Electronic invoice receipt & archiving procedure

I. Electronic archiving solutions

According to § 257 (3) of the German Commercial Code (HGB), certain original documents that must be retained can also be stored on a picture or other data medium, provided that the procedure used for this purpose complies with the principles of proper accounting (GoB).

Electronic archiving is increasingly being used in companies, as it enables more efficient and secure processing. Advantages are among others

  • simultaneous access to documents by multiple people,
  • fast access,
  • manual archive search is not necessary,
  • spatial independence (use from any PC/workstation),
  • independence from opening hours and availability of employees (with conventional archive),
  • automatic authorization check (only authorized documents are issued) and
  • automatic completeness check of the documents/receipts.

The principles of proper accounting (GoB) require an appropriate control system for the elements used:

  • IT infrastructure (as far as archiving is concerned),
  • used IT applications and
  • IT-supported archiving processes.

In addition to the commercial law regulations, the "Principles for the proper management and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form and for data access" (GoBD) regulations, which have existed since 2001 and were last updated in the BMF letter of 28.11.2019, must be taken into account. For example, in deviation from the requirements of commercial law, tax-relevant documents must be archived electronically in their original form (original data) and, if converted to a company-owned format (in-house format), also in the converted form. In addition, the data protection regulations of the BDSG and EU-DSGVO as well as other legal requirements are relevant for electronic archiving (e.g. regulations on archived documents for the submission of evidence in civil, criminal or administrative proceedings). Furthermore, requirements from industry-specific legal regulations (e.g. § 25a Paragraph 1 No. 5 of the German Banking Act (KWG) regarding the scope of archiving or § 30a of the German Fiscal Code (AO) regarding the protection of bank customers) must also be taken into account where applicable.

The control system includes regulations for controlling the use of archiving procedures in the company (internal control system) and regulations for monitoring compliance with these regulations (internal monitoring system).

We offer our clients support in the selection and introduction of electronic archiving procedures to ensure compliance with the complex regulatory requirements and the resulting risks.

Contact us!

Martin Lamm

Martin Lamm

Certified Tax Advisor, Partner, IT & Controls Assurance
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Frank Gerber

Frank Gerber

German Public Auditor, Certified Tax Advisor, Partner, IT & Controls Assurance
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