Three months – this was the time allowed by the Ministry of Finance in 2016 for companies to prepare for the obligation to generate a Standard Audit File. The clock started ticking, and companies began looking for solutions that would help adjust corporate integrated systems, including SAP, to new requirements. The challenge was big, especially since it concerned all companies, not a selected industry. Within such a short time frame, BCC, as the first consulting company, prepared a ready-to-use solution – the Standard Audit File in SAP.
In order to improve tax collection and to close loopholes in the tax system the Ministry of Finance introduced a Standard Audit File. SAF is a collection of defined financial data, prepared using dedicated software. The obligation to submit it has been binding upon the so-called large taxpayers (with over 250 employees or annual turnover of at least EUR 50 million) since July 1, 2016, while upon smaller companies – since January 1, 2017.
Failure to send an SAF is subject to a fine. Errors in the accounts can also be very costly. Failure to send data in the SAF format is subject to a fine of PLN 2,800. A person who fails to submit information on time is subject to a fine of up to 120 daily rates. Rates are determined individually by the court – in 2017, the maximum penalty can amount to even more than PLN 3 million.
The purpose of introducing the SAF, according to the Ministry, was also to make life easier for taxpayers (faster, more convenient and less costly electronic transfer of tax information). Additionally, it is expected to reduce the frequency of fiscal inspections in companies.
Perhaps the mutual benefits of introducing the obligation to generate the SAF will become obvious with time. However, at the outset, the Ministry imposed an extremely high pace on companies and brought a big uncertainty in introducing new reporting obligations.
It was not until March 2016 that the preparatory work was completed and the final requirements for the format and content of the SAF structures were announced. The Department of Computerization of the Ministry of Finance published in May 2016 and updated in June the specification of interfaces of the Standard Audit File services. Entrepreneurs were given three months to implement these guidelines in their IT systems.
JPK BCC ready on time
The short period between the date of specification of the final requirements and the date of their entry into force made BCC decide to start working on the solution to generate a Standard Audit File in the SAP system in December 2015. The team appointed for this purpose brought together financial and accounting consultants, ABAP and Java developers, as well as integration technology specialists. Initially, the work was based only on preliminary information published by the Ministry of Finance.
BCC consultants’ experience in SAP rollouts was of great importance. Our country is not the only one to introduce such an obligation and corporate SAP templates often include the need to generate a Standard Audit File-Tax (SAF-T) according to the specific features of a given business entity. The gathering of similar experiences and the impact of SAF-T on the customer’s system operation was used as a starting point.
At last, after the publication of the final XML file formats in March 2016, the solution prepared by SAP could be quickly adapted to the guidelines in force. The pilot implementation for one of the long-standing and trusted customers confirmed the correctness of its operation – and it was possible to start offering the package on the market.
As early as in mid-June 2016, BCC started to implement the Standard Audit File in SAP in subsequent companies. In the following months, the basic solution of BCC was chosen by several dozen customers. They included both companies that had known BCC for a long time and had carried out many implementation and development projects with us, and companies that used our services for the first time.
The next step was to provide products and services extending the BCC offering: (transfer, manufacturer’s support, new features).
Webinars as a source of knowledge
The scanty and delayed information about the SAF which the Ministry released at the end of 2015 and at the beginning of 2016, media reports about a broad range of mandatory reporting and high penalties for failing to comply with this obligation caused great concerns among customers.
In an effort to address the concerns of the SAP system holders, BCC launched an intensive information campaign as early as during the work on the solution. Its goal was to provide information about the requirements and structure of the SAF in the first place, and the knowledge about the adjustments required by SAP and their areas in the second place.
A total of six webinars devoted to the Standard Audit File in SAP, a package of BCC services and solutions, were held with over 450 participants.
JPK in SAP from BCC
The Standard Audit File in SAP, a solution offered by BCC, is a set of ready-made functionalities that enables companies working with this system to customize it so that SAFs can be prepared directly in SAP ERP, and declarations can be generated as .XML format files to be sent in electronic form (also by electronic means).
For the companies in which the system strongly deviates from the standard system settings due to the specific nature of their business, we additionally offer an analysis of the scope of work necessary to meet legal requirements, as well as to tailor the product to the specific needs of the organization.
The JPK in SAP package from BCC consists of:
- Standard Audit File in SAP (a basic package) – a solution supporting the preparation of standard audit files in the SAP system, along with the license and tutorial video preparing for self-customization of the product; the package is available both for the SAP ERP system and SAP Business One;
- BCC JPK Transfer – an extension of JPK BCC, supporting the e-transfer of standard audit files to the Ministry of Finance system, along with the license and tutorial video preparing for self-customization of the product;
- an optional service of customizing solutions to the needs of the company, in accordance with the specification prepared by the customer or based on an analysis made by BCC consultants;
- the manufacturer’s support service for JPK BCC; for a monthly remuneration, the customer receives the right to update the product (in an extended variant, we also offer remote maintenance support for a guaranteed amount of time).
- BCC Excel4JPK – an extension and complement to the basic package with a license.
