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1. Defining the activity
The accountant is a professional whose mission is to review and appreciate the accounts, attest to the regularity and sincerity of the results accounts, and also hold, centralize, open, stop, monitor, straighten and consolidate accounting for companies and organizations.
Ancillary activities directly related to accounting work are also permitted for accounting professionals (consultations, carry out all studies and work of a statistical, economic, administrative nature, legal, social or fiscal and provide notice to any public or private authority or body that authorizes them) but without being able to be the main focus of their activity and only if they are companies in which missions are carried out accounting of a permanent or usual nature or to the extent that such consultations, studies, works or opinions are directly related to the accounting work for which they are responsible.
To go further Articles 2 and 22 of Ordinance 45 2138 of September 19, 1945, establishing the College of Chartered Accountants and regulating the title and profession of public accountant.
Two degrees. Professional qualifications
a. National requirements
The profession of accountant is reserved for anyone on the Order of Accountants' Table, which justifies:
- enjoying his civil rights;
- not having been sentenced to a criminal or correctional sentence;
- that it presents the guarantees of morality deemed necessary by the Council of the Order;
- Alternatively:- have a French degree in accounting,
- or be forty years old and justify fifteen years of activity in the execution of accounting organizing or revision work, including at least 5 years in functions or missions involving the exercise of important responsibilities of order administrative, financial and accounting
- or, if she is a national of a Member State of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) to justify a certificate of competency or a training certificate recognised as equivalent and issued in such a State and, if necessary, have satisfied with an aptitude test (see point b), or, if not a national, justify a recognized degree equivalent to the Accounting Diploma (CED) and have successfully passed an aptitude test.
To go further Articles 3, 7Bis, 26 and 27 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945; Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
When it comes to the exercise of a corporate accounting activity, professionals may constitute:
- Accounting companies: entities with legal personality, with the exception of legal forms that confer on their partners the status of a trader. Accountants must, directly or indirectly by a company registered in the Order, hold more than half the capital and more than two-thirds of the voting rights. No person or group of interests, outside the Order, shall hold, directly or by person interposed, a part of the capital or voting rights likely to jeopardize the exercise of the profession, the independence of the partners accountants or their compliance with the rules inherent in their status and ethics. The public offering of financial securities is only permitted for securities excluding access, even deferred or conditional, to capital. The managers, the chairman of the simplified company, the chairman of the board of directors or the members of the board of directors must be accountants, members of the company. The society that is a member of the Order communicates annually to the councils of the Order, from which it reports the list of its associates and any changes made to this list;
- Accounting holding companies: the sole purpose of holding securities of accounting firms;
- management and accounting associations: created on the initiative of territorial chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of trades or chambers of agriculture, or professional organizations of industrialists, traders, craftsmen, farmers or professionals. No association can be registered on the board if it has less than three hundred members at the time of the application. The directors and directors of these associations must justify having met their tax and social obligations;
- Accounting branches: individuals nationals of other EU Member States or other States parties to the European Economic Area Agreement as well as legal entities incorporated in accordance with legislation of one of these states, which has its statutory headquarters, headquarters or principal institution in one of these states, which legally practise the profession of accounting, is entitled to constitute, for the exercise of branches that do not have legal personality. Branches are not members of the College of Chartered Accountants. They are on the board. Their work is under the responsibility of an accountant practising within the branch and ordinal representative specifically appointed in this capacity to the regional council of the College of Public Accountants by those admitted to the constitute;
- multi-professional practising societies: the aim of the joint practice of several of the professions of lawyer, lawyer in the Council of State and the Court of Cassation, judicial auctioneer, judicial officer, notary, judicial administrator, judicial agent, industrial property consultant, auditor and accountant. The multi-professional practice society must include at least one member of each of the professions it practises. The company can take any social form, except those that give their partners the status of a trader. It is governed by the rules specific to the chosen social form. Whatever form of social action chosen by the multi-professional practising society, and even when it has not been incorporated as a liberal exercise company, certain provisions of Title I of Act 90-1258 of 31 December 1990 are Applicable. All of the capital and voting rights are held by the following individuals:- (1) any natural person practising, within or outside society, one of the professions mentioned in Article 31-3 of Act 90-1258 of 31 December 1990 and practised jointly within society,
