Title: Struggle for power in French system of professions: the historic quarrel between accountants and lawyers

Authors: Jean-Guy Degos

Addresses: ERCCI Research Centre of IAE, Montesquieu University, 35, avenue Abadie – 33072 Bordeaux, France

Abstract: In France, the lawyers and the accountants have very different origins and destinies, but a common economic sphere of activity joined them together, in a fortuitous way, during the 2nd World War. The French ordinance of September 19, 1945, has always been the law of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. This chart has been of great use since its promulgation, because it contains some articles particularly relevant and structuring. But sometimes it contains more contestable paragraphs. Among those, article number 22 treats of the additional missions of the Chartered Accountant and often-caused competitions between lawyers and accountants. This document points out some stages of this fight and gives an extreme example of these contests, which will have to necessarily disappear, for the common use of both firms and professional institutes. In this paper, we will limit ourselves to the institutional aspect of the problem. Later, we will examine the sociological context.

Keywords: critical accounting; advisers; auditors; barristers; lawyers; bookkeeping; chartered accountants; consulting; monopoly; professional institutes; solicitors; France.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2009.025331

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2009 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.65 - 81

Published online: 19 May 2009 *

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