The typology of Houdart A&C’s customers in the communication sector

Houdart A&C serves in chartered accounting or statutory auditing numerous stakeholders operating in various activities,: within the communication sector, such as communication consulting agencies, advertising agencies, web marketing agencies, SEO specialized agencies, public relations consulting agencies, event communications companies, professional congress organizers, and others.

Although the activities related to physical or digital marketing and communication sector are very diverse, they are characterized by a significant investment in terms of resources in creating intangible assets, linked to the core value of agencies which is their creativity, and thus requires legal protection and possibly special tax considerations.

Characteristics of the marketing and communication sector

The need for creativity is evident, but also the management of contracts that sometimes exceed one fiscal year, issues related to intellectual property law, taxation of copyrights transfer, significant investment in intangible creation, and monitoring of the margin at completion on long-term contracts, are among the challenges faced by companies operating in the communication and marketing sector.

The tools contributing to the production of financial information should allow for a detailed analysis of the composition of the cost to understand the composition of the cost of their creation and the evolution of the margin by contract typology. Cross-analyses often necessitate the use of analytical accounting.

The constant need for innovation, both in terms of artistic creation and technical or digital innovation, makes access to sufficient capital essential to finance this need for creativity and sometimes research and development, especially in the digital sector.”

In chartered accounting or auditing expertise, diverse skills at the service of your communication agency

Beyond our mission of bookkeeping or accounting review, as a certified public accountant, we offer you a personalized service, anticipate your needs, and keep you informed of changes in social and tax regulations to which you are subject in order to implement appropriate solutions.

Our services rely on digital and collaborative tools, within the framework of bookkeeping or accounting review assignments. As statutory auditors, we adopt a constructive and flexible approach, supported by substantive tests but also, and above all, by reviewing your various processes in collaboration with your teams, in order to build a relationship of trust with them and provide recommendations for continuous improvement of these processes.

The development of our firm in terms of chartered accountancy and statutory auditors is based on the technical support of a skillful, versatile and regularly trained team, as well as the proximity and availability of chartered accountants and associated statutory auditors available and at your service when you need them

Support for the Company and its executives as a chartered accountant for your communication agency

Accounting management

Our mission of keeping or reviewing the accounting of your marketing or communication Company is primarily aimed at :

  • Creating or taking over a business in the marketing or communication sector,
  • Securing your margins through regular and accurate accounting monitoring,
  • Analyzing your performance by implementing analytical accounting if necessary,
  • Optimizing your financial resources, in particular your external financing.

In order to ensure the reliability of the established financial information, we help you to implement effective processes for retrieving and recording data, as well as appropriate tools for tracking the value of work in progress and future margin per project monitored by your marketing or communication agency.”

We anticipate upcoming issues on various projects developed through understanding each one and analyzing the accounting and tax implications.

Nous vous mettons éventuellement en lien avec des fiscalistes ou des experts habitués à travailler avec des agences de communication et de marketing, si nos compétences ne permettent pas de répondre à l’ensemble des problématiques qui se présentent, en matière de propriété intellectuelle ou d’analyse de l’éligibilité de certains travaux au CIR par exemple.

We may potentially connect you with tax specialists or experts accustomed to working with communication and marketing agencies, if our expertise does not fully address all issues related to intellectual property or eligibility analysis for R&D tax credit, for example.

If your agency is a subsidiary of a foreign group or a Company owned by venture capital firms, as a chartered  accountant, we produce periodic reports intended for fund providers.

Taxation management

Si dans le cadre du développement de votre activité de marketing et de communication vous avez été amenés à ouvrir des établissements stables à l’étranger, nous analysons les conventions fiscales applicables afin de déterminer le lieu et la nature de la fiscalité applicable aux flux générés. De même, dans le cadre des échanges intracommunautaires liés à votre activité, nous vous assistons pour déterminer le régime applicable en matière de TVA ou pour recouvrer des créances de TVA dans les pays tiers de l’UE.

Lorsque vous avez fait des efforts en matière d’innovation et de recherche et développement, des crédits d’impôts sont éventuellement applicables aux dépenses encourues dans ce cadre. Nous vous aidons à déterminer votre éligibilité et l’assiette de ces crédits d’impôts.

