Is bookkeeping mandatory in France ?

Bookkeeping for your activity in France will be an obligation in all cases except :

the micro-enterprise scheme in France is exempt from bookkeeping because taxation is in this case solely based on the level of sales. However, in excess of EUR 40k of salesfor service providers and 80K for merchants, this scheme is no longer possible ;

distance selling are also exempt from bookkeeping, since they only have tax obligations for VAT and customs purposes for Intrastat returns.

Finally, the liaison offices have no accounting obligation in France,

As  well as Foreign Employers registered at the CNFE in Strasbourg.

accounting APRZ

Can accounting be kept
abroad ?

Remember that there is no obligation to use a public, chartered accountant to keep the books, it can be held in-house with you. However, if you use an external service provider in France, it must be registered by the Order of Accountants (as it is a regulated profession).

Can accounting be kept abroad?


Two cases :

1)  You are a subsidiary (company under French law): you will have to comply with the specifications (called FEC, see explanations below in part “IFRS standards”) of the French tax administration.

2) You are a branch: you can keep the books in your language, but tax services will have the possibility to ask you for a certified translation of your books, in case of control only. For branches, providing with a Mapping is authorized (general balance mapped to the PCG General Chart of Accounts standard).

In these two cases (subsidiary, branch), if you wish to keep the books by yourself and APRZ carries out only the annual financial statements and the tax return (CIT return), our fees are on a time-spent basis.

Is French accounting compliant
with IFRS standards ?

In France accounting is generally an accruals accounting(cash accounting is reserved for certain civil companies), with a COA chart of accounts defined by the PCG standard. The French accounting standard is PCG, which tends to approach IFRS.

The FEC tax standard, File of all accounting Entries, imposes a specification for the submission of a txt file of all entries for a tax year, for control purposes. The descriptions must be in French, a certain amount of information must be entered: account, description, part number, journal, date, debit, credit, etc.


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