- (2) any legal person whose entire capital and voting rights is directly or indirectly owned by one or more of the persons mentioned in the 1st,
- (3) any individual or legal person, legally established in another Member State of the European Union or party to the agreement on the European Economic Area or in the Swiss Confederation, which actually carries out, in one of these states, an activity subject to a legislative or regulatory status or subordinate to the possession of a recognized national or international qualification, whose exercise in France falls under one of the professions mentioned in Article 31-3 and which is exercised jointly within society ; for legal entities, all the capital and voting rights are held under the conditions provided for in the 1st or 2nd;
- financial holding companies of the liberal professions: incorporated between individuals or corporations practising one or more professional professions subject to legislative or regulatory status or whose title is protected or persons 6th of The 6th of Article 5 of Act 90-1258 of December 31, 1990, financial equity companies for the holding of shares or shares of companies mentioned in the first paragraph of Article 1 of Act 90-1258 of 31 December 1990 with the purpose of the exercise of the same profession as well as participation in any foreign law group with the purpose of the exercise of the same profession. These companies may engage in any other activity subject to being intended exclusively for the companies or groups of which they hold interests. These companies may be incorporated in the form of limited liability companies, limited partnerships, corporations, simplified shares or limited partnerships governed by Book II of the Code of Commerce. More than half of the capital and voting rights must be held by persons in the same profession as the companies held by the shares or shares. Managers, the president, the executives, the chairman of the board of directors, the members of the board of directors, the chairman of the supervisory board and the directors, as well as at least two-thirds of the members of the board of directors or the supervisory board of the simplified corporation, must be chosen from among those who are allowed to form these companies.
To go further Article 7, 7 Ter, 7 D 45-2138 of September 19, 1945 and Sections 31-1 to 31-2, and Articles 31-3 and Articles 31-3 of Act 90-1258 of December 31, 1990 relating to the exercise in the form of professional corporations subject to legislative or regulatory status or of which the title is protected and to the financial holding companies of the liberal professions.
To apply to the College as an accountant, the candidate, who does not use the procedures mentioned in Articles 7 Bis, 26 or 27 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945, must have successively validated the following diplomas except exemptions granted to holders of certain titles and diplomas:
- a bachelor's degree in accounting and management (DCG) (B.A.3);
- The graduate degree in accounting and management (DSCG) at the master's level (B.A. 5);
- the diploma of accounting (DEC) at the bac level 8, after a three-year internship in an accounting firm. For this diploma, the candidate must pass a written test on the legal and contractual revision of the accounts, an oral test before a jury, and support his thesis at the end of his internship.
These diplomas can also be obtained through the Experience Validation Procedure (VAE).
To go further Article 3 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945, Articles 45 and following of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
Costs associated with qualification
There is a fixed fee per degree and per event. In 2018, for the DCG, the price per event is set at 20 euros 14 events. As for the DSCG, it will be 30 euros 8 events. In addition, the various courses preparing for these diplomas are paid for. For more information, it is advisable to get closer to the organizations that provide them.
The procedure for recognising the professional qualifications of EU or EEA nationals is free of charge.
b. EU or EEA nationals: for temporary and occasional exercise (Free Service Delivery)
The profession of accountant or part of the accounting activities may be carried out in France on a temporary and occasional basis by any national of an EU Member State or party to the EEA agreement, subject to:
- (1) to be legally established, on a permanent basis, in one of the states mentioned to carry out all or part of the activity of accountant;
- (2) where this occupation or the training conducting it is not regulated in the State of establishment, to have further practiced this occupation in one or more of the States mentioned for at least one year in the ten years preceding the performance he intends to achieve in France.
The provision of accounting is carried out under the professional title of the State of Establishment where such a title exists in that state. This title is indicated in the official language of the State of Establishment. In cases where this professional title does not exist in the State of the establishment, the claimant mentions his diploma or training title in the official language of that state. The performance of this accounting benefit is subject to a written statement to the Higher Council of the College of Chartered Accountants prior to the first benefit. The written statement specifies insurance coverage or other means of personal or collective protection regarding the professional liability of this provider. The declaration provided for the purpose of carrying out the first benefit in France on a temporary and occasional basis is repeated in the event of a material change in the elements of the declaration and renewed each year if the claimant plans to carry out this activity during the year in question. Upon receipt of this declaration, the Higher Council of the College of Chartered Accountants sends a copy to the regional council of the College of Chartered Accountants in which the provision of accounting expertise must be carried out. Upon receipt of this transmission, the regional council registers the registrant for the year considered on the Order's board.
