Documentation of all business transactions

Compliance is a very general term. Even physical products such as switches, electronic devices, and vehicles must meet certain requirements in order to receive a seal of approval. For software, compliance applies to all IT systems used to create and manage data and documents with a storage obligation. Since information is increasingly being produced in electronic form, rules for processing and managing it are essential.

Rules for handling and producing electronic information are absolutely essential, because more and more information is being produced and processed digitally. With the increasing use of email and electronic business processes, there is also a growing need to document the involved processes, including the information these entail.

An essential requirement for compliance is comprehensive documentation of all business transactions. In order for this to be conducted in a regulated and complete manner, however, the use of workflow or business process management software is unavoidable. A positive side effect of this is increased transparency. At the same time, both productivity and the quality of business processes and controlling are optimized.

Specifications and business procedures can change, or entirely new business procedures may arise within the company. This means that compliance is not a one-time action, but rather a continual process that must be organized and monitored.

Compliance must, in all cases, be a company-wide practice that is managed and supported by a responsible party through well-planned processes and suitable technologies. Just like other company practices, it must be embedded within all the areas of the business. Otherwise, there will be too much of a temptation to circumvent it.

ECM and compliance

This is where solutions based on enterprise content management (ECM) especially show their worth. ECM includes traditional document-oriented information technologies such as scanning, document management, knowledge management, workflows, archiving, etc., and integrates the host and client/server environment into web-content management, portal, and other internet technologies.

The aim of ECM is to avoid data and document redundancies (each piece of information exists once only), coherently manage access, provide any information regardless of the source and use, and as a service to be available for all applications in a uniform manner. ECM is a basic e-business technology used to provide the necessary information and to control processes.

As a result, ECM also includes those technologies known as “electronic archive systems”. According to the AIIM classification, an archive system means applications with features including databases, records management, document management, and store and preserve. In conjunction with workflows and due to their integration into existing applications, ECM systems are the most critical aspects of a compliance solution.

Key decrees in Switzerland

  • Commercial Accounting, Code of Obligations Articles 957-963
  • Federal Ordinance on Company Accounts (GeBüV)
  • Value Added Tax Law (MWSTG), Articles 37, 58, and 90 Para. 2
  • Value Added Tax Ordinance (MWSTGV), Articles 43-45
  • Ordinance of the FDF (Federal Department of Finance) on Electronic Data and Information (EIDI-V)
  • Ordinance on Electronic Certification Services (ZertDV)
  • Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) factsheet on developments in digital signatures
  • Data Protection Act (DSG), DSG Ordinance (VDSG)
  • Direct Federal Tax (DBG), Article 126 Para. 3
  • Tax Harmonization Act (StHG), Article 42 Para. 3
  • Stamp Act, Article 6
  • Federal Penal Code (StGB), Article 325
  • Anti-Money Laundering Act (GwG), Article 7 / Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance, Federal Control Authority Articles 34 and 35

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