Organizing the storage of electronic documents in a company

An important step in arranging document workflow in companies is the safe and legally correct archiving of documents. How should companies that use ODE services store their documents? Let’s talk about it in this article.

What are the legal requirements for document storage?

The standards for document storage by businesses are outlined in the following legislative acts:

  • The Law of Ukraine “On Electronic Documents and Electronic Document Workflow”;
  • The Law of Ukraine “On Accounting and Financial Reporting in Ukraine”;
  • Procedure for Working with Electronic Documents in the Record Keeping and Their Preparation for Transfer to the Archival Storage dated November 11, 2014 No. 1886/5;
  • The Rules for Organization of Record Keeping and Archival Storage of Documents at Public Authorities, Local Authorities, Enterprises, Institutions and Organizations, approved by the Order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine No. 1000/5 dated June 18, 2015;
  • The List of Standard Documents Created by Public Authorities and Local Self-Government Bodies, Other Institutions, Enterprises and Organizations with an Indication of Document Retention Periods, approved by the Order of the Ministry of Justice No. 578/5 dated April 12, 2012;
  • The Order of Formation and Operation of Commissions for the Expert Examination of the Value of Documents, approved by CMU Resolution No. 1004 dated August 8, 2007.

How long are electronic documents kept in the archive?

According to the Law of Ukraine “On Electronic Documents and Electronic Document Workflow”, the retention period for electronic documents must not be less than the retention period for the corresponding paper documents.

In this case, an employee of a company must rely on the retention period for documents specified in List No. 578/5. It distinguishes between long-term (more than 10 years) and temporary (up to 10 years) retention periods.

Certain documents (primary accounting documents, financial statements and other documents related to the payment of taxes) are retained even after their retention period has expired. They may be required in the event of tax inspections. In particular, a note to Article 336 of the List № 578 states that the period of storage of primary accounting documents is 3 years. And they may be destroyed after three years, provided that the tax authorities have completed their inspection. Additional storage terms of documents which are important from the point of view of tax inspections are specified in clause 44.3 of the Tax Code of Ukraine.

The list of standard documents determines their minimum retention periods. However, the company may extend them, if necessary, and indicate this in internal orders.

How can you store electronic documents?

The procedure for working with electronic documents in the record keeping and their preparation for transfer to the archival storage is approved by Order No. 1886/5 of the Ministry of Justice. It is applicable to enterprises and institutions of any form of ownership. Its requirements are the same for paper and electronic documents.

A company may determine and approve the rules of document workflow (Article 8 of the Law of Ukraine “On Accounting and Financial Reporting in Ukraine”). When storing documents in electronic form, the company must ensure compliance with such requirements specified in the Law of Ukraine “On Electronic Documents and Electronic Document Workflow”:

  • information contained in electronic documents must be available for further use;
  • the possibility of restoring an electronic document in the format in which it was created, sent or received must be provided;
  • information which allows to establish the origin and destination of the electronic document, as well as the date and time of its sending or receiving, must be retained, if available.

Companies using ODE services should also consider clause 4 of Section I of the Procedure for Working with Electronic Documents and create documents of permanent and long-term (more than 10 years) storage in electronic and paper forms.

Storing electronic documents in the Vchasno.ODE service

The Vchasno.ODE service ensures compliance with all state requirements. All documents are stored in a cloud archive. Responsible employees of the company who use Vchasno.ODE can customize it to their own needs:

  • give employees the right to access documents;
  • sort documents by various parameters for further convenient search;
  • add and remove documents from the archive as needed;
  • upload documents for printing or storage on local media.

Document retention period in the cloud archive is not limited. Even after tariff expiration, the document archive is not deleted from the cloud storage. After tariff renewal, the client can add new documents to the archive, exchange them with partners, customize the archive search and use all other features of the service.

Document storage security

When storing documents, it is important not only to comply with legal requirements but also to take security measures to prevent any unauthorized access to the archive.

The Vchasno.ODE service stores the entire archive of documents on Amazon S3 servers located in the European Union. The archive of documents is protected from unauthorized access. For the initial registration of the account, the client is required to use a QES or an AES. Two-factor authentication can be set up for security every time an account is logged in.

The Vchasno.ODE service ensures data privacy. Vchasno employees have no access to documents that belong to clients. Responsible employees of the client company can distinguish access rights to the archive between their employees and restrict access rights to the archive by IP-address.

Additional ways of storing documents

If the company cannot guarantee the storage of documents on electronic media for the entire defined period of time, it is obliged to duplicate them on additional media or save paper copies (Art. 13 of the Law “On Electronic Documents and Electronic Document Workflow”).

Each company chooses alternative ways of storing documents according to their own needs and processes. Clients of the Vchasno.ODE service shared cases of additional document storage on local media.

The company's internal servers store long-term storage documents (e.g., related to payroll, tax payments, etc.), as well as personnel documents.

— Anna Kanina, director of the legal department of Aurora Multimarkets

The company uses two archiving channels. All documents are kept in .pdf format on a local disk accessible to all employees. However, such visualizations of documents cannot be considered originals from a legal point of view, so they are used only for work within the company. Archives of documents with electronic signature files are stored separately. They are legitimate electronic documents and are saved in case of tax inspections.

— Olha Moskalenko, Deputy Chief Accountant, Red Bull Ukraine

All documents signed in Vchasno are duplicated in the internal accounting system. The documents it contains are stored in cloud storage.

— Andrii Shevtsov, CFO of Metinvest-SMC

To keep documents in electronic form is convenient and safe. The Vchasno.ODE service meets all government requirements in this regard. High technical standards of information security protect documents from unauthorized access.


What types of document storage do ODE services provide?

Depending on the needs of the company, the following types of document storage can be applied: archiving - to meet the requirements of the current legislation, backing up - to protect the company from the loss of documents, conversion of documents into another format - to make them easier to use.

What are the means of storing documents?

The means of storing documents are divided into traditional (e.g., paper document archive) and electronic (e.g., electronic document archive).

How to organize the storage of documents in electronic form?

To organize the storage of e-documents, a company should: 1) develop internal regulations on document storage; 2) select optimal technical means that take into account all the peculiarities of storing documents in electronic form.

What is the period of e-documents storage on electronic carriers?

According to Article 44 of the Tax Code of Ukraine, the period of storage of electronic documents on electronic carriers should not be less than the period established by the legislation for the corresponding documents on paper, i.e. not less than 1095 days (2555 days - for documents and information required for tax control over transfer pricing).

How many years are documents kept in the archive?

The retention period of documents is defined in the List of CMU No. 41. The minimum retention period of documents in the archive in most cases is 3 or 5 years. In case of long-term storage (for example, for information on payroll), the retention period of documents in the company reaches 75 years. For some documents, List No. 41 provides for additional restrictions.

What is the retention period for accounting documents at a company?

According to the amendments to Article 44.3. of the TCU, introduced in 2023, electronic documents related to accounting, financial reporting and documents related to the calculation and payment of taxes should be stored for 3 years.