Document archiving with Doxis4
Many generally accepted accounting principles state that transactions cannot be booked without the relevant documentation. Accounting documents are the basis of any entry into the accounts and provide evidence that the records are correct. They document a business process that affects the company's financial situation.
However, companies cannot simply discard their documents once the accounts have been updated. Documents must be retained for a particular period of time for commercial and tax-related reasons. Companies and organisations have to take suitable precautions to make sure they are still able to locate and view documents for several years after use. Every single day companies deal with large quantities of inbound invoices, outgoing invoices, accounting journals, bank statements, balance lists, written correspondence, etc., all of which are subject to retention obligations. Germany and Switzerland require these documents to be protected against manipulation (i.e. in an audit-proof manner) for ten years, while some documents in the UK must be kept for six years. The tax office may also request to see such data and documents at short notice and in a machine-readable format.
Standardised archiving infrastructure with no need for format conversion
The Doxis4 Enterprise Content Management Suite offers you a company-wide solution for all your archiving needs. For example, you can begin by launching it for archiving records in the accounting department before rolling it out gradually in all remaining divisions. It provides you with a standard archiving infrastructure where documents can be displayed without requiring conversion. It can also be integrated in all of your business software and processes.
Doxis4 document archiving enables you to store all of your commercial documentation in an economical and audit-proof manner while adhering to the relevant tax-related and commercial retention periods. In the event of a tax audit or accounting audit, it also ensures that you can find old documents quickly and easily and still be able to read them, even after ten years. This is because it uses manipulation-proof formats like TIFF, PDF and PDF/A.
The right type of documentation for any transaction at the touch of a button
While working in your accounting system or ERP system, you can search for and display your documents at the simple touch of a button. You can also display documents in the Doxis4 Viewer, a separate Doxis4 Windows-based, web-based or mobile client, or in the application used to create the document in the first place. Users also have the option of automatically transferring metadata straight from their accounting, materials management and inventory management systems. Alternatively, they can enter this data manually.
Audit-proof archiving in Doxis4
Tamper-proof storage plays a key role when it comes to selecting new systems for your company. To make sure your documents can't be manipulated, a good audit-proof document archive will feature attributes such as a read-only and immutable storage system, audit-proof logging functions, password-protected access, and the ability to set up deadlines for retention and deletion. Doxis4 supports standard WORM technology (“Write Once Read Multiple”) on both a software and hardware basis. Access rights are assigned to govern who and who is not permitted to view particular documents. Furthermore, Doxis4 Audit Trail logs every time a document is accessed and altered. Automatic retention and deletion deadlines ensure that documents cannot be deleted before they should be, either intentionally or inadvertently.
You can also set up temporary workspaces for auditors, providing them with access to digital documents in their own special “document room”, making the auditing process quicker and easier.
What it has to offer
- Tamper-proof archiving for all accounting documents (both paper-based and digital) certified in accordance with IDW PS 880 German auditing standard
- Integration in all accounting, material management and inventory management systems (e.g. SAP, MS Dynamics)
- Option to set up temporary workspaces to give auditors access to digital documents
- Complete documentation of the whole history of every business transaction
Scan and capture your documents at an early or late stage in your processes
Doxis4 is a flexible solution for all accounting departments' typical needs when it comes to capturing and archiving documents:
With “early scanning/capturing”, all documents are scanned as soon as they arrive at the company. They are then distributed to the relevant employees electronically and the original copy is archived. Ideally, this entire process will take place in the digital environment. The early option speeds up all subsequent processes. And you can make these tasks even easier thanks to our automated inbound invoice processing solution. Doxis4 InvoiceMaster enables you to capture, review and automatically process invoices and can even perform all these tasks as part of a fully automated sequence.
With “late scanning/capturing”, inbound paper-based documents are first distributed using the company's normal internal mail channels. They are then captured before being scanned as the final stage. When using this option, documents are not stored in the audit-proof archive until the end of the process, after which they can be accessed in digital form. This approach focuses less on streamlining business processes.
