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The objective of this paper is to trace the development of the French auditing profession, the commissaires aux comptes, focusing on the appearance of the large Anglo-American audit firms on the French market. The French audit market has always shown a number of peculiarities, including the continued importance of a number of local audit firms. The French auditing profession finds its roots in late 19th century company law that introduced an obligation for companies to release audited financial statements. The profession became regulated in its modern form in the 1960s. This paper attempts to explain the growing impact of the international audit firms on the French auditing profession. It also demonstrates how local professionals and the French state reacted to these developments.



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