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Exporting professional models: the expansion of the multinational audit firm and the transformation of the French accountancy profession since 1970

Abstract : This paper analyses the transformations since 1970 in the French accountancy profession induced by the globalisation of France's economy. The growing internationalisation of French companies and the opening up of French financial markets to foreign investment are clearly identified as key factors in the multinational audit firms' expansion on the French professional services market. Far from offering a solely market-based argument, however, the paper introduces the professional model concept to examine how those firms have adapted to the French professional environment. While the Anglo-American professional tradition was able to generate the model of the big multinational firm and place it at the apex of professional practice, the French ideal of professionalism long equated independent practice with small practice under the protection of the State. The paper relates the various episodes in the progressive displacement of the French audit practitioner model by the Big firm model, and the ensuing redistribution of intra-professional hierarchies within the French profession. The Big firm model's success is analysed as resulting just as much from its greater capacity to meet the needs of major companies, and its ability to espouse local ways of producing social elitism, as from local professionals' failure to develop an alternative model able to compete with the multinational firm.
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https://hal-hec.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00582656
Contributor : Antoine Haldemann <>
Submitted on : Sunday, April 3, 2011 - 2:58:23 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:19:32 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00582656, version 1

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Citation

Carlos Ramirez. Exporting professional models: the expansion of the multinational audit firm and the transformation of the French accountancy profession since 1970. 2007. ⟨hal-00582656⟩

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