To go further Section 26-1 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945.
c. EU or EEA nationals: for a permanent exercise (Free Establishment)
Any national of an EU Member State or party to the EEA agreement that meets one of two conditions may be included in the order as an accountant, without having a degree in accounting:
- (1) to hold a certificate of competency or training qualifications covered by Article 11 of the 2005/36/ EC amended directive of the European Parliament and the Council of 7 September 2005 relating to the recognition of professional qualifications allowing the practice of the profession in an EU Member State or party to the EEA agreement. This certificate or title is issued either by the competent authority of that state and punishes training acquired in the EU or the EEA, either by a third country, provided that a certificate from the competent authority of the EU Member State is provided or party to the EEA agreement which has recognised the diploma, certificate or other title, certifying that the holder has, in that state, at least three years of work full-time or of an equivalent period of time part-time during the ten Years. Certificates of competency or training documents are issued by the state of origin, designated in accordance with the legislative, regulatory or administrative provisions of that state;
- (2) having worked full-time as an accountant for a year or part-time for a total period equivalent to at least in the previous ten years in an EU Member State or a party to the EEA agreement which does not regulate the and who have one or more certificates of competency or proof of training credentials issued by another state that does not regulate this profession. These certificates of competency or training credentials meet the following conditions:- (a) be issued by the competent authority of the state mentioned in the first paragraph, designated in accordance with the legislative, regulatory or administrative provisions of that state,
- b) certify the owner's preparation for the practice of the profession concerned. However, the condition of a one-year work experience mentioned is not required when the applicant's title or training documents sanction regulated training directly geared towards the practice of the profession. Accounting.
Unless the knowledge, skills and skills acquired during one's work experience, either full-time or part-time, or lifelong learning, and which has been validated by a competent authority for this purpose in an EU Member State or party to the European EEA agreement or in a third country designated in accordance with the legislative, regulatory or administrative provisions of that state, are likely to render this verification unnecessary, the person concerned must be submit to an aptitude test:
- (1) where the training it justifies covers subjects substantially different from those on the French accounting diploma programme;
- (2) when the State in which it has obtained a certificate of competence or a training document covered by Article 11 of the 2005/36/ EC amended by the European Parliament and the Council on 7 September 2005 relating to the recognition of the professional qualifications he uses or the State in which he has practised does not regulate this profession or regulates it in a way substantially different from French regulations.
To go further Article 26 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945 and Articles 97 to 99 and 103 of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
Entering an application to this effect, whether for an establishment or for a temporary and occasional provision of services in France, the competent authority grants partial access to the activities of accounting when all conditions are filled:
- (1) the professional is fully qualified to carry out in an EU Member State or party to the EEA agreement the professional activity for which partial access is requested;
- (2) the differences between professional activity legally carried out in the EU Member State or party to the EEA agreement and the profession of accountant in France are so important that the application of compensation measures would amount to imposing applicant to follow the full education and training programme required in France to have full access to the profession in France;
- (3) the work requested can objectively be separated from other activities of the accounting profession in France, as it can be carried out autonomously in the Member State of origin.
Partial access may be denied if this refusal is justified on compelling grounds of general interest, if it is suitable to guarantee the achievement of the objective pursued and if it does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve this objective. The professional activity is carried out under the professional title of the State of origin when partial access has been granted. Professionals who have partial access clearly indicate to the recipients of the services the scope of their professional activities.
The provisions of this I do not apply to professionals who receive automatic recognition of their professional qualifications in accordance with Articles 49Bis and 49Ter 2005/36/ EC amended by the European Parliament and the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications.
Applications for partial access to an institution are reviewed under the same procedure as applications under section 26 of Order 45-2138 of September 19, 1945.
Professionals who have been authorized to partially engage in the accounting activity are not members of the College of Chartered Accountants. They are placed on the Order's board according to the conditions set out in Section II of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945. They are subject to the legislative and regulatory provisions relating to the profession of public accountant. They pay dues on the same basis and under the same conditions as the members of the Order.
To go further Article 26-0 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945 and Articles 97 to 99-1 and 103 of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
Three degrees. Conditions of honorability, ethical rules, ethics
Accounting professionals must comply with the legislative and regulatory provisions governing their profession and the College's internal regulations, which are established by decision of the Higher Council. In all cases, accounting professionals take responsibility for their work and activities. The own liability of the Order's member companies and the management and accounting associations leaves the personal responsibility of each accountant or professional who has been authorized to partially carry out the activity accounting expertise because of the work it does on behalf of these companies, branches or associations. The work and activities must be accompanied by the personal signature of the accountant, the employee or professional who has been authorized to partially carry out the accounting activity as well as the visa or social signature. Members of the the Order, which, being partners or shareholders of a company recognized by it, carry out their activity in that company, as well as the members of the Order salaried by a colleague or company listed on the board, of a multi-professional company of practice, a branch or a management and accounting association, and professionals who have been authorized to partially engage in the accounting activity may carry out their duties or mandates on their own behalf and on their own behalf. directly entrusted by customers or members. They exercise this right under the conditions of the conventions that eventually bind them to those companies or their employers.