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Tried and tested security
The internationally renowned auditing company Deloitte & Touche has awarded SER's Doxis4 Enterprise Content Management software certification in accordance with German accounting standard IDW PS 880. SER customers therefore receive guaranteed security and can be sure that the electronic archiving procedures are audit-proof in accordance with the generally accepted principles of computerized accounting systems, the German Tax Code, the German Commercial Code and principles of data access and the auditability of digital records.
When conducting audits for annual financial statements, auditors are required to evaluate the IT systems used for accounting purposes. Any piece of archiving software with IDW PS 880 certification is therefore guaranteed to meet auditing requirements.
The auditing company Deloitte & Touche evaluates software in accordance with the stringent standards set out by the German Institute of Public Auditors (IDW). It not only tested the Doxis4 iECM software suite itself, it also checked the underlying development processes.
The certificate issued by Deloitte & Touche states that, when used correctly, the tested software product Doxis4 can be applied to manage and retain the documents and data needed for accounting processes in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles. Receiving such certification makes Doxis4 one of the industry's leading electronic archiving systems.
IDW PS 880: Software certification
The Technical Committee for Information Technology (FAIT) at the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany (IDW) published a revised version of the auditing standard “Examination of Software Products (IDW PS 880)” on 11 March 2010. The revised standard included an updated examination based on the method used for examining systems using information technology and took into account the criteria approach described in ISAE 3000 “Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information”. IDW RS FAIT 1 incorporates the requirements set out in articles 238, 239 and 257 of the German Commercial Code (HGB) related to drawing up trade books using IT systems. IDW RS FAIT 3 contains further details on the use of electronic archiving processes under the generally accepted accounting principles. It describes the requirements that archiving systems must meet in order to comply with commercial retention obligations.
Features & strengths
When archiving documents, Doxis4 links all archived commercial documents (regardless of whether you received them by post or in digital form) to their corresponding transactions in the ERP and accounting systems used by your accounting and finance departments. This means that all documents linked to a particular transaction are just the touch of a button away, either in their original format or in a long-term read-only format such as PDF/A or TIFF. To make sure that the Doxis4 document archive can be fully integrated into your systems, we use an universal ERP interface and certified SAP interfaces.
As a company, you must be able to locate and copy all your documents, often within a short amount of time. This is one of the fundamental requirements for audit-proof archiving (see the 10 principles for audit-proof electronic archiving issued by the VOI, a German trade association for the document management industry [this document is only available in German]). To help you with this issue, Doxis4 includes an index search and a fulltext search that can also be merged together for a more extensive function. The index search uses index criteria (metadata) set up for your documents, process instances and records. You can define index values however you'd like and automatically transfer data straight from your ERP systems for accounting, material management, etc. However, you can also add further data manually if necessary. Documents can be accessed straight from your accounting and material management systems or using one of the Doxis4 clients (Windows-based, web-based or mobile).
WORM (“Write Once Read Multiple”) technology protects your documents from being deleted, replaced or modified without your knowledge. The storage systems provide users with read-only access. Doxis4 supports standard software- and hardware-based WORM technology and prevents stored data from being altered or (inadvertently) deleted. Documents are stored in their original format and in tamper-proof TIFF, PDF or PDF/A renditions, thus ensuring that they can be accessed and read for the long-term future.
Doxis4's integrated Audit Trail function helps you to track all processes carried out for a particular document. For example, you are able to provide external auditors with a full record of who has viewed and altered documents, process instances and records and when this action occurred. All process logs are archived in an audit-proof manner, just like the documents themselves. Individual access rights protect the information stored in Audit Trail from unauthorised access, helping you to maintain data protection at all times.
Personal user authorisation, authentication and SSL encryption for client-server communication form the secure basis for archiving your documents. Doxis4's extensive authorisation concept enables you to manage access to documents, process instances and records at user level, group level and department level. Larger companies and organisations made up of several independent units are also able to store data separately with independent tenants. You can also set up temporary workspaces for auditors, providing them with access to digital documents. Your archives can also be encrypted to prevent information from being leaked.
