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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

Do you know where I can study Accounting course or (Master in Professional Accounting) in Paris?

First, let me tell you about my background.

I used to work for an accounting firm as a secretary and executive assistant to the director for 6 years and then I left to obtain my degree in Bachelor of Health Science (completely different field). I've worked in hospital as a casual health care assistant while studying. I have just completed my degree in Bachelor of health science. However, throughout my studies I realized that I want to get back into accounting field to become an accountant. However, I do not have an accounting degree so next year I plan to do my Master in Professional Accounting (2 years programme). The master in professional accounting programme is equivalent to a 3 year accounting degree level. The master in professional programme is also suitable for those who have already obtained a degree in any discipline or field and it does not have to be an accounting degree.

I was thinking of going back to university again to study Master in Professional Accounting in Australia, NZ or Paris.

I was also thinking of getting an internship position in Paris after completing my Master in Professional Accounting but it might be easier to get an internship position if I were to do my Master in Paris.

Do you have any suggestions?

I hope to hear from you.

Thanks.
 

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The French university system works a little bit differently than in the anglophone world. Business and accounting subjects are generally taught in "business schools" rather than in a university. As such, they don't really have bachelors or masters programs in accounting.

A quoi mènent les études de comptabilité et comment y parvenir. Les réponses avec Letudiant.fr - Letudiant.fr explains the diploma system for accounting in France (and in French). You don't actually do an internship in France after your studies. Most programs require at least a couple of "stages" (French word for internship) during the program - and indeed, to do a "stage" you need a formal agreement between the employer, the stagiere and the school you are attending.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Bev is correct (as always!)

I taught in business school - an ESC, not a university - and finance was a hugely popular subject. It worked as Bev describes. I don't know how you enter an ESC except via the 2 years "prepa" which is uniquely French.

Have you thought about a finance MBA in 1 year? Most MBAs insist on 2 or 3 years of business experience to be accepted. I taught on the Rouen Business School MBA (not finance!) and it was a wonderful experience - 25 mature students from all over the world with different backgrounds, cultures etc etc. Check that an MBA in finance is sufficient for admission into the world of Finance Director .

You should be aware that in France people tend not to change "function". If you studied finance then you are in finance for life. The French don't understand the Anglo-Saxon option of finance people moving into marketing, or logistics for a few years, then moving back, perhaps!

DejW
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The French university system works a little bit differently than in the anglophone world. Business and accounting subjects are generally taught in "business schools" rather than in a university. As such, they don't really have bachelors or masters programs in accounting.

A quoi mènent les études de comptabilité et comment y parvenir. Les réponses avec Letudiant.fr - Letudiant.fr explains the diploma system for accounting in France (and in French). You don't actually do an internship in France after your studies. Most programs require at least a couple of "stages" (French word for internship) during the program - and indeed, to do a "stage" you need a formal agreement between the employer, the stagiere and the school you are attending.
Cheers,
Bev
Hi Bev,

Thanks for replying. I really want to do the Master in Professional Accounting but I might have to study in Australia or NZ. What are the chances of getting an entry level accounting job in Paris? Do you know? I am also learning French and I will apply for my working holiday visa in January 2016 before I turn 31. Therefore, I have two years to learn French and study Master in Prof Accounting.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bev is correct (as always!)

I taught in business school - an ESC, not a university - and finance was a hugely popular subject. It worked as Bev describes. I don't know how you enter an ESC except via the 2 years "prepa" which is uniquely French.

Have you thought about a finance MBA in 1 year? Most MBAs insist on 2 or 3 years of business experience to be accepted. I taught on the Rouen Business School MBA (not finance!) and it was a wonderful experience - 25 mature students from all over the world with different backgrounds, cultures etc etc. Check that an MBA in finance is sufficient for admission into the world of Finance Director .

You should be aware that in France people tend not to change "function". If you studied finance then you are in finance for life. The French don't understand the Anglo-Saxon option of finance people moving into marketing, or logistics for a few years, then moving back, perhaps!

DejW

Hi DejW,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I'm aware that French people don't usually change career so whatever they've studied in college they end working in their field and they stay with it forever. Also, I have a few French friends in their late 20's and mid 30's and they have been working in the same field since graduating from university.

I wish I had known what I wanted to do straight after high school. But unfortunately not, instead I worked in an accounting firm for 6 years (as a secretary and executive assistant to the director). And then I left to obtain my degree in Bachelor of Health Science (part-time) and also worked in a hospital as a casual staff while studying. I have finally completed this degree after almost 5 years of studying part-time and working par-time. But I realized, I want to get back into accounting field, perhaps as a financial accountant in the health care sector since I have a background in health. I'm open to any companies and it doesn't have to be within the health care sector.

I also thought of studying MBA but I can't become an accountant with an MBA degree, right? What about MBA in finance, does that qualify me to become an accountant?

