In 2018, the executive branch of Ukraine recommended switching to electronic document management (EDM), and a year earlier, banks were prescribed the rules for using electronic digital signatures. The Presidential Administration switched to EDM in 2015. Today in Ukraine every year the number of companies using the services of electronic document management providers is rising, which is a very positive thing for the business environment in general and also reduces costs companies spend on maintaining the compliance of their documentation. Globally, companies on average spend about 2,5 % of their turnover for managing their accounting compliance. In countries such as Ukraine which have been slow to adopt EDM, this cost can be even higher as managing paper documents takes a huge amount of time resources from accountants.
The main organizational and legal foundations of electronic document management and the use of electronic documents in Ukraine are established by the Law of Ukraine “On electronic documents and electronic document management” dated May 22, 2003 No. 851-IV
A compliant electronic document in Ukraine is a document, which is created and recorded in electronic form and has certain characteristics. The composition and procedure for placing the mandatory details of electronic documents is determined by law. An electronic document can be created, transmitted, stored and converted electronically into a visual form. For signing electronic documents, a special Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) is used. In order to adopt usage of electronic signatures and EDM, companies need to take certain steps to make sure they have a QES and that their accounting systems are properly set up to handle electronic documentation. Unfortunately, using electronic documentation with suppliers, clients and so on is difficult unless both parties have established their EDM process.
For an electronic document, a copy on paper is considered to be its printed visual representation, certified in accordance with the procedure established by law. In an electronic contract, it is possible to provide for a condition on the possibility of creating primary documentation in the same electronic form, noting the time and procedure for its transfer and signing.
The legislative environment and the approach of various statutory authorities to EDM is still developing in Ukraine. Paper document flow has been used for such a long time, that switching to electronic form is slow and there is much resistance to overcome. Today it´s possible to use EDM to a great extent, but there is still some way to go until businesses switch to fully electronic documentation.