Archiving financial-accounting documents

Starting with January 1, 2016, companies have the opportunity to keep the archive of financial-accounting documents not only physically (on paper), but also in electronic format, provided they can be listed at any time, whenever the entity needs, either at the request of the inspection authorities.

These aspects were introduced by the Order of the Minister of Public Finance (MFP) no. 2634/2015 regarding the financial-accounting documents. This normative act was published in the Official Gazette (Part I) no.910 of December 9, 2015, with applicability from January 1, 2016.

Thus, in Annex no.1 (General norms for elaboration and using the financial-accounting documents) of OMFP 2634/2015 it is stipulated that the keeping of the supporting documents, of the accounting records and of the other financial-accounting documents is made, as the case may be, at the fiscal address, at the registered headquarters or at the secondary branch, on paper or on electronic support.

In case that the bookkeeping is kept with the help of computer programs, the financial-accounting documents can be stored on technical supports, during the terms provided by the legislation in force, provided that they can be listed at any time, depending on the needs of the entity or at the request of the inspection authorities.

At the same time, the legislation in force establishes that the financial-accounting documents can be stored on the basis of service contracts and by the economic operators authorized to provide archival services.

The responsibility for keeping the financial-accounting documents belongs to the administrator, to the authorizing officer or to another person who has the obligation to manage the beneficiary entity.

With the occasion of the controls performed by the inspection authorities, the entities must present, on-demand, the requested documents.

Terms of storage of types of documents:

The deadline for storing wage is of 50 years, and the deadline for storing of the accounting records and of other financial-accounting documents is of 10 years, starting from the end of the financial year during which they were elaborated, except for the documents shown below.

Attention! The financial-accounting documents attesting the origin of goods with a lifetime of more than 5 years are stored for the period corresponding to their useful lifetime.

In case the activity of a company ceases, the financial-accounting documents are stored in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Law no. 31/1990, republished, with subsequent amendments and completions, or handed over to the state archives, in accordance with the legal provisions in the matter, as the case may be.

The evidence of the documents in the archive is kept with the help of the Registry of accounting records, according to the Law of National Archives no. 16/1996, republished, in which there are registered the files and documents entered in the archive, as well as their movement over time.

The elimination from the entity’s archive of the financial-accounting documents, whose storing period provided for in these rules has expired, is done by a commission established according to the company’s own procedures.

In this case, there shall be elaborated a report in which there will be drawn up the decrease of the documents which have been eliminated from the Register of records of the archive.

Invoices in electronic format

Considering that, for many people, it is unclear whether the invoice sent by email is accepted as a supporting document, instead of the physically sent invoice – signed and stamped, we present below some arguments for this aspect.

According to art. 319 of the Fiscal Code, paragraph (1), there is established that invoices are documents or messages on paper or in electronic format if they fulfill the laid down conditions.

It is essential to mention that the stamp and the signature are not compulsory elements neither for the electronic invoice nor for the invoice on paper support.

In paragraph (4) of the same article, there is mentioned that the electronic invoice means an invoice that contains the requested information and which was issued and received in electronic format.

According to the norms given in the application of this paragraph it is specified that, for an invoice to be considered an electronic invoice, it must be issued and received in electronic format, the type of electronic format of the invoice being the option of taxable persons.

The electronic format of an invoice can be, for example, “xmf,” pdf.

In addition, invoices created on paper that are scanned, sent and received electronically are considered electronic invoices.

Invoices created in electronic format, for example, by means of an accounting software or a word processing program, sent and received on paper are not considered electronic invoices.

The customer’s acceptance of the electronic invoice may include any written, formal or informal agreement, as well as an unspoken acceptance, such as the fact that it processed or paid the electronic invoice. The client’s acceptance to use the electronic invoice represents his confirmation that he has the technical means necessary to receive the electronic invoice, and that he has the ability to ensure the authenticity of the origin, the integrity of the content and the readability of the invoice.

The use of the electronic invoice is subject to acceptance by the recipient, according to the provisions of art. 319 paragraph (24) of the Fiscal Code.

According to art.319 paragraph (35) of the Fiscal Code, invoices can be stored on paper or in electronic format, regardless of the original form in which they were sent or made available.