Thanks :)
 

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Hi Bev,

Thanks for replying. I really want to do the Master in Professional Accounting but I might have to study in Australia or NZ. What are the chances of getting an entry level accounting job in Paris? Do you know? I am also learning French and I will apply for my working holiday visa in January 2016 before I turn 31. Therefore, I have two years to learn French and study Master in Prof Accounting.

Thanks.
If what you want is the Master in Professional Accounting, then yes, you probably should do the program in Australia or NZ since there isn't really a direct equivalent here in France.

Getting an entry level accounting position is a good question. Right now, getting any position is a real challenge. One thing in your favor is that the French tend to go by your qualifications rather than your experience. OTOH, you may well have to explain the career change thing to them. It's not terribly "French." <g> Getting an entry level job here is always problematic - especially if your French is sparse.

I got my MBA back in the US in Accounting and that's how I wound up getting into the profession in the first place, so it's definitely possible. With a foreign degree of any sort, you're going to have to explain to people just what it is you have studied.

Part of my nationality interview consisted of trying to explain an MBA to the interviewer in French. Not a "test" at all, just her trying to figure out what my qualification was closest to in the French system. (essentially, "Bac+5") But I also have my CPA certificate, so can tell them it's "just like an expert comptable" which seems to make them happy.

One thing to know if you're planning on an "international" career: the French have a pretty regimented system of accounting. The State dictates the chart of accounts that all businesses must use. It's not really a big deal, but it takes some getting used to, as does the slightly different presentation of the financial statements. I got asked early on if I understood "French accounting" like it is some mystery to outsiders. As they say, debits still go on the left and credits on the right, so I found it no more complicated than learning how a new client does their accounting (i.e. when I worked in public accounting). Being able to say you know "anglo-saxon" accounting is a big plus, and a surprising number of accounting jobs here ask for "excellent English" due to international parent companies. But they do expect you to use French for communications among the local staff.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi

Bev's answered much better than I could. I'm an engineer by my degree, not that I've used it very much. I can't comment on qualifications for entry into finance, or any other business for that matter -I'm really out of touch after retirement in France! I'll help on interview technique if you wish, I've taught it and I've still got the handouts.

FWIW I (or rather my French wife) has a (Fr) nephew accountant, qualified in both Oz and in France. He emigrated last year to Oz and had no difficulty finding a job!

DejW

Hi DejW,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I'm aware that French people don't usually change career so whatever they've studied in college they end working in their field and they stay with it forever. Also, I have a few French friends in their late 20's and mid 30's and they have been working in the same field since graduating from university.

I wish I had known what I wanted to do straight after high school. But unfortunately not, instead I worked in an accounting firm for 6 years (as a secretary and executive assistant to the director). And then I left to obtain my degree in Bachelor of Health Science (part-time) and also worked in a hospital as a casual staff while studying. I have finally completed this degree after almost 5 years of studying part-time and working par-time. But I realized, I want to get back into accounting field, perhaps as a financial accountant in the health care sector since I have a background in health. I'm open to any companies and it doesn't have to be within the health care sector.

I also thought of studying MBA but I can't become an accountant with an MBA degree, right? What about MBA in finance, does that qualify me to become an accountant?

Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bevdeforges said:
If what you want is the Master in Professional Accounting, then yes, you probably should do the program in Australia or NZ since there isn't really a direct equivalent here in France. Getting an entry level accounting position is a good question. Right now, getting any position is a real challenge. One thing in your favor is that the French tend to go by your qualifications rather than your experience. OTOH, you may well have to explain the career change thing to them. It's not terribly "French." <g> Getting an entry level job here is always problematic - especially if your French is sparse. I got my MBA back in the US in Accounting and that's how I wound up getting into the profession in the first place, so it's definitely possible. With a foreign degree of any sort, you're going to have to explain to people just what it is you have studied. Part of my nationality interview consisted of trying to explain an MBA to the interviewer in French. Not a "test" at all, just her trying to figure out what my qualification was closest to in the French system. (essentially, "Bac+5") But I also have my CPA certificate, so can tell them it's "just like an expert comptable" which seems to make them happy. One thing to know if you're planning on an "international" career: the French have a pretty regimented system of accounting. The State dictates the chart of accounts that all businesses must use. It's not really a big deal, but it takes some getting used to, as does the slightly different presentation of the financial statements. I got asked early on if I understood "French accounting" like it is some mystery to outsiders. As they say, debits still go on the left and credits on the right, so I found it no more complicated than learning how a new client does their accounting (i.e. when I worked in public accounting). Being able to say you know "anglo-saxon" accounting is a big plus, and a surprising number of accounting jobs here ask for "excellent English" due to international parent companies. But they do expect you to use French for communications among the local staff. Cheers, Bev
Hi Bev,

Thank you for your advice. Which company did you manage to get a job as an accountant in Paris? Also, do you know a good site to look for accounting jobs in Paris aside from monster, linkden and etc?

