

However, they must produce their accounts in accordance with the standard chart of accounts if they wish to:

Businesses concerned can request an electronic copy of the standard chart of accounts from the House of Entrepreneurship - One-Stop Shop.

Structure of the standard chart of accounts

The PCN structure is presented in the form of a catalog of accounts with 7 different account types:

  • capital, reserves and liabilities accounts;
  • formation expenses and fixed asset accounts;
  • inventory accounts;
  • third-party accounts;
  • financial accounts;
  • expense accounts;
  • income accounts.

Some businesses are exempt from having to complete certain sections of the standard chart of accounts:

  • if alternative accounting methods exist where these sections are not required; or
  • if the business activity in question does not justify the use of certain sections.

Who to contact

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