Digital accounting – how it works!

If, like many other people, you have been buying your tickets on your cell phone for a long time and also take care of most other things on your computer or smartphone, then digital accounting is also an option for you . We will show you how digital bookkeeping works and what you should consider with regard to the principles of proper management and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form as well as data access (GoBD).

How does digital accounting work?

So that a company knows what income and expenses it has, the employees in the accounting book these processes as part of the bookkeeping . In this way you document all payment transactions . And that is exactly what digital accounting is all about. But how does it differ from traditional bookkeeping?

Well, the documents required for bookkeeping are no longer processed in paper form within the framework of digital bookkeeping, but digitized . In the case of outgoing invoices, this means that they are created digitally and sent electronically; Conversely, incoming invoices are scanned and stored in a digital archive. In addition, there is accounting software with which the respective accounting processes are carried out.

Digital bookkeeping is therefore paperless . And because switching to paperless processes in a “traditional” office involves some changes, in the next point we explain step by step how you can best digitize your bookkeeping.

Step 1: Create the right conditions

Paperless accounting affects two areas in the company in particular: the hardware and the respective employees . In order to digitize your accounting, you have to be active in both areas.

As far as the hardware is concerned, you should concentrate on a functional and fast scanner , for example, in order to be able to scan all the documents that come up as easily as possible. In the meantime, however, it is already possible to scan receipts with a smartphone using programs such as sevDesk . In any case, your employees need powerful laptops and PCs so that everyone can work well in the paperless office .

Speaking of employees: There are two main points to consider here.

Digitization means change : Not everyone can cope with it in the same way. Therefore, explain as early as possible why you want to start with paperless accounting and what advantages you expect from it. Address the concerns and needs of your staff and ensure that everyone can gradually get used to the new processes.
Make sure that the knowledge of your employees is up to date. Nothing is more frustrating than when the will to digitize is there, but the necessary skills and competencies are lacking. So take care of appropriate further education and training.

Step 2: Get your tax advisor on board

It is also important that you inform your tax advisor about your plans. On the one hand, you can get advice on the upcoming changes, on the other hand, your tax office may also be able to give you tips for the right accounting software (step 4) . In addition, you clarify whether your tax office can and wants to offer the cooperation digitally at all . It may also be possible for your staff to be trained by your tax advisor.

Step 3: Find the right accounting software

It should be able to handle all the necessary work processes of paperless accounting, for example posting invoices automatically or enabling the digital recording of receipts . It is also important that it works in accordance with GoBD (you can find out more about this in the next section). Ask your tax advisor which programs are recommended. Also try to get an overview of the costs of the changeover . Expenditure on training, maintenance, etc., can quickly turn a supposedly cheap software into expensive.

Step 4: Have your tax office check whether your digital accounting meets tax compliance

When everything is set up and running, you should contact your tax advisor again. The subsequent check shows whether all the requirements of the GoBD are met.

regulations and obligations

With the help of paperless accounting, many processes can be simplified and implemented faster. But precisely because everything is done digitally, special regulations must be observed. On the one hand, digital accounting should be GoBD-compliant , on the other hand, procedural documentation is required . We present both to you here.


You have heard the term GoBD a few times at this point. In principle, this is a requirement of the Federal Ministry of Finance, on the basis of which all tax-relevant documents in a company are properly stored and managed .

procedural documentation

Process documentation is also mandatory for companies . In it you record exactly which technical and organizational steps in your company ensure that all stored documents are verifiable and traceable in accordance with the GoBD and the requirements of the German Commercial Code . This means, for example, that you have to determine in advance how exactly receipts and incoming invoices are scanned and booked so that the quality of the scans is right and errors are avoided. You can find detailed information about the process documentation in our related article.

The right software

We had already recommended the right accounting software to you in the steps to digitizing accounting . When considering going paperless, the question that often comes up is: Which accounting software for small businesses? sevDesk is a good solution for you here.

Since you have to scan all paper receipts with paperless accounting , this should be as easy as possible to use with your desired software. With sevDesk you can scan the receipts with your smartphone and send them directly to the system. The range of functions includes not only digital invoice processing , but also the digital payment of invoices and the automated comparison of open invoices with incoming payments. An online cash book also allows cash transactions to be booked.


Let’s recap what we have presented to you in this article. Yes, the switch to digital accounting will initially cost money and time and possibly nerves. But there are many reasons to do without the paper form when it comes to receipts, invoices and the like. Digital accounting is convenient and speeds up many processes, the clarity is greater and tedious routine tasks are eliminated with the help of automated processes .

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