I don't know if NZ and AUS actually offer MBA in Accounting. They do have MBA program but in general. What's the difference between MBA accounting and Master in professional accounting (MAP)? I guess with MBA accounting you get to learn with other business concepts(e.g: management, marketing, hr, international business etc) aside from just accounting whereas the MPA is mostly specific to accounting and it is a pathway to getting a CA exam.

I would take the MBA in Accounting instead if only it's available in NZ.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
DejW said:
Hi Bev's answered much better than I could. I'm an engineer by my degree, not that I've used it very much. I can't comment on qualifications for entry into finance, or any other business for that matter -I'm really out of touch after retirement in France! I'll help on interview technique if you wish, I've taught it and I've still got the handouts. FWIW I (or rather my French wife) has a (Fr) nephew accountant, qualified in both Oz and in France. He emigrated last year to Oz and had no difficulty finding a job! DejW
Hello DejW,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, that would be great if you could help me on interview technique and if you don't mind sharing the handouts. Were you teaching in France or US?

About your accountant nephew working in Aus, I don't think it's hard to get a job as an accountant there. My concern is getting an accounting job in Paris in any companies. I guess any areas would be difficult to get a job in Paris. :)

Thanks.
 

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Hi Bev,

Thank you for your advice. Which company did you manage to get a job as an accountant in Paris? Also, do you know a good site to look for accounting jobs in Paris aside from monster, linkden and etc?

I don't know if NZ and AUS actually offer MBA in Accounting. They do have MBA program but in general. What's the difference between MBA accounting and Master in professional accounting (MAP)? I guess with MBA accounting you get to learn with other business concepts(e.g: management, marketing, hr, international business etc) aside from just accounting whereas the MPA is mostly specific to accounting and it is a pathway to getting a CA exam.

I would take the MBA in Accounting instead if only it's available in NZ.

Thank you.
I have specifically avoided job hunting in Paris, as I live 40 km to the south and the commute in and out of Paris is simply awful, even on public transport these days. I did have a temporary (two month) gig at the OECD that was interesting.

The issue in your case, however, is going to be trying to find an accounting job fresh out of school. In my case, I had 10 or 15 years of experience in the US with some experience in the UK and Germany, which helped.

I don't know anything about the MAP degree - perhaps it is something unique to Australia and New Zealand. When I got my MBA (years ago) we were required to have a "major" - like Accounting, Finance, Marketing, etc. But generally, the MBA is considered an overall management degree. However, with an MBA in Accounting you could sit the CPA exams, which I did. Definitely worth it to have that qualification.

As far as job hunting is concerned, you might add the Pole Emploi site to your list, however that site is exclusively in French. You don't need to be registered with Pole Emploi to search their jobs data base and they do tend to have more entry level jobs than the big job sites do.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have specifically avoided job hunting in Paris, as I live 40 km to the south and the commute in and out of Paris is simply awful, even on public transport these days. I did have a temporary (two month) gig at the OECD that was interesting.

The issue in your case, however, is going to be trying to find an accounting job fresh out of school. In my case, I had 10 or 15 years of experience in the US with some experience in the UK and Germany, which helped.

I don't know anything about the MAP degree - perhaps it is something unique to Australia and New Zealand. When I got my MBA (years ago) we were required to have a "major" - like Accounting, Finance, Marketing, etc. But generally, the MBA is considered an overall management degree. However, with an MBA in Accounting you could sit the CPA exams, which I did. Definitely worth it to have that qualification.

As far as job hunting is concerned, you might add the Pole Emploi site to your list, however that site is exclusively in French. You don't need to be registered with Pole Emploi to search their jobs data base and they do tend to have more entry level jobs than the big job sites do.
Cheers,
Bev

Hi Bev,

Thank you for contributing to this forum. :) I really appreciate your effort!

If I can't get a job in Paris as an entry level accountant, I might try in London but that means I will have to commute to Paris every weekend.

Take care!
 

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Hi F Bella

If you commute to Paris at the weekends you will not be alone. There are many, many French people working in London. I wonder why?

...and I agree, Bev's a wonderful source of info...I'm constantly amazed.

DejW

Hi Bev,

Thank you for contributing to this forum. :) I really appreciate your effort!

If I can't get a job in Paris as an entry level accountant, I might try in London but that means I will have to commute to Paris every weekend.

Take care!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi F Bella

If you commute to Paris at the weekends you will not be alone. There are many, many French people working in London. I wonder why?

...and I agree, Bev's a wonderful source of info...I'm constantly amazed.

DejW
Hi DejW,

I believe you and Bev are both wonderful sources. :) Keep up the good work you two!!

Also, thank you once again for sending me those interview technique handouts. I will read them when I'm ready.

I'm now indecisive whether to do my Master in Professional Accounting or stick within Health.

Yes, I don't mind working in London as I love the city too. But I've heard that it will get too costly commuting to Paris every weekends and plus paying monthly rent in Paris and paying weekly rent in London. Since you know other people working in London and commuting to Paris, how are they finding it?

:)
 
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