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Chair in Accounting-Control-Audit (ACA)


“The verification of CSR reporting: what are the issues?” conference - March 2017

In view of the events in recent decades, the well-known maxim of Milton Friedman (1970) seems quite obsolete: “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits” which is another way of saying that “the social responsibility of companies is to make a profit [to pay their shareholders]”. The significant damage to the environment caused by certain companies (Seveso in 1976, Chernobyl in 1986, Total and Erika in 1999, AZF in 2001, Fukushima in 2011, etc.) has highlighted the major role of companies in the protection of the environment and the preservation of the health of living beings in general and their responsibility in the eyes of the general public. The cost of inaction is often greater than the cost of a substantial change in our behaviour and in particular for companies (for example, with regard to CO2 emissions). Companies are now taking a close interest in these questions in the context of their development and communication strategies. Corporate social and environmental responsibility (CSR) in particular is the reason for a proliferation of initiatives in our Region, showing the willingness of many stakeholders to engage with this issue. The emergence of the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) has thus changed the range of indicators to be taken into account when measuring the value of a company, hence the growing need for reliable information on the non-financial performance of companies.

Committing to a CSR approach in particular involves:

  • Meeting stakeholder expectations
  • Encouraging innovation and strengthening the competitiveness and overall performance of companies
  • Improving their image and strengthening their credibility
  • Strengthening the cohesive relationship of the company with its employees, who are increasingly sensitive to these issues
  • Obtaining financing more easily
  • Facilitating the recruitment of young people who are increasingly focused on the CSR approach of companies
  • Complying with regulatory requirements and anticipating future regulations which will be tougher

The obligation to publish CSR information is currently limited to large companies, but we can expect the scope of this requirement to be extended more and more widely. As a result, some companies are not waiting until they are required to communicate CSR information. Faced with the growing challenges in relation to the reporting of CSR information and the credibility of companies in this area, implementation decree no. 2012-557 of article 225 of the Grenelle 2 law relating to the requirement for companies to be transparent in relation to environmental and social matters establishes the procedures for producing the CSR report as well as the obligation for verification of this report by an Organisme Tiers Indépendant (OTI) - independent third party body.

It is in this context that the Université du Maine, in partnership with the ICD International Business School organised a conference on Friday 3 March 2017 on the theme of the issues relating to the verification of CSR reporting by an independent third party body (OTI).


Conference: “Regulated agreements: these very specific transactions” - December 2017

Shareholders, who control the capital of a company, can take advantage of their dominant position to extract private profits. They can extract cash by selling (buying) assets, goods or services to the company at prices different from the market prices. They can also obtain loans on favourable terms or dilute the interests of minority shareholders by acquiring additional securities at a preferential price. Profits and assets can also be transferred through transactions between companies belonging to the same group. The transfer of wealth generally takes place from firms located at the bottom of the pyramid to firms located at the top of the pyramid where the ownership rights of the main shareholders are greater. These are a few examples of transactions coming within the scope of regulated agreements that may be detrimental to individual investors. We may therefore ask ourselves how the new law on regulated agreements can contribute to greater transparency and supervision of these very specific transactions. Given the importance of the external audit in the context of regulated agreements, we also highlight the role of statutory auditors in monitoring these transactions.


“Quality and Usefulness of the Audit” conference - September 2019

No-one can ignore the role of auditors in the statutory audit of accounts and in the fight against fraud within companies. However, apart from the mandatory aspect, the quality and the usefulness of the external audit in large organisations are now being questioned.

To the extent that the internal audit enables better control of risks, detection of failings, more reliable information and a reduction in information asymmetries, the internal audit and the external audit can therefore complement each other in their respective governance roles.

This is the case for SMEs and SMIs and intermediate-size companies (ETIs) where the quality of the accounting information and the integrity of the financial statements considerably increase the responsibilities of managers, influence the reputation of the company and promote confidence in stakeholders.

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