SAF is a file with a set logical structure in which the taxpayer is required to submit tax ledgers (in whole or in part) and accounting documents. In other words, the Standard Audit File is a format of tax books and accounting documents that must be used by taxpayers keeping these books using computer programs to submit them at the request of the tax authorities.
The Ministry of Finance has prepared seven different SAF structures tailored to individual tax and accounting areas applied by enterprises. These are:
Structure 1 – accounting books,
Structure 2 – bank statements,
Structure 3 – a warehouse,
Structure 4 – records of VAT on purchases and sales,
Structure 5 – invoices,
Structure 6 – a revenue and expense ledger,
Structure 7 – a record of revenues.
Also for SAP Business One
It is also worth noting that BCC has also prepared an offer for companies working with SAP Business One. To enable them to customize the system to the requirements of generating an SAF, BCC offers:
- for the customers using SAP Business One release 9.1 or higher — assistance in implementing the supplement delivered by SAP SE,
- for the companies using older releases (e.g. 9.0 or 8.82) — implementation of a dedicated extension that will allow for the generation of an SAF compliant with the new tax regulations.
JPK Transfer– e-transfer of SAF to the Ministry of Finance
Using its expertise both in the SAP area and in integration of distributed IT systems, BCC has also developed JPK Transfer, a solution for secure e-transfer of data to the Ministry of Finance system. It is an extension and complement to the basic BCC package “Standard Audit File in SAP”. The solution automates the process of preparing SAF transfer and allows its progress to be monitored.
JPK Transfer allows you to:
- prepare SAF data for electronic transfer in the layout and format compatible with the expectations of the Ministry of Finance,
- validate, encrypt and compress data,
- integrate with the software providing a qualified signature that uniquely identifies the organization sending a message,
- transfer data in a safe and stable manner via the Internet,
- load an Official Acknowledgement of Receipt (UPO) to the SAP system from the Ministry of Finance, confirming the receipt of an SAF by the Ministry of Finance,
- monitor the SAF transfer process directly in the SAP system (a new transaction).
JPK Transfer includes the transfer of all structures contained in the Standard Audit File, both those sent periodically as well as on request.
Our rich experience in integrating various solutions, and the great emphasis that we put at BCC on a high level of data security measures at every stage of its processing have contributed to the big success of the product. It should be emphasized that the interest in this solution did not diminish even after the Ministry had released its own gateways for the transfer of audit files in a trusted manner.
Currently, JPK Transfer is responsible for correct and safe transfer of standard files in nearly 70 companies. They include those that generate an SAF using solutions provided by other software manufacturers.
Following the legislative changes and specifications of legal requirements, the package of products and services is being constantly developed. BCC Excel4JPK, an extension and complement to the basic package, has been available since April, 2017. It allows you to load into an SAF the data that cannot be automatically downloaded from the SAP system for various reasons. It may be, for example, data from other IT systems; data from MS Excel spreadsheets; data requiring manual correction prior to its preparation for SAFs. The solution allows for the preparation of such data in a comfortable manner in the MS Excel environment, regardless of its origin and the SAF type it refers to.
Further features are under preparation.
Manufacturer’s Support for JPK BCC
The volatility of both the SAP environment and legislation constantly generates the need to further adapt the implemented products to new requirements. It also applies to the JPK in SAP solution. To meet this need BCC has prepared an offer of manufacturer’s support for this product. As part of this service, customers are entitled to receive JPK BCC updates published by BCC, along with a description of the changes included in the update, and instructions enabling the administrator to manually upload it to the system on their own.
In the extended version of the service, we also offer the right to remote maintenance support regarding JPK BCC for a guaranteed amount of hours. The support consists in:
- answering questions related to JPK,
- providing assistance in case of problems with the operation of JPK BCC,
- assisting with the JPK BCC product update.
Manufacturer’s support for JPK BCC is provided by SAP application management consultants at BCC. For companies that have previously used the SAP application management service, it is a natural extension of this service. It is also a good proposition for those customers who want to be sure that the generated audit files are in line with the latest guidelines of the Ministry.
A reliable business partner
As early as after releasing the first information that the Ministry was planning to introduce an obligation to generate an SAF, BCC assigned a team of specialists to work on a solution to generate a file from SAP. As a result, as the first consulting company on the market, it offered a comprehensive solution for companies working with this system. This risk has paid off. JPK BCC is the best-selling product in the company's history. The organizations which have chosen the BCC offer include both the largest companies in Poland as well as enterprises employing several dozen people. Many of them are BCC's long time clients who are constantly using our implementation services and constant administrative and maintenance support. However, the great part of it is made up of companies that we did not cooperate with before, and that could get acquainted with our performance potential on this occasion. We have also acquired a number of new corporate customers who are administering their system on a daily basis on their own and who – with such a specific solution – were looking for a local application guaranteeing the proper fulfilment of obligations of reporting to control bodies.
SAP Standard Audit File from BCC in figures
- more than 300 orders for solutions and services from the JPK package
- more than 450 participants signed up for 6 BCC webinars devoted to JPK package solutions
- 3 months – from the publication of finally defined SAF logical structures by the Ministry of Finance to the establishment of the obligation to generate an SAF and the widespread use of BCC solutions by customers