Fiscal Management

If, as part of your marketing and communication business development, you have established permanent establishments abroad, we analyze the applicable tax treaties to determine the location and nature of the applicable taxation on the generated flows. Similarly, in the context of intra-community trade related to your activity, we assist you in determining the applicable VAT regime or in recovering VAT receivables in third countries of the EU.

When you have made efforts in terms of innovation and research and development,, tax credits may be applicable to expenses incurred in this context. We help you determine your eligibility and the basis for these tax credits.

Social management

On the social level, Houdart A&C has good knowledge of the main collective agreements applicable to activities in the marketing and communication sector, such as the SYNTEC agreement and the advertising agreement, due to the diversity activities of the companies composing its client base.

We handle the payroll of our clients’ employees in the communication and marketing sector, we  assist you in the context of URSSAF checks, we establish the DSN reports, and we can take charge of employee salary transfers.

We handle affiliations with the competent insurance organizations based on the business sector of your agency.

We provide advice in case of dispute with one or more employees and connect you with a recommended lawyer in the event of an industrial tribunal litigation.

Legal Assistance for Your Agency

Our legal service offers support in the common and extraordinary legal tasks of a company’s life. We also are available to provide you with any advice you may need as the CEO of a communication agency in the conduct of your business.

Our legal mission includes annual legal secretarial services, drafting of certain legal documents, drafting of minutes of ordinary and extraordinary general meetings, convocations, amendments to the articles of association (transfer of the company’s registered office, company name, etc.), formalities with the competent commercial court registry, etc.

We also assist you in carrying out operations such as contributions, transformations, merger, and demerger of the company.

Due diligence

When an external growth opportunity arises, we are able to conduct, as advisors or as auditors, an acquisition audit of the target company, prior to your decision-making process.

Executive support

Our mission as a chartered accountant goes beyond preparing the financial statements of your company related to marketing and communication. For our family-owned business clients, we provide support to the entrepreneurs in managing their patromonial assets to ensure that decisions related to the business have optimal outcomes for them and their family circle.

The diversity of our expertise allows us to assist you first and foremost with your personal tax declarations. We draw up your income tax declarations in France, as well as your potential real estate wealth tax declaration.

We provide assistance in the choice of individual and group health and heavy-coverage insurance contracts. We ensure that the formalities for setting up the contracts cover the risk of tax and social adjustment.

If necessary, we can assist you in the context of your personal tax audits.

Acquiring real estate for one’s business is often an interesting way for business owners to reconcile the interests of their business with the development of their personal assets.

We stand by the business manager from the initiation of the project, the investment decision-making, the choice of investment structure, up to the preparation of necessary documents for obtaining funds from financing organizations.

We have a significant network of specialized professionals in insurance brokerage, notary, social or tax law, whom we can mobilize to supplement our support.

Finally, we accompany and study with our clients the various possibilities of social security scheme and remuneration methods in order to optimize the taxation and social security of the communication agency director’s remuneration.

MyUnisoft, a digital, collaborative, and innovative accounting software

We have an innovative, efficient, and collaborative accounting production tool, a true marketplace with an open API, which can connect to most common apps used by entrepreneurs, whether it’s digital neo-banks, CRM tools, document management systems, data analysis tools, or payroll software.

Thanks to agreements with most banking institutions, we can set up automatic retrieval of your bank transactions in EBICS format with your bank.

We can provide your accounting teams with our software to work collaboratively on your financial data in real-time. We can also fully manage your accounting if you do not have an accounting department.

Common questions related to the marketing and communication sector

How to account for website creation expenses?

There are two types of websites to distinguish:

  • The so-called “Passive” or showcase websites, which follow the treatment of advertising expenses. They are generally recorded as expenses but can be activated as establishment expenses in the context of company formation.
  • Active websites that generate sales and feed the company’s information systems. These websites can be capitalized as assets on the balance sheet, under the same conditions as research and development expenses (serious chances of technical success, intention to complete the website and use or sell it, capacity to use or sell the website, generation of future economic benefits, technical and financial resources to complete the development of the website, and ability to reliably evaluate expenses attributable to the development of the website).

Can advertising expenses be capitalized in the accounts?

These expenses are typically recognized as an expense in the period in which they are incurred. However, expenses related to operations that are essential for the existence or development of the company, but whose amount cannot be attributed to the production of goods and services, may be recoreded as an asset on the balance sheet under the heading “establishment expenses” (C. com. art. R 123-186 and PCG art. 212-9).

