Everything you need to know about accountants

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Complex and tedious, the entrepreneur will often wish to be accompanied by an accountant to keep his business accounts .

More generally, the chartered accountant accompanies entrepreneurs during the social life of their company . Allocation of free shares ,  organization of the governance of the company, interest in the use of investors and choice of the tax system are subjects for which chartered accountants can accompany you!

Here are the essential pieces of information on this key partner of the company .

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Chartered accountant: who is it?

Use of an accountant: mandatory or optional?

What are the duties of the accountant?

Accounting missions

Consulting assignments

What are the accountant’s obligations?


Chartered accountant: who is it?

Whether or not to use a chartered accountant is part of the strategy of any company: VSEs, SMEs and large companies, all are concerned! Whether your company is a SAS, SARL or SCI, you can call on an accountant.

The chartered accountant is an accounting professional , whose vocation is to assist business leaders, by providing them with advice in accounting, tax, social and company law matters.

In the vast majority of cases, the chartered accountant has obtained a state chartered accountant diploma. There are three different diplomas, listed in ascending order of qualification:

higher diploma in accounting and management (DSCG);

diplomaaccounting expertise (DEC).

Use of an accountant: mandatory or optional?

The use of a chartered accountant is, in principle, optional when the accounts are kept by a person internal to the company. On the other hand, if the accounting is outsourced, it is then necessary to use a chartered accountant. For example, it is not mandatory to call on an accountant for the creation of a business .

For more information, visiton our sheet explaining the cases of recourse to a chartered accountant .

What are the duties of the accountant?

TheChartered accountants’ missions are very varied and can affect both accounting and the management of the company.

Accounting missions

The first area of intervention of the chartered accountant is, of course, accounting. The chartered accountant is the only professional who can  :

Maintain, monitor and close the accounts of a company each year;Certify its compliance with French legislation and its sincerity.These missions can be fully attributed to him or be shared with your SAS, SARL  or SCI:If the bookkeeping is carried out both by the company itself and by the chartered accountant, it will be up to you to clearly set the limits of its mission (for example, the company will be able to draw up its own accounts and the chartered accountant will only review and assess them).

When fully invested in accounting, the chartered accountant becomes an essential player in the procedure for approving the annual accounts. Indeed, it is on him that will rest the task of drawing up the annual accounts (balance sheet, income statement and annexes), which will then be submitted to the vote.partners, before the formality of  filing the annual accounts with the registry  is carried out.

Consulting assignments

The mission of the chartered accountant can be much more varied than simply keeping the accounts. The chartered accountant has legal qualifications and can be a real adviser to enlighten you on the strategy and management of your company or your associative structure.

To properly tie up your company’s strategy, the chartered accountant can:

Help finance the business;

Evaluate the business (for example, in the event of a business sale );

Carry out legal missions with works councils;

Advise on the company’s export strategy;

Simplifying administrative complexities, the chartered accountant will also be able to:

Set up management tools and a legal secretariat;

Drafting employment contracts, drawing up payslips for employees, declaring social charges;

Establish tax declarations (declaration of results, VAT, CVAE etc.) and assist in the event of a tax audit;

Write legal acts such as the minutes of general meetings  ;

Reorganizethe administrative management of the company (computing, personnel management, recruitment, etc.).

What are the accountant’s obligations?

The chartered accountant belongs to the category of regulated professions  and is bound by several obligations.  As such, he must be registered with the Order of Chartered Accountants (organization placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Budget) after having taken the oath.

The chartered accountant must comply with ethical rules in order to respect the interests of the company (SAS, SARL or SCI ) for which he works. Mainly, he must:

Be independent  : to avoid conflicts of interest, he is notably prohibited from being an employee of the entities he advises.

Respect professional secrecy  : the chartered accountant must keep information relating to the company secret (finances, development strategy, etc.).

Inform his client of all the legal and regulatory obligations generated by the operation of his activity.

Alert his client to the consequences when he commits an action that could harm his business: for example, if you do not comply with the procedure for approval of the annual accounts , he must inform you of the consequences that this entails.

In the event of non-compliance with these obligations, the chartered accountant may incur civil, criminal and disciplinary liability.

Rationalizing your accounting and improving the management of your business are objectives for which the chartered accountant can accompany you. However, his intervention represents a cost, which must be assessed before starting! For more information, consider consulting our fact sheet on the cost of an accountant . Become a CPA! Check out these CPA Review Courses to ace your CPA exam.


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