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#electronic document

Electronic document and its legal validity in Kazakhstan

Electronic document and its legal validity in Kazakhstan

Electronic documents simplify docflow within and outside the company. However, their widespread use is limited by legal requirements and mistrustful attitude of employees. What characteristics does an electronic document have, when can it replace a paper copy, and how to ensure the legitimacy of contractual and accounting documents in electronic form? We will address these questions in the article.

An electronic document (ED) is an information object created, stored and processed in electronic form. To get acquainted with the contents of a digital document, a person needs special software.

The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. 370-II of 07 January 2003 ”On Electronic Document and Electronic Digital Signature” confirms the validity of an electronic document certified with an electronic digital signature (EDS).

What documents can be exchanged electronically?

Companies in Kazakhstan exchange electronic documents with government agencies, contractors, and their own staff. Each type of document — contracts, personnel files, accounting records — may have specific requirements for the digital exchange process.

Contractual documents

According to the Civil Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, it is possible to conclude a contract or additional agreement and transfer it to a counterparty using electronic document management (EDM). It is important that the documents be signed using an EDS (electronic digital signature), as this confirms the identity of the signatory and provides confidence that the contents of the document have not been altered after signing.

Sending an electronic contract to a counterparty from the electronic document management system using the electronic document exchange service

Primary accounting documents

Job completion certificates, invoices, associated goods invoices can be submitted electronically through the e-Invoicing Information System (IS ESF). In this instance, the primary documents are signed by the EDS, which confirms their authenticity. According to the Law No. 165-VII of 21 December 2022, when audited by tax authorities, businesses have the option not to submit primary documents in paper.

HR documents

Many personnel documents have been digitized, including:

  • orders;
  • directions;
  • instructions;
  • rules;
  • regulations;
  • schedules of shifts, rotations and vacations.

Electronic documents must be certified by an EDS, otherwise they lose their legal validity. Employees can sign documents from a desktop computer or a smartphone. A hard copy may be required for archival storage.

Since 2020, employers have been required to sign digital employment contracts or to register paper versions in a Unified Employment Agreements Accounting System. The company is required to provide information on the conclusion and termination of an employment agreement on the labor portal

The Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the law on electronic documents regulate the legitimacy of using a personnel electronic document.

Reports and e-invoices

Tax returns can be filed using digital media. The tax service receives reports through the Tax Reporting Processing System (IS SONO).

Electronic document exchange with government agencies and courts

Legal entities use the Unified Electronic Document Management System (ESEDO) to communicate with government agencies and national companies in the Republic of Kazakhstan. All government bodies in Kazakhstan are connected to this system and can receive emails. To make things easier, companies can integrate their corporate system with ESEDO, allowing them to communicate with the agencies directly from the interface of the corporate software.

Sending an outgoing letter to the akimat from the corporate system via ESEDO

What are electronic documents used for?

The benefits of using electronic document management are self-evident. For larger businesses, electronic documents can help reduce costs, especially if the volume of external communication is greater than a few hundred documents per month. The quick exchange of documents directly affects the speed at which transactions are completed. Paper documents can be easily lost, difficult to find, and harder to provide to supervisory organizations. All these factors contribute to the overall cost of document management for companies. For smaller and medium-sized businesses, electronic document management can help speed up contract execution.

Software for electronic documents exchange

To automate the exchange of documents within a company, an electronic document management system is used. The software optimizes work with documents and helps to organize operational and long-term archives for their storage.

For external document flow, companies connect to services for exchange with counterparties. These services encrypt data, track the sending and delivery of electronic documents, and store information on manipulations with the document.

««Electronic documents are fast and convenient. It is easier to draw them up, coordinate the content with reviewers, transmit them to business partners or submit to regulatory authorities. That’s why organizations are increasingly digitalizing document management with the help of special software. QDoc Business Processes and Documents Digitalization System solves all electronic document management tasks: from creating and coordinating documents to sending them to counterparties and long-term storage, taking into account the requirements of the legislation.»

Almazbek Asankozhoev, managing partner, QDoc

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