However, the communication costs and the nature of the message must be directly related to the creation of the company or the operation on the capital that constitutes its development, and in coherent timing with the latter.

What are long-term contracts in accounting?

Long-term contracts are contracts with a generally long duration specifically negotiated as part of a unique project involving the construction, realization, or, where applicable, participation as a subcontractor in the realization of a frequently complex set of goods and services, the execution of which extends over at least two accounting periods. The entity’s right to receive contractual revenues depends on whether the work performed is in accordance with the contract.

Long-term contracts are typically found in the following sectors: building and public works, engineering, information technology (IT), shipbuilding, aerospace industry, etc.

For long-term contracts, there are two methods of revenue recognition: on a progress or completion basis.

What is the method of recognition of the result on completion?

The completion method is a method of accounting for turnover attached to a long-term contract. It involves recognizing turnover only when the contract is fully completed. Work-in-progress is valued and recorded as inventory based on the expenses incurred in the project during the year. No revenue is therefore recognized as work-in-progress is recorded. Provisions are made for any losses on completion as soon as they become probable and can be estimated with sufficient accuracy.

What is the method of recognition of the result on completion?

It consists of recording partial turnover at the end of the fiscal year by means of invoices to be issued, depending on the progress of the contract, whether the expected margin is profit or loss.

At the end of each fiscal year, a fraction of the turnover associated with the contract is recorded according  to the percentage of completion of the works. The completion percentage at the end of year N is determined as follows: cost of work completed at the end of year N / total estimated cost.

What are the conditions for capitalizing research and development expenses?

Development costs can be capitalized as an asset if they relate to clearly individualized projects with significant chances of technical success and commercial profitability (PCG art. 212-3).

The following six conditions must be simultaneously met:

  1. Technical feasibility of completing the intangible asset for commissioning;
  2. Intention to complete the intangible asset and to use or sell it;
  3. Ability to use or sell the intangible asset;
  4. Ability of generating future economic benefits from the intangible asset;
  5. Availability of appropriate resources (technical, financial, and others) to complete the development;
  6. Ability to reliably evaluate the expenditure attributable to the intangible asset during its development.

What is the tax regime for the sale and licensing of patents and similar intellectual property rights  ?

Companies subject to individual income tax (IR) or corporate income tax (IS) can, by option, subject the net income from the sale, concession or sub-licence of certain industrial property rights to a reduced tax rate of 10%.

Eligible assets include : patents, protected software, industrial manufacturing processes, and patentable inventions.”

This tax regime is applicable upon express option formulated in the financial statement for the fiscal year in which it is exercised.

The net result of the concession is determined by the difference between the income derived from eligible assets and the R&D expenses directly related to these assets and and which are realized. Expenditures  such as general overheads and expenses for defending industrial property rights are excluded

Is an intangible asset subject to amortization?

The cost price of an intangible asset with a finite useful life is amortizable and must be allocated over its useful life.

However, an intangible asset with an indefinite useful life should not be amortized. The useful life of an intangible asset that is not being depreciated should be reassessed at each reporting period to determine if events and circumstances continue to support the assessment of an indefinite useful life for that asset.

What is the collective agreement applicable to communication agencies ?

The National Collective Agreement applicable to the personnel of technical design offices, consulting engineering firms and consulting companies (SYNTEC) of 15/12/1987 (IDCC 1486), extended by order of 13 April 1988, applies to the personnel of communication agencies.

The National Collective Labour Agreement for Executives, Technicians and Employees of French Advertising of 22 April 1955, extended by Decree of 29 July 1955 JORF 19 August 1955 (IDCC 86) applies to advertising agencies.

Why call on a chartered accountant specialized in accounting and taxation of communication agencies?

As a communication agency, beyond the respect of the deadlines related to your accounting, your taxation and possibly legal, you expect a chartered accountant to be efficient in producing and transmitting of the deliverables, providing practical support in the piloting of your activity, turn-key solution to any accounting or tax-related issues that may arise, so that you can concentrate on the operational specificities of your agency. As an accountant who combines interpersonal skills with digital capabilities, your satisfaction is at the heart of our priorities and and we strive to outperform online accountants through our strong presence by your side, our responsiveness, the performance of our tools and the quality of the relationships that our associates and chartered accountants maintain with our clients.