Everything you need to know about French accounting vocabulary

Specialised vocabulary: accounting terms you need to know

Whether you're an accounting student, an employee in the field of finance or human resources, or simply interested in this field, understanding the fundamentals of accounting inevitably involves learning technical vocabulary.

Accounting is a profession that requires a great amount of discipline and resources. Administrative applications, laws... You don't become an accountant overnight! Here is a non-exhaustive list of basic vocabulary:

  • Facture : invoice
  • Devis : quote
  • Avoir : credit
  • Contrat : contract
  • Bon de commande : order form
  • Relevé d'identité bancaire : bank account number
  • Bulletin de paie : payslip
  • Valeur comptable : book value
  • Stocks : inventory
  • Flux de trésorerie : cash flow
  • Bénéfice brut : gross profit
  • Dépenses : expenses
  • Capitaux propres : equity
  • Comptes créditeurs/fournisseurs : accounts payable
  • Créances clients : accounts receivable
  • Prévisions : forecasting
  • Intérêt : interest
  • Masse salariale : payroll
  • Frais généraux : overhead
  • Coût variable : variable cost
  • Retour sur investissement : return on investment

What is the role of an accountant within a company?

The role of an accountant can vary considerably depending on the size of the company in which they work. Generally speaking, accountants are the guarantors of a company's accounts, being at the heart of financial concerns. An accountant deals with figures all day long, with rigour and precision. They use specific accounting software.

In collaboration with all the company's departments, they handle financial administration, cash inflows and outflows, invoicing, and ensure that tax and social security obligations are met.

What jobs are related to accounting in French?

To be able to talk to professionals in the field, you'll need to know not only the technical terminology, but also the different jobs you'll come across.

  • Un comptable : an accountant, a bookkeeper
  • Un banquier : a banker
  • Un actionnaire : a shareholder
  • Un banquier d’affaires: an investment banker
  • Un contrôleur financier : a financial controller
  • Un auditeur : an auditor
  • Un conseiller financier : a financial adviser
  • Un contrôleur de gestion : a business controller
  • Un consultant fiscaliste : a tax consultant
  • Un consultant financier : financial consultant
  • Un directeur comptable (de la comptabilité) : an accounting director
  • Un assistant comptable : an assistant accountant

How to learn accounting vocabulary in French with Swiss French School?

Do you want to improve your accounting skills in French? At Swiss French School, we offer quality training courses using a unique learning method. All our teachers are native speakers and hold a teacher qualification.

Because speaking practice is so important to progress, in our centres you will be speaking in French most of the time. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, it's part of the learning process! Repeat any lesson until you feel confident. In any case, our teachers will always be there to encourage and motivate you.

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