Accounting professionals are bound by professional secrecy in the course of their duties. However, they are untied in cases of information opened against them or of prosecutions brought against them by the public authorities or in actions brought before the disciplinary chambers of the Order.
They are also subject to rules of exercise incompatibility. As such, they cannot:
- be employed, except for another accountant or a company that is legally practising public accounting, a member of the National Company of Auditors, an accounting branch or a management and management association. Accounting;
- carry out another business activity or act of intermediary in a senior capacity;
- have a mandate to receive, retain or issue funds or securities, or to give up. However, as an accessory, accountants, accounting firms, branches, management and accounting associations, employees referred to in articles 83 ter and 83 quater, and multi-professional companies order's bank account may, through the bank account of their client or member, proceed to the amicable collection of their debts and the payment of their debts, for which a mandate has been entrusted to them, under conditions set by decree. The issuance of funds can be made when it corresponds to the payment of tax or social debts for which a mandate has been entrusted to the professional;
- act as a business agent, take on a mission of representation before the courts of the judicial or administrative order, perform accounting, accounting or accounting work for the companies in which they are directly or indirectly have substantial interests.
Finally, accounting professionals are subject to a Code of Ethics. This Code of Ethics contains rules related to general duties, duties to clients or members, duties of fraternity and duties to the College.
To go further Articles 12, 21, 22 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945, Articles 141 and following of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012 and ordered on May 3, 2012 regarding the internal regulations of the College of Chartered Accountants.
It's a four-degree one. Social legislation and insurance
With regard to social legislation, accounting professionals must comply with the legal and regulatory provisions applicable in France in social matters depending on the mode of practice chosen. In addition, they must contribute to the old-age allowance fund of accountants and auditors, even if they are affiliated with the general social security system.
To go further : Social Security Code and Article 27 Bis 45-2138 of September 19, 1945.
With regard to insurance legislation, accounting professionals are obliged, if established in France, to justify an insurance contract to guarantee the civil liability incurred because of all their work and activities. The amount of insurance guarantees taken out cannot be less, per insured, at 500,000 euros per claim and one million euros per year of insurance. Parties may agree on more favourable provisions.
When the pecuniary consequences of civil liability are not covered by such a contract, they are guaranteed by an insurance contract underwritten by the Higher Council of the Order for the benefit of whom it will be owned. Accounting professionals are involved in the payment of premiums for this contract.
To go further Article 17 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945 and Articles 134 and articles of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
Five degrees. Qualification recognition procedures and formalities
a. Advance Declaration/Professional Card
No prior declaration is required of accounting professionals based in France, with the exception of EU or EEA nationals wishing to take free and occasional use.
On the other hand, they are subject to an obligation to register on the board of the College of Accountants.
To go further Articles 3, 7, 7Bis, 7 Ter, 7 D, 26, 26-1 and 27 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945 and Sections 31-1 to 31-2, and Articles 31-3 and following of Act 90-1258 of December 31, 1990.
b. Competent authority
The Higher Council of the College of Chartered Accountants (CSOEC) and the regional councils of the College of Chartered Accountants constitute the competent authorities for the inclusion of the Order of Chartered Accountants and the recognition of qualifications.
Higher Council of the College of Chartered Accountants
19 Jay Cognacq Street, 75341 Paris Cedex 07
Website of the College of Accountants:https://www.experts-comptables.fr/page-d-accueil
In terms of initial training, the CSOEC has on its website pages dedicated to:
In terms of the recognition of professional qualifications, the CSOEC has on its website a dedicated page, including a fact sheet on the subject .
The steps and more information can be obtained by contacting the training department of the CSOEC:
or Dominique Nechelis: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Marie-Claire Aorte: email@example.com
Finally, a contact form is also available on the website of the Higher Council of the College of Chartered Accountants.
c. Response times
With regard to the inscription on the Order's board, registration is requested from the Regional Council of the Order in the constituency from which the candidate is based. The regional council must rule within three months. The decision of the regional council must be notified to the candidate and the regional commissioner of the Government within ten free days. It may, within one month of notification, be referred to the National Committee of the Table, either by the person concerned in the event of a refusal of registration or if not by the Regional Commissioner of the Government.
