Impress your auditor!
Do you know anything about the German standards governing data access and the auditing of digital documents?
Matrix NEO! naturally meets the latest requirements for POS cash register systems and is certified for export.
Here is some detailed information about it. Please contact us if you require further information.
Because as a taxable person, you are responsible for compliance with GoBD standards rather than your systems or software provider.
The GoBD standards (“principles governing the correct management and keeping of electronic versions of books, records, documents and access to data”) have been in force since 01.01.2015 and they define the requirements concerning correct accounting and other accompanying records when using EDP/PC systems, including cash register systems. They replace, extend and strengthen the provisions in the GoBS regulations (“Grundsätze ordnungsgemäßer DV-gestützter Buchführungssysteme” – accepted principles of electronic accounting systems) and the GDPdU regulations (“Grundsätze zum Datenzugriff und Prüfbarkeit digitaler Unterlagen” – principles governing data access and auditing of digital documents) that applied until 12.31.2014.
The new regulations apply to both double-entry bookkeeping and other records containing information relating to tax that, for example, has been generated by your cash register system. GoBD regulations apply to all the front-end systems and ancillary systems involved in the accounting, such as for example, POS cash register systems, time logging systems, the management of materials and goods and payroll accounting.
How does this affect you?
Since 2002, the fiscal authorities have required digital versions of data to be prepared and archived for the auditing period and the statutory retention period in accordance with the current guidelines (formally the GoBS and the GDPdU) when company audits are conducted.
Regulations that initially only applied to financial data and payroll accounting data now also universally apply to upstream and downstream systems as well as materials management systems and cash register systems.
Since the fiscal authorities introduced the IDEA audit software as part of external auditing, a company’s own IT system can be used to gain direct access to the company accounting. The validity of the data can immediately be analyzed on site and can show comparative figures for similar competitors. The resulting efficiency gained in audits will certainly ensure that there will be a steady increase in the number of audits in the future.
The demands of fiscal authorities are particularly high with respect to reporting obligations and consistent databases.
Companies that have not adjusted to digital auditing are at risk of sanctions from the financial authorities. They should also expect high levels of personal and financial costs for the subsequent data processing.
The various common file formats (e.g., Excel spreadsheets and PDFs) and the digital storage of records (storage form and location) also require additional measures in order to comply with the requirements for financial management. Furthermore, record keeping requirements also involve historical data that has impacted the revenue posted in your accounts, or your IT-based records. All information that has been stored must be transparent, for example, through data history, data logs and the documentation of procedures and processes.
Higher requirements for the restaurant trade
The treasury department particularly requires full documentation covering a number of years in sectors such as the restaurant trade where customers largely pay in cash.
Therefore, public officials conduct particularly thorough audits for businesses involved in the restaurant and hotel trades. The reason for this: cash transactions can easily be altered.
Electronic cash management is particularly subject to strict criteria. This is why the GoBD requirements concerning proper accounting were tightened up and rules on exceptions were removed.
For example: according to the GoBD, the auditor must be able to use IDEA audit software to read cash register data, which may not be stored in a compressed format. Individual receipts may not be deleted, even if there is a cash register receipt for the final total of the day. It is no longer permitted to merely retain the paper receipts and statements. Documents such as operating instructions, programming protocol and the documentation for processes and procedures are to be presented during the audit. It is also recommended that the specific times and places that a POS cash register is used are logged.
It is true that there are still special regulations for POS cash register systems in place until December 31, 2016, but the clock is ticking: the transitional rules do not apply to systems that can be upgraded to meet the GoBD requirements now.
Not everyone is well-prepared
Our own experience tells us that not all businesses that have a professional POS cash register system are well-equipped for an audit. This means: numerous businesses are not in a position to provide evidence of their full and correct accounting records. This may be expensive in certain circumstances because in the past, even minor objections have given the auditor sufficient cause to perform a reassessment which may result in a demand for back taxes. Therefore, restaurant owners with an older POS cash register system should quickly check whether or not it can be upgraded.
Contact us if you want more information about this issue as well as about our Matrix NEO! POS cash register system. We look forward to hearing from you!