Sonia Soares, accountant

Sonia Soares is an accountant at INED.

(Interview conducted in February 2022)

What path brought you to INED?

After studying law at the University of Lorraine, I passed a nationwide competitive examination to enter the national Public Finance Department (DGFIP) and joined the French civil service in 2001. I then attended the national institute of public finance, which trains accounting officers for work in the public sector. At the DGFIP I initially managed a tax recovery bureau, then worked as an internal auditor in a département-level service, and later attained intermediate manager status in a department specialized in local financial management. In 2016 I was given the opportunity to work one day a week as an accountant for the secondary accounting agency of the IRD (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development) in Bondy. Then in 2018 I came to INED as a full-time accounting officer. 

What is your role at INED?

The job of an accounting officer is to ensure that accounts are kept correctly and accurately. We carry out and monitor our institution’s spending, receiving, and treasury operations. Recording incoming payments related to research programs, paying salaries, and keeping track of bank account transactions are some of the major recurring operations we handle. At the end of the accounting year, the Institute’s accounting and budget offices co-produce the financial accounts. Record-keeping quality and compliance with accounting rules is at the heart of our mission. 
In my position of accounting officer I am subject to a particular regime that makes me personally accountable for any breach or error that might be found by France’s general accounting office in one of its periodic examinations of the financial accounts. However, this regime, which engages national civil service accountants’ personal pecuniary responsibility, is currently being revised, and on January 1, 2023, it will be replaced by a unified accountability system that applies to all civil service managers. 

What, in your view, is specific about INED? What do you appreciate most about working at the Institute?

INED is a research institution that produces important major surveys. I particularly appreciate the diversity of research topics studied and the quality of the scientific productions available to the public. I’m proud to help support this research through my work.
At the collective work level, I’ve found supportive and engaged colleagues. And it’s nice to work on a single site since it’s easy to meet Institute members and develop constructive collaboration with all INED departments.