According to the Accounting Records Management Method, the accounting files in China refer to various forms of accounting information, such as text and charts with preservation value, which are received or formed in the process of accounting and could record and reflect the economic business matters.
The electronic accounting files, which formed, transmitted and stored through electronic devices such as computers, also included in this definition.
- Accounting vouchers
Including original vouchers and accounting vouchers.
- Accounting books
Including general ledger, subsidiary ledger, journal, fixed assets card and other auxiliary books.
- Financial accounting reports
Including monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual financial accounting reports.
- Other accounting materials
Including bank reconciliation statements, bank statements, tax returns, accounting file handover list, accounting file storage list, accounting file destruction list, accounting file appraisal opinion and other accounting materials with preservation value.
How long you need to keep your accounting records?
The Management Measures has made corresponding provisions on the scope, storage, transfer and destruction of the electronic accounting files.
- Storage format requirement
If meet certain conditions, electronic accounting materials generated internally and received externally by companies and organizations can be archived electronically only.
- Transformation requirement
The electronic accounting files and their metadata shall be trans over together when the electronic accounting files are handed over, the format of the documents shall conform to the relevant provisions of China’s national archives management;Electronic accounting files in special formats shall be handed over together with their reading platforms.
- Destruction requirement
The destruction of electronic accounting files shall be supervised jointly by the archives management institution of the corporation, the accounting management institution and the information system management institution.
Under what conditions can electronic accounting data be kept in electronic form only?
- Data source
Electronic accounting data sources should be authentic and valid and are formed and transmitted by electronic equipment such as computers.
- Accounting system
The accounting system used can accurately, completely and effectively receive and read electronic accounting data, can output accounting documents, accounting books, financial accounting statements and other accounting data by the national standard archiving format, and has set up the necessary review and signing procedures such as handling, examination and approval.
- Electronic records management system
The electronic records management system used can effectively receive, manage and use the electronic accounting records, meet the long-term storage requirements of electronic records, and establish the retrieval relationship between the electronic accounting records and other related paper accounting records.
Effective measurements should be set to prevent tampering of electronic accounting files.
- Electronic accounting file backup system
The electronic accounting file backup system should be effectively prevent the impact of natural disasters, accidents and man-made destruction.
- Electronic accounting materials
The electronic accounting materials formed do not belong to the accounting files with permanent preservation value or other valuable preservation value
- Electronic signature
The electronic signature by the Electronic Signature Law of the People’s Republic of China shall be attached to the electronic accounting materials.
Which accounting files can be carried out of the country?
The accounting files of all institutions within the territory of China shall not be taken out of the country. The accounting archives of enterprises established abroad by institutions stationed abroad and domestic institutions shall be managed in accordance with relevant Chinese state regulations.