From paper filing to expert mode: a new era for annual accounts

Since January 1, companies have been able to complete all formalities for setting up, modifying or ceasing business online, thanks to the one-stop shop accessible via the INPI e-procédures portal. To simplify the filing of annual accounts on this one-stop shop, INPI has introduced an "expert mode" from April 27. But what does this expert mode for filing annual accounts actually involve?

The characteristics of "expert mode" and its target audience

Expert mode" is specially designed for chartered accountants, who are responsible for filing company annual accounts each year. It is designed to simplify the transmission of dematerialized documents. It is no longer necessary to answer all the questions previously asked in the classic mode. The main information to be provided is now the start and end of the financial year. As a result, the number of annual accounts validated by the registries can be increased. To date, only 7% of filings have been validated, with registries still encountering difficulties in processing filings via the platform.

For professional accountants, this development may mean greater responsibility, as the controls and assistance provided by the one-stop shop will be more limited.

How does "expert mode" work in practice?

Once you have logged in and entered your SIREN number, you can choose between classic mode and expert mode. To access expert mode, simply click on "file annual accounts in expert mode". Company information is pre-filled.

Next, the following questions are asked:

  • Type of filing: company accounts? consolidated accounts?
  • Do we need a modification? (default answer is no)
  • Fiscal year start and end dates
  • Do you require special confidentiality?

A series of documents must be attached. Some are optional, while others can be added.

At the end, a summary is displayed, allowing you to re-read and check all the information transmitted. The file is finalized and awaiting signature. To validate, click on "Sign annual accounts". Once this has been done, the Registrar can process the filing. If further information is required, a notification will be sent.

Can I continue to file my annual financial statements differently?

There are currently 4 methods for filing annual financial statements:

  1. On the one-stop shop in expert mode
  2. On the one-stop shop in classic mode
  3. By mail to the address of the commercial court clerk's office (on paper)
  4. In person at the commercial court clerk's office (on paper)

Since January 2023, there has been a significant delay in the processing of account filings made via the one-stop shop, as well as a number of IT bugs that INPI is attempting to correct. Some chartered accountants therefore prefer to remain with paper filings until the efficiency of the expert mode has been confirmed and the platform is fully operational.