How to get started with electronic document management


Paper documents are a thing of the past: in some companies rapidly, in others – at a more modest pace. Electronic document management (EDM), although not mandatory, is desirable: the technology automates the process of information exchange, accelerates the transfer of information within the company and between contractors. The result is a reduction in the cost of storage and processing of paper documents, saving time, improving the efficiency of the company as a whole.

What is electronic document management and how it works

The electronic document management system provides for the creation, registration, exchange of documents in digital form, without the use of paper media.

In the end, everyone will have to switch to EDO. The Concept for the development of electronic document management in business has already been approved. According to the document, by the beginning of 2025, 70% of invoices and 95% of invoices must be digitized.

A separate state standard has been developed for electronic document management – GOST R 53898-2013. If the file is signed with a qualified electronic signature, the document becomes legally equivalent to a paper one with a handwritten signature.

So, we summarize:

  • SED – a technical system in which to create, sign, send electronic documents;
  • SED provides access control and file transfer in local or external networks;
  • thanks to SED we control incoming and outgoing flows of documents, collect and store them in the online archive.

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Electronic document management functions

Electronic document management systems:

  1. Provide a single scheme of work in all structural units of the enterprise – standardization facilitates processes, increases efficiency.
  2. Provide easy exchange of information within the department between departments, companies.
  3. Standards and details are standardized.
  4. Register internal, incoming, outgoing documentation, if necessary redirecting to management.
  5. Give the opportunity to make changes by the employee subject to access.
  6. Control the coordination and implementation process.
  7. Form reporting.
  8. Archive data.

Which companies are suitable for electronic document management

EDI is convenient and modern, but some entrepreneurs are skeptical about the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčimplementing an electronic document management system. However, for those who sign several contracts a year on simplified taxation, it is not difficult to send paper documents several times.

And what about small and medium business? It is often important for them to receive payment for goods or services on the day of receipt of documents. In this case, a properly implemented electronic document management system can significantly speed up the execution of contracts.

Here are some examples where the lack of SED has become critical to the project. The online store has accumulated a large receivable – more than ten million rubles. The debt arose due to another mistake in the consignment note – the goods are in the truck, it is impossible to get in the warehouse. The corrected document goes to the supplier – time passes irrevocably. After the implementation of SED, all the necessary adjustments in the documents perform only a few clicks and immediately sent to the recipient.

Another example. A large energy sales company, or rather its finance department, put significant amounts in the budget as “overhead costs”. This money, about 120,000 rubles a year, actually went to pay the fines they regularly received as a result of tax audits. After the introduction of electronic document management, the correctness of compiled documents is controlled not by people but by algorithms. There are no more mistakes, in addition, precious staff time has been freed up for the most important tasks.

And now more for specifics. Who and in which cases needs electronic document management to work with civil services:

  1. TNF, tax reporting – to all legal entities.
  2. Tax return on any tax – legal entities and sole proprietors with more than 100 employees.
  3. VAT return – legal entities and individual entrepreneurs who are VAT payers.
  4. Reports to the FIU and the FSS – legal entities, as well as individual entrepreneurs with a staff of 25 or more employees.
  5. Calculation of insurance premiums for employees – legal entities, as well as individual entrepreneurs who have 10 or more employees.
  6. The report is sent to Rosstat by all legal entities and individual entrepreneurs.

In which cases is the necessary document flow when working with contractors:

  1. Electronic bidding is needed for both the customer and the contractor.
  2. Manufacturers and sellers of branded goods must register in the “Fair Mark” system.
  3. Producers and sellers of alcoholic beverages must register with EDAIS.
  4. The Mercury system must register farmers, as well as sellers of farm products subject to veterinary control.
  5. Sellers of traced imported goods must be registered in the national traceability system.


What you need to know before using EDO

Before using electronic document management, it is necessary to understand what parameters to pay attention to when choosing a system. It is also important to learn how to obtain an electronic signature, what changes are expected in the accounting policy during the transition to EDI.

How to choose an electronic document management system

I recommend to be guided by the list of operators of EDO of the federal level which is constantly updated. When choosing SED, pay attention to the following parameters:

  1. How secure is the service? We are interested in how the access to the service is organized – by login or qualified electronic signature. Check if the system security audit has passed. Also find out where, how, how long the files are stored and whether you will lose access to them if the contract is terminated.
  2. Possibility of integration. Find out if you can automatically share data with accounting systems.
  3. Interface, adaptability. How easy the system is to use – your employees have to master it, use it regularly. It is also important whether there are versions for smartphones and tablets and how well the system works on devices other than the computer. Note whether the functionality in the mobile version is shortened.
  4. Roaming with other operators. If your contractors use other programs, roaming will be very appropriate.
  5. Technical support. How quickly the specialists work, and whether there is round-the-clock assistance. You should not rely solely on your full-time or freelance programmer.
  6. Finally, cost. Find out what is included in the tariff, which options are paid separately.

On July 1, free EP began to issue TNF Russia. From 2022, the functions of issuing QES to legal entities, sole proprietors and notaries will remain only with TNFs and trusted certification centers.

