SER ist Hersteller und größtes unabhängiges deutsches Systemhaus von Lösungen für integriertes Enterprise Content Management (iECM). Damit steht der Name SER heute für mehr als nur elektronische Archivierung, Dokumenten- und Workflow-Management.
The German regulations on data access and the auditability of digital documents (GDPdU) have been in force for nearly three years now. Since 1 January 2002 the fiscal authority has the right to access tax-relevant data, including data from previous financial years. The German Finance Ministry (BMF) has now trained many of the 14,000 tax auditors in the use of its IDEA auditing software from AUDICON GmbH. The first electronic tax audits are already taking place. The fiscal authority will exercise its auditing rights in full. The new auditing software makes it possible to analyse large volumes of data within a short space of time, partly automatically with the help of auditing macros. Organisations that are liable for tax which have been putting off the issue must now make up for lost time as quickly as possible and ensure that their IT systems are fit for the requirements of the GDPdU regulations.
The GDPdU regulations stipulate that all tax-relevant data and documents originally produced electronically must be retained in a form suitable for digital analysis for the retention period set down by law (up to 10 years or more). In the event of a tax audit, the auditor is free to choose how to access the data: he can analyse the data himself on site, he can request that a member of staff within the organisation produce the desired analyses and he can also request that the organisation create a data carrier.
More than a few organisations are of the opinion that there is still time to prepare for electronic tax audits, since the next audit may not take place for a few years. Some hope to be granted an extension through a relaxation of accounting requirements. Despite being ignorant of the legal situation, some organisations believe they are equipped to meet the requirements of the GDPdU regulations, even though this is not the case. Yet, as we know, ignorance is no defence. Anyone who does not prepare in time for digital tax audits not only risks having penalties imposed by the fiscal authority, but also risks having to invest considerable time and financial resources to prepare the data retrospectively. The longer companies remain inactive, the greater the problems they will face later on when it comes to implementing the GDPdU requirements.