Document preservation is an urgent issue for the state and business in wartime. Since 2023, there have been changes in Ukrainian legislation.
In particular, on February 10, 2024, the Order of the Ministry of Justice No. 40/5 came into force, which sets the terms of document retention for individual entrepreneurs. The order obliges individual entrepreneurs to keep documents related to the calculation and payment of taxes and fees for 3 years. The Ministry of Justice has also extended the retention periods for certain documents related to financial and business activities.
The government is not only changing the requirements for storing documents for business, but also providing convenient conditions for this. One of the areas of such work is the digitalization of archives. It enables companies and organizations to store documents in electronic form.
In the article we will consider, what changes in the digitalization of archives should be expected in 2024 and how this will affect Ukrainian business.
Why does the state need electronic archives?
State electronic archives are one of the stages of Ukraine’s transition to a paperless regime.
Once they are available, citizens will be able to receive certificates in electronic form, which will simplify bureaucratic procedures and allow Ukrainians to receive public services faster.
With the outbreak of a full-scale war, it became clear that digitization is the most efficient and secure way to store archival documents: they will not be lost due to fire, flooding, or deliberate destruction during the occupation, etc.
The system of state archives of Ukraine processes up to 500,000 requests annually. Of these, 70% are requests from citizens regarding work experience, salary, and other information necessary to receive pensions, social benefits, and privileges.
Reliable document storage is also important for business. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, 7820 Ukrainian businesses have changed their region of registration (according to the analytical service Opendatabot). When companies evacuate from war zones, there is always a risk of losing or damaging document archives. In order not to harm your business, it is important to have internal electronic archives and the ability to transfer e-documents to state archives.
State electronic archive: first results
In 2023, the State Archival Service of Ukraine, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, implemented the e-Archive pilot project. It is intended for permanent storage of e-documents of the National Archival Fond and state electronic information resources.
The e-Archive automates the processes of accepting, recording and storing documents created in electronic form — the so-called born digital documents. Thus, documents are safe and can be found in the archive in a few clicks.
The e-Archive will allow public authorities to archive electronic documents. Plans include scaling up the project and creating a network of sectoral electronic archives in Ukraine. The government plans to create a single data center to store all electronic documents.
Archiving of electronic documents in the banking industry
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is implementing a digital archive project in the financial sector. Since 2021, it has been implementing the NBU Electronic Archive information system to automate archive management and digitize archival documents. In 2024, NBU plans to develop modules that will allow it to exchange electronic documents with the archive through its account.
To begin with, the e-archive will store NBU documents. Subsequently, banks and non-bank financial institutions (insurance, financial companies, credit unions, etc.) will be added to the system.
To organize the storage system, common rules need to be developed and enshrined in regulations. Currently, the list of banking documents and the terms of their storage in archives are defined by NBU Resolution №130. A new version of the resolution will come into force in 2024. It will contain requirements for non-banking institutions as well.
How should businesses prepare?
Mr. Oleksandr Lashko noted that the NBU software will not apply to banks and other financial institutions. Therefore, to exchange documents with the NBU’s electronic archive, they will need to use their software solutions or use the services of providers.
Banks and other financial institutions will interact with the archive via API. Order of the Ministry of Justice № 1886/5 sets out requirements for electronic document formats, archive structure, file names, and other technical requirements for documents to be deposited with the NBU. These rules should also be taken into account by institutions that already use an internal electronic archive.
Therefore, by the time industry-specific electronic archives become operational in Ukraine, companies should choose a software solution that will allow them to systematize documents before transferring them for archival storage.
Modern EDI services provide reliable and convenient storage of electronic documents in compliance with the requirements of the law. In particular, Article 13 of the Law of Ukraine «On Electronic Documents and Electronic Document Management»:
- availability of information in documents for further use;
- the ability to restore an electronic document in the format in which it was created, sent, or received;
- the ability to establish the origin and purpose of an electronic document, as well as the date and time of its sending or receipt.
Companies that store electronic documents in the services of e-document workflow receive additional benefits. In particular, the Vchasno.EDO service provides the following features:
Storage security. Vchasno’s customer data is stored in secure cloud storage on Amazon Web Service servers. Before being stored in the archive, all documents are encrypted using new protocols.
Convenient document search. Using filters, you can find the desired document in the archive in 30 seconds.
Extensive integration capabilities. Vchasno.EDO integrates with other systems via an open API. More than 3500 integrations of varying complexity have already been set up — customers use the service from their accounting systems, personal accounts, etc.
The emergence of electronic state archives will be a new stage in business digitalization. The ability to store documents electronically allows companies to save resources and makes them more resilient to modern threats.
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