Business documentation keeping and archiving

by | May 17, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

A large number of documents are created during the company operation. Certain documents are created by the company or entrepreneur itself, while others come from outside – from suppliers, customers, commercial banks, accountants, and government authorities.

During the business year, current documentation is generally available to people who need it to perform their daily duties. After that the question arises – how and for how long business documents should be kept.

The storage of business documents is regulated by different regulations according to the types of documents.

The Law on Accounting regulates the storage of accounting documents, business books and financial reports.

Accounting documents (invoices, bank statements, credit notes, debit notes, compensation statements, calculations, tax calculations, salary, and so on).

Business books are the journal and general ledger (accounting records that contain all the entries made during the year) as well as auxiliary books.

The law stipulates the minimal number of years the following records must be kept:

  • Financial report (balance sheet, income statement, statistical report and other reports from this set) and Audit Report – 20 years
  • Journal and general ledger– 10 years
  • Auxiliary books (for example inventory book in trading companies) and documents that we recorded within – 5 years

Payrolls and analytical records of earnings are kept permanently.

However, VAT payers should take care of another regulation – Law on Value Added Tax, which requires that VAT records (book of incoming invoices and book of outgoing invoices) as well as the documentation based on which these records were created (bills and invoices) are kept for 10 years. This was also confirmed by the Ministry of Finance in Note no. 011-00-308/2007/04 from 2007.

Therefore, entities that are not liable for VAT are obliged to keep their invoices for 5 years. Entites liable for VAT must keep the invoices they have entered in the VAT records for 10 years.

The Law on Business Companies stipulates that the following acts mut be stored permanently:

  1. founding act;
  2. decision on the registration of the establishment of the company;
  3. general acts of the company;
  4. Minutes of assembly sessions and assembly decisions;
  5. act on the establishment of each branch or other organizational part of the company;
  6. documents proving ownership and other property rights of the company;
  7. minutes from the meetings of the supervisory board, if the management of the company is bicameral;
  8. contracts concluded with the company by the directors, members of the supervisory board if the management of the company is bicameral and members of the company, or persons related to them in the sense of this law.

The storage of accounting documentation, the persons responsible for storage and the business premises in which they will be stored must be defined by a general act, which must be in accordance with legal regulations in the field of archiving and archival materials.

Documentation originally created in electronic form should be kept in electronic form.

It is necessary to ensure that electronic documents can be accessed over time and are suitable for further processing. For example, in the event of a change in accounting or business software by an accountant or firm, the data stored in the old software must remain available.

Data stored in electronic form must be stored in such a way as to ensure their preservation in the form in which they were created, sent or received, and that the identity of the sender or recipient, as well as the time and place of sending and receiving the electronic message can be determined. The technologies applied in the storage process must ensure protection against subsequent changes or deletion of data.

Starting from 2024 business entities are obliged to apply measures for reliable storage of electronic documents, which are in accordance with the ISO 27001 standard.



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