What you need to do to implement electronic document management

You need to get a free electronic signature to the TNF. To do this, make an appointment. Prepare a secure flash drive in advance, which can be purchased from EDO operators, for example. Also prepare a package of documents:

  • passport of the head;
  • TIN;
  • SNILZ;
  • extract from EDRIP (USRLE);
  • order on appointment of the head;
  • certificate of conformity of the key information carrier.

You need to fill out an application for a qualified electronic signature. This can be done in the personal account of the TNF, if you have previously received an electronic signature, or appear in person at the TNF, if you make out for the first time.

The validity of an electronic signature is 15 months, and both individual entrepreneurs and legal entities receive only one qualified signature. It is received by the head, who has the right to sign without a power of attorney or directly to the individual entrepreneur. CEP is not subject to copying.

Also, due to the transition to electronic document management, we are making changes to the accounting policy. What to prescribe:

  • sections of accounting and tax accounting, documents that will be issued electronically;
  • a list of documents that need to be drawn up in electronic form;
  • type of electronic signature – simple or qualified;
  • the order of storage of electronic documents;
  • method of sending and receiving data – must be in electronic form, indicating the operator of electronic document management;
  • the procedure for interaction with regulatory authorities;
  • the right to sign electronic documents indicating the positions of employees.


Advantages and disadvantages of SED

Like any automation tool, SED has both advantages and disadvantages. After all, implementing such systems is a matter of your project needs.

Advantages of SED

First, you are not far behind the market. Automation today is a profitable competitive advantage if you competently introduce and operate technology. The widespread introduction of electronic document management is also facilitated by the state, which makes business more transparent.

Experts of SKB “Contour” note that 33% of Russian companies have already switched to EDO. It is noteworthy that small and medium-sized businesses have not yet shown an active interest in electronic document management – about 10% of companies have switched to SED. More than 60% of large business companies have already switched to working with electronic documents.

The development of this market segment has increased against the background of the pandemic and in 2022 the system of legally significant EDI is being introduced more and more actively among companies. According to the leaders of IT companies, the trend will continue.

Second, SED saves resources.. By giving up paperwork, you reduce the cost of preparing, sending, and storing papers several times. Costs for paper and cartridges, mail and courier services, and paper archives are reduced. Instead, they issue an electronic signature annually and pay for connection to the EDI system via cloud or box access.

I will give an example in numbers. Yana Shabanova, director of business software development at the IT company Atos, notes that before the introduction of electronic document management, the company spent up to 5% of profits on paper, cartridges, courier services. By introducing SED, Atos managed to cut these costs more than twice.

Third, you free up valuable time for employees to solve the most important tasks. Staff do not spend time printing, signing, sending, tracking, etc. Thanks to EDO, a legally significant document is sent to the addressee anywhere in the world in a few minutes. For example, in the company “Baikal-Service” with 115 branches across the country, three (!) Employees are engaged in the initial document flow. The company sends a little less than three million documents a year through the electronic document management system.

Fourth, your data is securely protected. By entering EDO, you will not lose the original documents. Also, confidential information will not escape outside the organization – the opposite often happens when storing data in paper form.

The unreliability of electronic systems is a myth. Operators are legally responsible for protecting the information contained in the system. Developers use ever-improving data encryption technologies.

Finally, you promote more active business development. The electronic document is used for savings, as well as through work with contractors who require the use of SED. It is noteworthy that EDI also allows your project to grow faster, optimize and operate more efficiently. Employees quickly collect and analyze information, including customer data and transactions. Management simplifies the process of making the most profitable management decisions.


Disadvantages of SED

Now let’s talk about what negative phenomena you may encounter when implementing an electronic document management system.

Let’s start with the costs. License rates, subscription options are different. It will be necessary to spend not only on the license, but also on the electronic signature for which reception, by the way, also it is necessary to spend time and means. The cost item will also include payment for installation services, service settings, staff training. Some companies include the listed cost of licenses.

Next – employee training. Here a lot depends on how much your team is ready for innovation, how quickly and efficiently masters new services. After all, how much he understands the content of these innovations. Training can be ordered from the developer, but managers themselves will have to take an active part in adapting staff to the new tool.

As mentioned in the section above, you will have to prescribe new terms in all agreements with partners. Not the fact that all your contractors will be open to the new format of work, they will also have to pay a subscription fee for the use of SED.

What products to look at? First, don’t buy the first solution right away. Choose a few options that interest you and get acquainted with the work, using the test period – most major developers offer this option. I recommend to consider Bitrix24, amoCRM, A2B, Microsoft Dynamics, Megaplan. Buy after a full test. Don’t forget to contact technical support in advance and evaluate the work. Consult with partners – someone else’s experience will not be superfluous.

As mentioned above, using an electronic document management system is a matter of your project needs. It is up to you to decide how much your project needs such a tool. It is not so difficult to analyze, looking at the advantages and disadvantages discussed above. If the measure is really necessary, it is necessary to approach implementation thoroughly, including the active help to your employees in development of the new tool.

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