Accounting and cash management software: changes to be expected

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To combat VAT fraud, the 2016 Finance Act will introduce a new obligation as from 1 January 2018. Some merchants and businesses will require accounting, management or certified cash register software. The purpose of this obligation is to make it impossible to commit fraud by creating cash register tickets by means of fraudulent software in order to subtract cash payments from revenues.

Are you concerned by these obligations?

You must be equipped with an approved cash register or secure software by 1 January 2018 if you are subject to VAT* and you register your customers’ payments using accounting, management or cash management software. Note that open source software, online accounting software and even internally developed software are also affected.

Be careful not to confuse the notions of taxable person for VAT and that of person liable to pay it. Indeed, a taxable person may well be exempt from VAT depending on the different exemptions that apply. On the other hand, a debtor is always subject to tax.

*Any person who independently and habitually carries out an economic activity is considered to be a taxable person.

Towards greater data security

What is really included in this obligation and how can it be justified? If you are concerned by this obligation, you will need to equip yourself with software that complies with the following conditions: security, unalterability, conservation and archiving of data. In other words, your software will have to be certified. What do these conditions mean?

Data security

The software used must be able to secure all your data (original data, modification data and data inherent to the production of the issued receipts). The program must ensure that the payment data is returned in its original state.


Your management, accounting or cash management software must make all settlement data unalterable. This means that they must not be editable by overwriting. Any correction should clearly appear as an addition or subtraction operation.

The conservation

To be “approved”, the software used must allow several types of closures to be carried out (daily, monthly and annual). Settlement data must be kept for a period of 6 years.

The archiving process

The software must be able to archive the data “at a chosen frequency, at most annually or by fiscal year”. Note that the purpose of archiving is to “freeze them” and date the archived documents. It must have tools for the traceability of collection operations.

To prove that you comply with the various conditions provided for by the General Tax Code, you will have to provide a certificate issued by an accredited body and an individual certificate issued by the software publisher to the taxpayer in a nominative manner.


Sanctions in the event of non-compliance with the obligation

Please note that you have 30 days to provide the certificate. Beyond this period, you expose your company to a fine of 7500 euros for unsecured and certified software. The company will then have 60 days to comply. If this deadline is not met, a new fine may be imposed.

If the company provides false proof, know that this is a criminal offence punishable by three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros.

How to be in good standing?

To be in good standing, you just need to purchase a certified cash register or software : NF 525. Publishers will not hesitate to advertise it in the coming months. Moreover, if you have signed a maintenance contract with the editor of your current accounting program, you can in principle perform a simple update. You can already contact your publisher to find out when it will be available for update, so that you can be ready on 1 January 2018.

Source: Official Tax Finance Bulletin

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