e-Submission of Annual Accounts (e-Accounts)

The Register of Annual Accounts within the Central Register of Republic of Macedonia is responsible for collection and processing of annual accounts of about 100.000 companies in Macedonia. Until 2009 the annual accounts were only collected in paper form and retyped in the system. World Bank financed the project in order to help Republic of Macedonia to introduce new financial e-services for the business community. The project performed reengineering of the entire process of submission of annual accounts and provided various e-mechanisms for submission over the internet. Developed web solution offered the following functionalities: - Each company can submit the annual account by themselves, or an accountant agency could submit it on their behalf. - The users are able to submit the financial data either by typing them into the web forms, or uploading a predefined Excel template. - The system immediately notifies the users of eventual accounting errors based on more than 5.000 business rules defined by the accounting legislation from the Ministry of Finance. - Users are given various methods of tracking the processing status of their application – trough their user dashboard on the web application, or by email. - Digital signing of submissions with a qualified digital certificate from Macedonian Certificate Authorities. - E-Payment of processing fees. - Business and accounting rules management and administration. - Integration with various shadow registries. - Statistical management reports.

Policy Context

The project initiated ammedment of the relevant Macedonian legislation governing submission of annual accounts. EU recomendations and directives were adopted in the legislation supporting the project in order to enable: - submission of annual accounts in digital format - validity of the digital signatures for signing of the submitted documents.

Description of target users and groups

All the legal entities obliged to submit annual account in Macedonia, represented as - The entities themselves (Companies) - Accounting / Auditing agencies (on behalf of the Companies)

Technology solution

The solution was developed using Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. All the submitted annual accounts are stored as XML instance documents digitaly signed. Existing PKI infrastructure of the authorized Certificate Authorities (CA) in Macedonia was used.

Technology choice: Proprietary technology, Standards-based technology

Main results, benefits and impacts

Business community benefits: - Providing of e-submission services to local business communities where the Central Register does not have branch offices; - Introduction of comfortable way for the companies and their accountants to fulfill their obligations; - Reduction of submission and processing fees charged by the Central Register by 50%. The potential annual savings to the business community is estimated to 500.000 EUR just in reduced submission fees; - Instant feedback on the quality of submission and the procedure for their correction; - Introduction of e-payment mechanism for payment of the submission fee. Institutional benefits: - Dramatic reduction of Central Register’s man power needed for collection and processing of annual accounts (around 20%); - Having obsolete staffing will help the Central Register to enter into big project of institutional reorganization; - Reduction of average time per processing of annual account by 70%. Wider national e-Government awareness benefits: - For the first time in Macedonia the “young” PKI infrastructure provided by the both Certificate Authorities in Macedonian (www.t-home.mk and www.kibs.com.mk) is utilized for e-Service for the business community. - For the first time in Macedonia e-payment solution was introduced for some e-Service in the public sector. The processing fee charged by the Central Register can now be paid online by credit cards. - Initial grounds for further integrated e-Business services is set.

Return on investment

Return on investment: €500-999,000

Lessons learnt

1. The business community in Macedonia easily adopts to new eServices, unlike all the negative predictions. 2. Broad user adoption of eServices for businesses in Macedonia purely depends on three factors - promotion - cost - convenience 3. Any technical and legal obstacles related to introduction of new eServices for the business community should not be over exaggerated before the project startup, otherwise they will prevent it. Any such obstacle should be solved during the course of the project, with the support of the key regulatory stakeholders. 4. e-Submission of documents for e-Business solutions only goes hand in hand with e-Payment of the related submission fees, and should be introduced together. 5. In case of lack of many eServices for businesses in Macedonia, any new project should not be planned and implemented as a standalone one. "Infrastructure utilization" should be the magic words when designing the solution which should set ground for complete e-Business framework down the road.

Scope: National
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