I often get asked whether managing a micro-entrepreneur is feasible as an English speaker or whether you should be looking for an accountant. The good news is, even as a beginner with the French language, this is manageable!
In this article, I’m giving you an idea of the time needed to manage your micro entrepreneur, whether we are talking about the setup paperwork or the monthly accountancy, once you are up and running.
If you need extra help, check my online course How to manage your micro entrepreneur set up paperwork, which walks you through this process in detail, as well as explain what each body does and how to complete your 1st turnover declaration.
1 - Time required to manage your micro entrepreneur to start with
Once you have registered your business, you will need a few hours to go through the paperwork that you will receive through the post, as well as figure out what each body does. This could represent 4 to 6 hours to manage your setup, as the paperwork will spread over 3 to 4 weeks and as you will need to go and create your accounts online.
4 to 6 hours initially required to:
- Set up your autoentrepreneur.urssaf.fr account to pay your social charge (i.e. create the online account if you registered with Chambre de Commerce, Chambre de Metiers, or Greffe du Tribunal de Commerce and add your bank details for future payments).
- Set up your business impot.gouv.fr account.
- Set up your CPAM / Ameli account.
- Complete and return Impot’s initial Contribution Foncieres des Entreprises form.
- Post identity proofs when requested by CPAM/URSSAF for your health cover.
- Shred spam letters sent to you by non-compulsory directories (remember there are NO compulsory directories to be paid).
This sounds like a lot and it definitely is the most paperwork that you will ever do for your business! Past this first month, it will go back to an easy flow of just one declaration per month or quarter.
If you find it too much or want to spend less time, my online course walks you through the creation of these accounts.
2 - Time required on a monthly basis to manage your micro entrepreneur
Whether you chose to declare and pay your social charges on a monthly or quarterly basis, I recommend doing these tasks at the end of each month. Plan 2 hours if you have only a few invoices and not VAT registered and 3 hours if you have many invoices or are VAT registered.
Micro entrepreneur monthly accountancy tasks: 2 hours (3 hours if VAT registered*)
- Printing a copy of your invoices.
- Checking and chasing invoice payments.
- Check VAT collected*.
- Logging and printing your expenses (this is not requested by URSSAF, but best if you want to know where you stand and how much it costs to run your business).
- Double-check payments from bank accounts, Paypal, Wise, Stripe.
- Check VAT paid*.
- Declaring monthly turnover to URSSAF
- Completing VAT declaration to impot.gouv.fr if on mini réel (yearly in May for regime simplifié)*.
- Set reminders for bank transfers if needed for social charges and VAT payments.
As you can see, when I mention 2 hours, most of it comes down to basic accountancy practices of checking your incoming and outgoings. The turnover declaration with URSSAF literally takes 10 minutes once you have this information.
3 - How much time do I take to do my bookkeeping as a Frenchy
I have worked as a micro entrepreneur and as a SAS and I usually keep 2 to 3 hours per month to do my bookkeeping (invoices, expenses, chasing payments, VAT declaration).
But I usually also include some time within these 3 hours to review my business:
- Where did my turnover come from based on services types?
- How did this compare to last year (or the year before)?
- Is there any reason explaining this change (Hello Brexit, covid, CDS...)
As well as my marketing indicators, which I add on a Google Sheet:
- Website traffic and sources.
- Newsletter statistics (open rates, new subscribers).
- Social network followers.
- Special actions taken (e.g. FB ads, email campaign, Reels to see the impact on traffic).
I won’t necessarily “analyse” these every month, but I keep a monthly log for when I’m ready for an in-depth review, maybe on a quarterly basis.