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Review of certified digitization

Gaspar Palmer

Written by Gaspar Palmer on 22 May 2020

For many years that pass it will never cease to amaze me how the administration puts all the sticks on the wheels that it can to the companies that are under its yoke, creating situations that are nothing short of surreal. It seems to us, if possible, more illogical than living the pandemic crisis that we are all suffering, this is not duly clarified; as this would avoid sharing paper documents that can even be a vehicle for contagion.

We still find in many business environments the choice of keeping our paper invoices available for inspection or transforming and maintaining them in digital format. It seems unreasonable that the answer to the previous situation is not the second alternative due to the advantages that this entails. Therefore, we recommend promoting the digitization of the commercial, tax, or management documents of any organization. The reasons behind this recommendation are multiple, but can be grouped into three broad categories:

  • Improvement of the administrative efficiency of the organization.
  • Cost reduction in the preservation of original documents.
  • Increased security at the level of data recovery in the event of claims and in compliance with the Organic Law on Data Protection.

Review

Everything related to the legislation, exposed in the previous paragraph, has only served to create confusion in processes that, by their very nature, are sufficiently clarified.

We are in favour of the digitalization of invoices, as well as any other documentation. Furthermore, we consider that its broadcast in digital format incorporates too many advantages that cannot be neglected. However, we do not consider it an advantage to add the attribute of "certified" as proposed by Spanish legislation. Keep in mind that an invoice incorporates a verification trace by definition. If we have paid for it, we can request an authentic copy of it, ultimately, from our supplier. We believe that the provision of a document management system such as OpenKM, which provides a complete audit trail of all movements - even per document - made in your environment, provides greater added value when it comes to verifying the authenticity of documents that are in their possession, without disregard for those who have entered their repository by means other than scanning. Without forgetting that through its proper use and the obligatory support, it guarantees its conservation.

Digitizing invoices are a simple exercise with immediate use and higher performance. Scanning a document we have a PDF, faithful to the original and endowed with other attributes that make it far superior to the paper document, in terms of access, durability, conservation, consumption of resources (time and space), and dissemination possibilities, among others advantage.

In our opinion, the problem comes when digitization must be certified following the strict Spanish regulations on electronic invoicing and certified digitization. What we certify when signing an electronic document is the "conversion process" and not the "document itself"; It means that we guarantee that the resulting document is faithful to that entered in the scanner, but we do not guarantee that what is entered in the scanner is legal, faithful, original, or how we want to define it.

European environment

In the current context that places us within the European Union, we see that there is no standardized regulation for all countries, but each one regulates the electronic document in a different way and it is in Spain where the regulation is most restrictive and bureaucratic.

Both in Germany and France, they do not require the certification of the digitized document by means of a digital certificate; simply convert the paper to PDF or some other format, with certain resolution characteristics (any scanner or multifunction printer meets the requirements). And we have a legal document that replaces paper and gives us a great deal of efficiency. In a simple way, we will verify its authenticity with other documents (proof of payment, delivery notes, entry, exit ...) or with the testimony of its issuer. This process, carried out at the European level, incorporates all the advantages mentioned above, ignoring the bureaucratic and procedural drawbacks that the current regulations in Spain, which is called certified digitalization, denounce its uselessness and therefore we reject its use as a matter of cost and efficiency.

We will always encourage the use of applications that allow us to maintain the authenticity of the documents that are managed through them, and in this area we will recommend the use of document management systems such as OpenKM, always taking into account operational and functionality parameters, that is, pursuing maximum efficiency.

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