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Summary of the Visa pour les IFRS certifying programme

  • Visa pour les IFRS certifying programme : 68 French chartered accountants and statutory auditors trained by HEC and FinHarmony have been awarded the Institutes’ certificate.

    The French professional institutes’ IFRS certification programme

    In 2003, the French professional Institutes, Conseil Supérieur de l’Ordre des Experts-comptables (CSOEC) and Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes (CNCC) launched the first-ever long-training programme on IFRS : “Visa pour les IFRS”.

    The first groups trained jointly by HEC and FinHarmony have now completed the programme. On February 25, 2004, 68 professionals were awarded the Institutes’ certificate.

    Brief description of the programme
    First of its kind, this major, innovative programme enables the participants to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the new accounting standards. The programme represents 150 hours of work (120 hours in class, 30 hours of personal work), spread over either 6 sessions of 2 ½ days or 3 sessions of 5 days. Participants are trained to a daily practice of this referential ; they are able to debate about best practices in IFRS auditing, and to look into the stakes involved in their clients’ transition to IFRS.

    The training tackles the perspective of the accountant, as well as that of the auditor, and of the entity’s board. It is therefore completely tailored to the practical issues faced by professionals. In order to cater for the accountants’ and auditors’ training requirements, the professional Institutes convened a team of specialists in training material conception and animation.

    Following a public bid, they elected a tandem of teachers/practitioners, made up of Groupe HEC (the elite French business school) and FinHarmony, a training and consulting firm, expert in international standards. This two-pronged structure (theory and practice) has enabled participants to address standards with a critical mind, all the while highlighting the highly practical element of the issue.

    At the end of the training programme, the participants wrote and attended a professional, practical dissertation and sat a final quiz.

    A national-scale jury then convened to award the “Visa” to those candidates who satisfied all criteria. To date, they are 68, out of the 85 first attendees, to have been awarded the Institutes’ certificate. This certificate was officially bestowed last February 25, by Mr Michel Tudel, President of CNCC, and Mr William Nahum, President of CSOEC, under the patronage of Mr Gilbert Gélard, IASB board member.

    More registrations than originally expected
    At end-2003, 171 auditors/statutory auditors had been or were being trained, vs. 40 initially expected. Likewise, 36 trainers were themselves trained, vs. initial expectations of 8. The training material, once finalised, was tested, and has been continually updated. It consists in 2000 slides broken down into 6 folders, 50 case studies, a summary case study, 2 quizzes (for knowledge assessment), numerous examples drawn from financial current affairs (around 40 companies are named during the programme)...

    2003 saw the launch of 4 seminars in Paris, followed by 6 seminars in the rest of France : Dijon, Lyons, Nice, Angers, Nancy-Strasbourg, and Toulouse.
    To date, 6 additional seminars are due to launch in 2004.