How to save money and make life easier for everyone – from employees to customers? One way to do this is to switch to electronic document management. How things are in practice, let us consider the example of the podpis.by service, which was developed by the YurSpektr company – Elena Afanasenko, the chief accountant of the DPD Bel transport company, shared the details of its implementation.
– How extensive is the company’s workflow? How many deliveries do you make monthly?
– Our main direction is freight forwarding and postal activities, delivery of goods and postal items. Monthly movements of goods are already calculated not even in tens, but in hundreds of thousands of units. And for each delivery, you need a standard set of documents: a contract, consignment notes (TTN), an act of completion (ATS). We did not count the exact number of documents to be processed, but we make up more than 10,000 monthly ABP alone.
– How was the paperwork in the company going before the introduction of electronic document management (EDM)?
– Let’s take a look at the example of paperwork for one client:
- Our specialist printed the ATS from the operating program on paper. Each act – in duplicate
- Then – invoices to these ATSs (3-4 more pages for each act)
- We checked the AVR with the register and selected client copies of TTN for them
- Printed acts must be manually signed and stamped.
The signature cannot be issued even in the form of a stamp – it must be original, the person signs everything by hand!Each set of documents had to be wrapped in an envelope, pasted on a special sticker (and these are their own printers and consumables, which also cost money) and mailed to the other party. We were not able to make sure that the client received the deed. We waited for him to sign it and return it back. Now you don’t need to do this.
Three employees were involved in these operations, and at times of peak loads it was necessary to involve more people from the accounting department. The specialist spent only 4 hours a day on signing the acts, and all the processes “in a chain” took away from the accounting department three working days a week.
And this load is growing. Now, for example, there is an increasing number of importers for whom it is important to confirm the cost of transport services “day in day” – in order to attribute them to the increase in the cost of imported goods. And this means an increase in the number of acts issued at a time.
If we hadn’t switched to EDF, we would have simply “sewn up” in papers.
For us, such a transition was a vital necessity.
– What workflow processes have you simplified by switching to EDM from podpis.by?
– So far, only two:
- Signing contracts by means of EDS (electronic digital signature)
- Registration of ATS.
True, there is also a nuance here. In order to send a digital document to a client, we ALREADY must have a clause “On the possibility of creating and signing a legitimate digital document by the parties” in the contract. This means that with many existing clients it is necessary to conclude an additional agreement to the existing contracts. And although the podpis.by service allows you to exchange such agreements in digital form, we should already have signed a paper agreement 🙂
Of course, with new clients we provide for such a clause in the contract in advance, but it was not possible to transfer the base of existing clients to the digital signature of the ATS at once. Today we are working “digitally” with about 15% of clients and will gradually increase this share to the maximum.
It is worth making a reservation: we have sophisticated custom-developed software installed, and the rest of the documents related to the details of trips, invoices, etc. are generated only in it. It is not yet possible to connect the podpis.by service with this software, this is a closed software. Therefore, specifically for us, the scope of EDF application is rather narrow.
But for other companies that work, say, in standard 1C: Accounting and whose activities are not directly related to the movement of inventory items, there are no such restrictions. I think the integration with podpis.by can simplify many operations: invoicing, signing contracts and additional agreements, issuing ATS. This is a good starter kit for developing a full-fledged EDF company.
Especially if the business is in the service sector or e-commerce. Now any online store must issue a TTN to each courier within each locality. We can interact with such a store through podpis.by. For example, the owners of online stores can apply for delivery services to us or any other carrier and not operate with invoices at all. There is already a question of mathematics for a specific client: what is more profitable for him, easier and faster.
– That is, you still write invoices on paper, not in electronic form?
– According to the legislation of Belarus, the movement of any inventory items is accompanied by a consignment note. Unfortunately, most of our clients (including many companies with state ownership) are not yet ready to work with electronic invoices. Despite the fact that it is already possible to work with invoices by law, but for this a lot must happen.
We have an extensive fleet of both our own and borrowed vehicles. Now the number of deliveries for each driver is about twice as high as that of a courier, say, a typical online store. And the amount of waybills they carry with them is enormous. To switch to electronic waybills, we need to equip all carriers and couriers with tablets or laptops – to be able, if necessary, to present documents to the checking authority. We have already carried out such test operations with one of our clients, but so far this has not suited the parties in terms of simplicity and manageability.
And clients are not yet ready for this en masse. Accounting is generally a fairly conservative part of the business. We even have accounts with some counterparties for 2 weeks, because many are still not ready to pay by electronic invoice – they are waiting for a signed paper version. Therefore, the introduction of electronic waybills is rather a matter of the near future, we will inevitably come to this, as European countries.
– Is the EDI system suitable for working with B2C clients? Say, digital verification of the receipt of a parcel by individuals?
– Digital verification by individuals, unfortunately, with rare exceptions, is prohibited by the legislation of Belarus.
But we have a “parcel locker” project. The idea is simple – a person orders a parcel, we bring it and deliver it to the nearest parcel terminal. The client receives a notification, and he simply picks up the package from the cell. The main problem for the implementation of this system for us was the legislation, according to which, before receiving the parcel, we are obliged to identify the recipient. And this can be done only on the basis of an identity document.
The client had to either show his passport at the parcel terminal (just who?) Or verify his identity in advance.Therefore, a user identification mechanism has now been developed in advance by filling out an online form and manual verification, processing the received personal data as a second level of control. Not everyone is comfortable with this, so while the development of the parcel network depends, among other things, on this limitation. Fortunately, some movements are taking place here, the government plans to introduce digital passports, perhaps in the near future this (and many others) procedure will be simplified.
In the meantime, the main effect of the introduction of EDM in our country was demonstrated by the B2B direction.
– What should other companies pay attention to that would like to introduce EDF?
– It is necessary to overcome the internal resistance of the accounting services of clients (especially state-owned companies) and convincingly prove the legitimacy, simplicity and convenience of using EDI.
– To what extent has the workflow accelerated after transferring it to digital?
– Clients receive documents more quickly than when sent by mail – the next day from the date of issue of the act (versus two weeks when sent by mail).
– What are the benefits of switching to EDM for your company?
– One staff unit in the documentation department has decreased, the workload on accountants has decreased, paper consumption has decreased (previously, we only spent more than 5 packs of paper daily on ATS), as well as expenses for equipment depreciation, postage, etc. Belpochta picks up correspondence from us in boxes, takes it to the processing shop and sends it to thousands of addressees. And it’s not budgetary at all.
Therefore, if we summarize …
In the first year, our savings amounted to about 30 thousand Belarusian rubles. rubles (about $ 11,500).
From the point of view of the tax inspectorate of Belarus, any costs must be confirmed by a legitimate primary accounting document. Including services, the fact of performance of which is confirmed by the signed ATS. Therefore, we can either create it using Podpis.by, or manually type it on a computer, print, sign, put a “wet” seal, send it to the client by mail and, after waiting for signing, receive the document sent by mail back. Which option is more convenient – everyone decides for himself.