Title: Fiscal and legislative pressures on behalf of regulating private accounting in France, an established and ill-timed convergence?

Authors: Béatrice Touchelay

Addresses: Institut de Recherches Historiques du Septentrion (IRHiS-CNRS UMR 8529), Université de Lille – Nord de France (Lille 3), 6 Passage des Soupirs, 75020 Paris, France.

Abstract: The role of fiscal motives in the development of accounting standardisation in France is less decisive than stated. The fiscal argument is absent from balance sheet regulation proposals before the First World War. It has minor importance in the main propositions of law between the wars. Even during the German occupation, notwithstanding the leverage of the direct tax office in the determination of the first French chart of accounts, the reform was less of an answer to the requirements of fiscal control than to the need to improve the knowledge of the economic activity in order to meet the needs of the managed economy. Between the Liberation and the law of 1959 stipulating the chart of accounts' progressive generalisation, the committees in charge of the chart of accounts tried to get free from the fiscal authorities' grasp and underline its economic usefulness. These statements encourage us to take a new look upon the role of fiscal pressure within the accountancy standardisation.

Keywords: accounting history; fiscal history; French economic history; business history; France; regulation; private accounting; fiscal motives; accounting standardisation; accounting standards; law; legislation; fiscal pressure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2012.048793

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2012 Vol.4 No.4, pp.433 - 448

Published online: 07 Aug 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article