The standard chart of accounts, 'SCA', (plan comptable normalisé - PCN) ensures that all businesses apply the same accounting structure. It thus:
- reduces businesses' reporting requirements vis-à-vis the authorities;
- simplifies the analysis of their financial situation by partners (auditors, banks, suppliers, etc.).
In principle, Luxembourg businesses must keep their accounting records in accordance with the standard chart of accounts.
All Luxembourg businesses which are required to produce annual accounts must publish their accounts in accordance with the SCA.
The following businesses however are not subject to the SCA:
- sole traders and partnerships (SENC, SECS) with a turnover of less than EUR 100,000 excluding VAT (subject to approval from the Minister of Justice);
- special limited partnerships, whatever their turnover (subject to approval from the Minister of Justice);
- 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 the approval of the Minister of Justice, can prepare their accounts according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or other standards.
Using the standard chart of accounts
Luxembourg businesses are not obliged to use the SCA structure for the purposes 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 SCA if they wish to:
- prepare and approve the accounts in electronic format on the 'platform for the electronic gathering of financial data' (Plateforme électronique de Collecte des Données Financières - eCDF);
- and then file them electronically with the trade and companies register (RCS) for publication purposes.
Businesses may request a copy of the SCA in paper or electronic format from the House of Entrepreneurship - One-Stop Shop by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Structure of the SCA
The SCA structure provides for 7 different account types:
1. capital, reserves and liabilities accounts
2. formation expenses and fixed asset accounts
3. inventory accounts
4. third-party accounts
5. financial accounts
6. expense accounts
7. income accounts
Some businesses are exempt from having to complete certain sections of the SCA:
- if alternative accounting methods exist where these sections are not required;
- if the business activity in question does not justify the use of certain sections.