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Accounting

Updated on Monday 14th September 2020

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France is one of the most prolific economies in the European Union and the number of enterprisers from within and outside the EU coming open companies here is continuously growing. From small-scale to medium and even large scale businesses, it is hard to start a company in France without the help of specialized personnel. Among these, lawyers who can advise shareholders on the legal hurdles they need to handle and accountants who can guide them through the laws related to filing financial statements, audit requirements and other accounting matters.
 
In their desire to offer full services to clients, our company formation consultants in France can put you in contact with their partners who can offer tailored accounting services.
 

Why would one need accounting services in France?

 
Companies and individuals, especially foreign shareholders of French companies, can benefit from many tax advantages when using the services of an accounting firm in France. For example, did you know France has signed more than 90 double tax treaties with countries all over the world? Based on this information and with the assistance of specialized accounting services, foreign shareholders of companies registered in France can benefit from numerous tax deductions or exemptions, according to these agreements.
 
Nowadays, tax minimization solutions are legally recognized and help many investors to reduce the taxes they must pay. By working with an accounting firm, our French company registration agents can set in place customized tax minimization strategies to the benefit of their clients.
 

Accounting services available in France

 
Among the accounting services foreign investors can contract in France are:
 
  1. tailored bookkeeping services for all types and sizes of companies in France in accordance with their needs;
  2. preparation and filing of monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements for French businesses;
  3. various types of audit services which respect the national and international auditing standards;
  4. tax and VAT registration for newly registered companies, as well as tax return filings;
  5. payroll and accounting services related to employment contributions in France;
  6. tax advisory services for foreign investors seeking to open companies in France.
 
All our accounting services are customized to the clients’ needs and requests. Additionally, you can rely on us if you want to open a company in France.
 
You can also discover our accounting services in France in the infographic below:
 
The Main Accounting Services Provided by our Company
 
 

Bookkeeping services in France

 
Bookkeeping represents the recording of daily accounting documents issued or received by a French company. For those who have just started a business in France, this can be quite confusing as it requires a lot of attention and respecting various regulations. With the help of our bookkeeping services, your local company will be safe from this point of view. All invoices, sale and purchase orders, as well as all other documents which need to be entered into the accounting system will be processed the same day without delays.
 
Bookkeeping is one of the most important tasks of the accounting department in a company, however, it requires special attention and extra personnel who can deal with a large volume of work. This is one of the main reasons medium and large-sized companies in France usually outsource the entire accounting department.
 
If you are a newcomer on the French market, you will definitely want to focus more on your business rather than administrative affairs and in order to help you, we come with personalized bookkeeping and accounting services.
 
Outsourcing these services with our accountants in France could also represent a cheaper alternative than using an in-house accounting department.
 

Accounting requirements for French companies

 
One of the most important parts of accounting in France is respecting the requirements imposed by the Company Law in terms of preparing and reporting various tax information with the authorities. These requisites imply specific document preparation and filing terms which is where an accounting firm or accountant can be of help.
 
The following aspects need to be considered by French companies:
 
  • - they must keep records on all incoming and outgoing invoices in the company;
  • - record all other transactions completed by the company;
  • - keep the balance with the assets and liabilities of the business;
  • - maintaining appropriate accounting documents related to the change in the ownership of the business (share purchases and sales).
 
It should be noted that company directors also have various duties and through our accounting services in France, all these duties can be explained while assistance will be provided in order to comply with the respective requirements.
 
For any information on the legal requirements that need to be respected by companies, you can rely on our French company formation specialists who can also provide assistance in business incorporation matters.
 

Fulfilling tax filing requirements in France

 
One of the most important tasks of the accounting department will be to ensure the timely filings of the accounting documents. For those who are less acquainted with the filing requirements applicable to French companies, we can offer dedicated services which imply compliance with the preparation and filing deadlines imposed by the tax authorities in France.
 
We would also like to mention the fact that our partner accountants are all registered with CPA France.
 
With respect to the tax filing requirements, it is important to know that for French companies the tax year is the same as the calendar year, however, business owners can choose a different tax year. Even if the tax year can be longer or shorter, most companies choose to have 12-month tax years. Companies choosing to use the calendar year as their tax year will be required to file their corporate tax returns by the 30th of April of the current year for the income generated in the past year. For companies choosing another accounting period, the tax returns must be filed no later than 3 months after the end of the financial year.
 

