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    Preparation and Filing of Statutory Financial Statements


    Corporations (SA, SCA and SAS) and Limited Liability Companies (SARL) registered in France are required to prepare annual financial statements and file these at the Registry of the Commercial Court. The general partnership (SNC) are also required to prepare and file annual financial statements if all shareholders are Limited Liability Partnerships or Corporations or, GPs where all the shareholders are LLPs or Corporations.


    All companies are required to file their financial statements at the Registry of the Commercial Court within 1 month after the annual general meeting approving the accounts and deciding the profit allocation, extended to 2 months if the filing is electronic. The general meeting may not be held more than 6 months after the balance sheet date, unless requested postponement to the Commercial Court.


    All corporations and LLCs are required to prepare full financial statements including a balance sheet, an income statement and notes to the financial statements. Certain small and medium sized companies/LLCs have an option to file abbreviated financial statements. Abbreviated financial statements provide for condensed balance sheet and income statement, and less note disclosures.


    All the companies are required to prepare a management report. However, only listed companies are required to file it.


    Large and medium sized groups are required to prepare and file consolidated financial statements that also comprise a group management report. For the small group, they may qualify for an exemption if the group does not exceed, over two successive fiscal years, two out of the following three criteria:

    • annual turnover: 30 million euros
    • assets: 15 million euros
    • 250 employees.


    Financial Reporting Framework


    Listed companies in France are required to prepare their group financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).  IFRS is that adopted by the EU.


    All other companies/LLCs in France, subject to any other requirements which may be otherwise specified, have the obligation to prepare their annual financial statements in accordance with accounting principles promulgated by the French Commercial Code and the General Accounting Chart (Plan Comptable Général ; "French GAAP"). The consolidated financial statements are prepared according to the standards issued by the French Accounting Regulation Committee (CRC 99-02; "Consolidated French GAAP")


    The non-listed groups have an option therefore to prepare their financial statements in accordance with the Consolidated French GAAP or IFRS.


    Audit Requirements for Companies Registered in France


    In France, all corporations and LLCs must have an audit on their statutory financial statements.


    In addition to the audit of separate statutory financial statements of certain parent companies, their consolidated financial statements are also subject to an audit, if a preparation is required by law.


    Audit Exemptions

    Small private corporations/LLCs may not need an audit of their annual accounts - unless the company's articles of association say it must or enough shareholders ask for one. An audit is required for the small limited liability companies if the company meets two out of the following three criteria:


    ·       Has an annual turnover of more than 3.1 million euros

    ·       Has assets worth more than 1.55 million euros

    ·       Has more than 50 employees.


    An audit is required for a simplified limited company (Société par Actions Simplifiée, "SAS") if the company meets one out of the following three criteria:


    ·       The company controls or is controlled by one or more companies,

    ·       One or more shareholder(s) representing at least one tenth of the capital request, under urgent proceedings, to the President of the Commercial Court for the appointment of an auditor.

    ·       The company exceeds two out of the three following criteria: annual turnover of more than 2.0 million euros, assets worth more than 1.0 million euros and has more than 20 employees.


    Audit Appointment, Rotation and Joint Audits


    Auditors are appointed by the shareholders resolution or at the constitution of the entity, for six years.


    In all listed companies, the auditor, the signatory partners and, where applicable, any other senior partner cannot certify the accounts for more than 6 consecutive years (partner rotation) with a two year cooling-off.


    All legal entities which are obliged to file consolidated accounts are required to appoint two statutory auditors, who will perform a joint audit. The two auditors share the work, the fees and review each other's work and issue a joint audit opinion.


    Auditing Standards


    All audit firms in France are required to carry out their audits and express an opinion on the (group) financial statements in accordance with French auditing standards (Normes d'Exercice Professionnel "NEP") issued by the CNCC (Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes) and promulgated by the Minister of Justice after seeking an opinion from the French Superior Council of Statutory Auditors (Haut Conseil du Commissariat aux Comptes "H3C"). Those standards are based on the International Standards on Auditing (ISA).


    Ethical Framework


    All French audit firms are bound by the Code of Ethics promulgated by the French Commercial Code. The initial Code of Ethics of 2005 was amended in 2010 and this is based on the IFAC Code of Ethics (IESBA) plus specific standard for each type of non-audit services allowed.


    Audit Regulation


    Audit firms in France are subject to the following external and internal monitoring processes with regard to their audit practice.


    External Monitoring


    The auditors are subject to periodic inspections conducted by the H3C. Member firms that also perform audits for public interest entities are subject to these inspections every three years.



    Internal Monitoring


    Crowe Horwath France has put in place a quality assurance review program based on monitoring of the H3C report for audit practices and OEC report for accounting and tax practices.


    Transparency Report


    Audit firms that perform audits for public interest entities are required to prepare an annual transparency report that is available on their websites and covers information about the respective audit firm's governance and ownership structure, its quality control and monitoring system, its independence policies and measures, its continuing professional education processes and its remuneration principles for senior personnel.

    Country by Country Financial Reporting and Auditing Framework

    Download pdf

    France – Crowe Horwath France (prepared December 2013)

    Contact Us
    David Chitty - Audit
    London, United Kingdom
    +44 20.7842.7292

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