Doxis4 includes a function for the automatic management of retention rules and deletion deadlines, helping you to make sure that documents aren't deleted either intentionally or inadvertently. Documents are converted into a tamper-proof long-term format (like PDF, PDF/A and TIFF) to ensure that you are able to read them, even after several years have passed. As well as storing your documents and data safely for the long term, Doxis4 also ensures that storage capacity remains at an optimum level by automatically deleting documents and data no longer needed (provided that your WORM storage system supports this function).
Doxis4 SAP document archiving
Doxis4 perfectly complements SAP's leading ERP software for accounting, material management, controlling, HR, etc., by enabling companies to archive SAP records in an audit-proof manner (incoming SAP documents (NCI), outgoing SAP documents (CI) and print lists). Even documents from an SAP environment can be converted into file formats for long-term storage (like PDF/A and TIFF), thus making sure that you can always read and access all documents throughout the legal retention period. By linking all documents (e.g. scanned paper documents, SAP documents and documents created in other applications) to their corresponding SAP transaction, you can search for, open and display documents straight from SAP. Doxis4's range of archiving scenarios mean that you can capture documents at an early stage or at a late stage in SAP as well.
As well as archiving documents, Doxis4 can also archive other SAP data, reducing strain on your SAP databases and consequently improving system performance. The Doxis4 iECM Suite's electronic filing structures can also be integrated into SAP attachment lists and support invoice approval processes, even those that involve users without access to SAP.
Forward thinking – archiving your documents is just the beginning
Companies and public organisations often make the mistake of thinking that they need several different archiving systems for all of their various departments, areas of work, and types of documents (e.g. one system for emails and one for Office documents). This makes their archiving infrastructures extremely complex and also results in higher costs for procuring, maintaining and managing their systems. All in all, this leads to archives made up of a number of different file formats and inconsistent business processes.
Alternatively, they could use just one company-wide archiving solution like the Doxis4 Enterprise Content Management Suite which can be adapted to suit a number of different requirements. Regardless of whether you want to start archiving documents in one department before rolling out the solution into other areas or you want to launch a company-wide archive straight away, Doxis4 provides you with a standard archiving infrastructure where documents can be displayed without requiring conversion. It can also be integrated into all of your business software and processes.
Back-up vs. archiving
A lot of people often use the terms “archiving” and “back-up” interchangeably. However, the two concepts are not actually the same,
differing in a number of key areas (source: Wikipedia):
Data backup refers to the process of copying data so that it can be restored in the event of a loss. The data saved onto the storage device is known as the back-up copy. The process for retrieving the original data from a back-up copy is known as restoring the data. This form of data backup is used in solutions such as databases or file directories and is also applied to back up the Doxis4 iECM meta-database.
Electronic archiving refers to the long-term immutable retention of electronic information in terms of enterprise content management. Special archive systems are normally used for archiving information electronically. The term “electronic archiving” summarises a number of different elements in an enterprise content management system that are often referred to separately as “records management”, “storage” and “preservation”. Electronic archiving is used for backing up critical corporate data and documents and storing them for in an audit-proof manner the long term future.
Overview of document archiving in Doxis4
Electronic archiving for all documents and accounting documentation
- Archives documents (NCI and CI documents) and data
- Freely definable index criteria that can be automatically transferred from accounting and ERP systems and added to manually at any time
- Full text indexing for all documents
- Standardised metadata management in relational database
- Diverse search functions covering the entire data pool
- Comprehensive management functions for retention and deletion periods
- Virtualisation for physical storage systems
- Certified audit-proof archiving (IDW PS 880)
- Data is filed in a long-term storage format like PDF/A and/or TIFF
- Software-based write protection using WORM technology
- Server-based encryption for information objects
- Secure client-server communication (SSL-based)
- Supports all standard storage systems, e.g. NetApp SnapLock, EMC VNX FLR, Centera and ISILON, IBM TSM, Hitachi HCP, HP ICAS, Doxis4 SafeLock, and many more.
- Universal interface for common ERP, HR and accounting systems
- Certified interfaces for SAP (ArchiveLink/HTTP Content Server, BC-ILM 3.0)