Audit services in France

 
One of our most sought services in the sphere of accounting is audit. French companies are usually notified by the tax authorities on their audit requirements and the date by which the audited accounts must be submitted. The following documents must be prepared for an audit in France:
 
  • - the company’s balance sheets;
  • - the account books;
  • - the business’ contracts;
  • - the invoices and purchase orders;
  • - the VAT documents;
  • - the bank statements;
  • - the customs clearance documents for exported goods.
 
All these documents can be properly prepared in accordance with the national and international standards with our help.
 
If you are interested in company registration in France, we are at your disposal with full services.
 

Tax consulting in France

 
It is common for French companies to plan budgets and projections on the business’ activities which is why we can provide tax consultancy and planning services associated with accounting in France. Even if the general perception is that new businesses need guidance during their first year of activity request such services, these are welcome at any stage of the operations and many financial aspects can be improved when relying on the advice of experienced accountants.
 
Through the accounting services available with us, French companies will be advised on how to increase the revenues, expanding their operations, cut back expenses and even enter new markets through tailored solutions that fit their exact needs.
 
We also offer tax planning solutions through which companies can find out more about the industries they operate in and how to use projections in order to maximize their profits.
 

Payroll services as part of accounting in France

 
Employment is another aspect that can be taken care of through accounting in France. Companies can rely on us for guidance in the following matters:
 
  • - employment contracts preparation, amendment and ending;
  • - representation with the labor and other related authorities in France;
  • - payroll preparation in accordance with the legal requirements imposed by the law;
  • - preparation and distribution of monthly paychecks and salaries and other payments;
  • - preparation and conciliation of monthly, quarterly and annual payroll statement filings;
  • - personal income tax annual filings;
  • - preparation and payment of social contributions;
  • - updates in specialized payroll software.
 
Payroll is one of the most strenuous tasks of accounting in France due to the many changes in the employment legislation and workforce dynamics in a company which is why it requires a keen eye to keep track of all these changes. When externalizing the HR department to a firm that will have to deals with these specifics only, business owners will no longer have to worry about such issues.
 
Also, when considering the particularities of the personal income tax in France and the exemptions offered by the authorities based on specific criteria, having the help of an accountant will prove essential in mitigating any problems resulted when monthly paychecks must be prepared and social contribution must be paid.
 
We invite you to ask more information about all HR and payroll services available as part of accounting in France. You can also rely on us for assistance in various employment matters.
 

In-house vs externalized accounting in France

 
The days where most companies used to have their own accounting departments are coming to an end as the advantages of externalized accounting services weigh more. Creating an entire department is by far harder and more expensive when it comes finding suitable and most importantly qualified personnel for the accounting department. For example, a company must hire one or more accountants, HR specialists, auditor and even auxiliar personnel for additional tasks, whereas using an external accounting firm, all these persons can work for the company right from the beginning and at lower costs.
 
For more information on the accounting services we can provide for you in France, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. You can also rely on our agents if you want to open a company in France.
 

What should you know about the French taxation system?

 
Just like all other European countries, France has its particularities when it comes to taxation. Companies in France are subject to various requirements depending on the structure employed and their size.
 
Here is what you should know about the taxes which need to be paid by companies in France:
 
  • - the current corporate tax rate is set at 31%, with a reduced rate of 28% for the first 500,000 euros on the taxable income;
  • - for companies with an annual turnover above 250 million euros, the corporate tax is applied at a rate of 33.33%;
  • - the corporate tax will suffer various changes in the coming years, as it will be gradually reduced to 25% by 2022;
  • - a 3.3% social surcharge applies to companies with a corporate tax liability of more than 763,000 euros.
 
If you want to open a company in France and need accounting services, do not hesitate to contact our local representatives who can connect you with accountants in France, while we assist you with the company registration procedure.

 

Meet us in Paris

Call us now at +33 9 73 22 01 51 to set up an appointment with our lawyers in Paris, France. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to France.

As a BridgeWest client, you will beneficiate from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in France.

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Starting a company in France can be difficult since it involves such complex procedures. The team from CompanyFormationFrance is very qualified and benefits from extensive expertise in this area.
Mihai Cuc, Partner of
Enescu & Cuc Law Firm
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