With regard to the registration of management and accounting associations, a national commission is responsible for deciding on the listing of management and accounting associations on the board and for keeping a list of these associations. The Commission rules within the time and appeal conditions for other accounting professionals.
To go further Articles 42 and 42 Bis 45-2138 of September 19, 1945 and articles 106 and following of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
With regard to the recognition of professional qualifications, the CSOEC acknowledges receipt of the applicant's file within one month of receipt. The reasoned opinion on an application for recognition of professional qualifications must be sent to the person concerned within three months of the presentation of his complete file.
To go further Articles 98 and 99 of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
d. Supporting documents
With regard to the inscription on the Order's board, the application for inclusion in the sections and lists of the table must be accompanied by documents justifying that the person meets the conditions set out in Section 3 of the ordinance of September 19, 1945.
To go further Article 116 of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
When it comes to the recognition of professional qualifications, the documents to be provided are:
- (1) documents that establish their marital status, nationality and residence;
- (2) documents to verify that they meet the requirements of the provisions of the 1st or 2nd of Article 26 or those of Article 26-0 of the order of 19 September 1945, such as copies of the certificates of competency or evidence of training credentials that provide access to the profession of accountant or allow for the partial exercise of the accounting activity;
- (3) a document or certificate from the authorities of the national's country certifying that the candidate meets the moral conditions set out on 2nd and 3rd of Article 3 of the ordinance of 19 September 1945;
- (4) a document or certificate, if any from a bank or insurance company in an EU Member State or another State party to the EEA agreement, establishing that the applicant is insured against the financial risks associated with the liability in accordance with the requirements of section 17 of the order of September 19, 1945. To this end, the nature of the insured benefits and the annual amount of insurance guarantees taken out must be mentioned. This amount must be in relation to the insurance obligation imposed on members of the Order under Sections 134 to 140 of the March 30, 2012 decree.
The documents produced are accompanied, if necessary, by their translation into French by a translator sworn or empowered to intervene with the judicial and administrative authorities of an EU Member State or another State party to the agreement. EEA. Originals are not required.
To go further Article 97 of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
With regard to the registration on the Order's list, a decision of refusal may, within one month of notification, be referred to the National Committee of the table, either by the person concerned in the event of a refusal of registration, or otherwise by the Regional Commissioner of the Government. The court must rule within six months. If the decision did not take place at the end of this period, the listing is legal. In the event of a decision to refuse to be included on the board by the National Committee of the table, such a decision may be appealed to the administrative court under the conditions of common law.
To go further : Code of Administrative Justice, Articles 43 and 44 of Ordinance 45-2138 of September 19, 1945 and Articles 106 and articles of Decree No. 2012-432 of March 30, 2012.
With regard to the recognition of professional qualifications, in the event of a decision to refuse recognition of professional qualifications, such a decision may be appealed to the administrative court in the conditions of common law.
To go further In: Code of Administrative Justice.
French assistance centre
The ENIC-NARIC Centre is the French centre for information on academic and professional recognition of diplomas.
SOLVIT is a service provided by the National Administration of each EU member state or party to the EEA agreement. Its aim is to find a solution to a dispute between an EU national and the administration of another of these states. SOLVIT intervenes in particular in the recognition of professional qualifications.
The person concerned can only use SOLVIT if he establishes:
- that the public administration of one EU state has not respected its rights under EU law as a citizen or business of another EU state;
- that it has not already initiated legal action (administrative action is not considered as such).
The national must complete a online complaint form .
Once his file has been submitted, SOLVIT contacts him within a week to request, if necessary, additional information and to verify that the problem is within his competence.
To enter SOLVIT, the national must communicate:
- Full contact details
- Detailed description of his problem
- all the evidence in the file (for example, correspondence and decisions received from the relevant administrative authority).
SOLVIT is committed to finding a solution within ten weeks of the day the case was taken over by the SOLVIT centre in the country in which the problem occurred.
Outcome of the procedure
At the end of the 10-week period, SOLVIT presents a solution:
- If this solution resolves the dispute over the application of European law, the solution is accepted and the case is closed;
- if there is no solution, the case is closed as unresolved and referred to the European Commission.
SOLVIT in France: General Secretariat for European Affairs, 68 rue de Bellechasse, 75700 Paris ( official website ).