September 27, 2011, 11:15 am
A French accountant provides numerous services, from offering advice to dealing with all sorts of financial matters. The profession of French accounting is regulated by law and the principles of an accountant in France are based on the Commercial Code, the Plan Comptable General, and the Code General des Impots. All the mentioned rules in these documents provide information about accounting and financial activities that a French accountant has to perform for a French company, as well as giving general directions regarding the principles of an accountant in France. As a matter of fact, accountants in France must be self-motivated and able to work under pressure. It is a legal requirement for accountants in France to provide the necessary documents in French. Accountants in France vary in expertise and costs, but they are necessary for companies. French accountants are usually more informed about the types of business one can set up in France or about taxes and accounting law.
For French accountants, there are two types of qualifications. One of them is the “Diplome de Comptabilite et Gestion”, the equivalent of a three-year degree, while the other called “Diplome Superieur de Comptabilite et Gestion” is the equivalent of a master’s degree in accountancy. Employers usually search for French accountants who like figures and pay high attention to details. Accountants in France can start as graduate trainees at accountancy firms, which are more specialized in audit and assurance, but they should gain experience in more industries before deciding upon one field. Banks and firms want either a French financial accountant or a French management accountant.
Accountants in France can find themselves attracted to areas like product control, financial control, internal audit, regulatory accounting or treasury. However, since almost all companies have to issue every year some financial documents, they always hire accountants in France. Therefore, French accountants prepare annually balance sheets, profit and loss accounts, financial statements for tax returns or annexes that must be published in the Register of Commerce. Annual accounts are prepared by French accountants for directors, shareholders and auditors. Accounts must be audited every year by an external accountant of the company, who must respect the rules of the International Accounting Standards Committee, represented in France by the Chartered Accountants Association and the National Auditors Company. Last but not least, accountants in France must keep three books of accounts: a general journal, a general ledger and an annual accounts book.
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