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Re: Legal retention requirements for accounting data (was Re: Mexican localization)

Karsten Eberding
- 10/20/2016 06:12:52

of course, Odoo can cover all legal archiving requirements, and the customer is finally responsible for  correct implementation. If you keep Odoo running for the full archiving period, there should be no issue.

But .pdf and .csv / .xls files will not do it. Legal regulations require to make the accounting system available for auditors for up to 10 years. Tax auditors must be given online access to do accounting analysis, trace down from the summary statement to the individual contract and invoice, and vice versa. A csv export will not be accepted. And you need to prove that no data was changed, which is possible with PDF but not with csv / xls.

At least, this is the German regulation (GoBD / GDPdU)


Karsten Eberding

<img photoaddress="" photoname="Johan Van Hirtum" src="/web/image/2918683" name="compose-unknown-contact.jpg" height="25px" width="25px">
20 October 2016 at 11:35

Dear Andreas,


These legal archiving obligations are never a problem of Odoo or any software vendor. You as a company, must fulfill the obligations. And of course you must choose a software that let you fulfill your archiving tasks. But with Odoo, there is, like Ferdinand pointed out, no problem at all. You can archive your invoices and all reports as .pdf and, when necessary, create .csv outputs for other data. This is in the Odoo core. Maybe people must be aware to make the .pdf and .csv files and to archive then safely. But Odoo is perfectly capable of doing so ( EE, CE, SAAS ).


With kind regards,



Van Hirtum Johan


Van: Andreas Becker []
Verzonden: donderdag 20 oktober 2016 10:13
Aan: Community
Onderwerp: Re: Legal retention requirements for accounting data (was Re: Mexican localization)


Legal requirements are legal requirements and they have to be met by anyone, so by Odoo or any other company using their software. That is simply a fact! Thanks to Karsten Eberling posting the requirements for Germany. They are pretty similar in EU and also in Thailand and probably many other countries around the world.

Eric ask your accountant in Singapore, China, Shanghai and Hongkong to get exact informations about this is handled their!

The only feasible way to achieve those requirements even a company is going out of service is actually to have a version available for all those years which will still work with the data when a backup had been done.

In other words the data in the database alone is sufficient to fulfill the legal requirements and even the one user solution would only work if the company could ensure that it is still inservice in 10 years which is usually not the case to make sure!

So the only feasible solution would be to provide the customer with a download/backup which contains his data and enables him to click on links and even for accounting most important making the necessary calculations as usually the data alone with out the actual calculations get stored in the database!

As it is usually ONLY or mainly an accounting problem Odoo would need only to provide actually the accounting part as long as no other modules are connected to it which influence the data in the accounting part, which might be sometimes the case!

Concerning Mexico.

They had changes in 2014 already! 

Electronic accounting requirements
Fraction III of article 28 of the FTC requires taxpayers to maintain electronic accounting records, as applicable, in electronic devices pursuant to the regulations issued by the tax authorities. According to rule I.2.8.6., taxpayers must maintain accounting records through electronic systems that can create XML format files, which include the following:
1. Chart of accounts used during the period. The chart of accounts must include a field to include account groupings, as defined by the tax authorities in Annex 24 of the Temporary Regulations.
2. Trial balance, with initial balances, movement for the period and final balances for each of the accounts of the taxpayer, including assets, liabilities, equity and results of operations (revenue, costs and expenses). For final year-end balances, information on recorded tax adjustments should be included.
The tax accounts should be identified along with, when applicable, the different rates, quotas and activities for which no tax is due, as well as transferred taxes and creditable taxes. Guidance for these accounts is provided in Annex 24 of the Temporary Regulations.
3. Information related to journal entries in the accounting records. This should include details for each transaction, such as account, subaccount, sub-ledger and information related to electronic invoices, as well as identifies the different tax rates, quotas and activities for which no tax is due.
How to file
To satisfy the filing requirement, taxpayers must submit their files electronically by uploading their electronic files through their electronic mailbox.

and they have much more requirements already since 2014 which is pretty similar to what we have also here at our location!

and since 2015 it is even a MUST 

Beginning January 2015, taxpayers must upload the electronic trial balance through the tax mailbox in the month immediately following the month for which the trial balance is prepared.

concerning how long data must be kept you can read more here:

IN May 2016 there was a new ruling

"The new ruling, however, will affect the pending amparo proceedings, which means the courts will not grant injunctions against the requirement to maintain electronic accounting records.
Accordingly, taxpayers should ensure that they comply with the applicable accounting records rules, including maintaining electronic accounting records."

Just right now last month the authorisities started also in Mexico with e-audits! which is a very clear sign that the data provided in an electronical way is getting very important and also HOW it gets provided!

Although the MexicanSuprme court has declared some previously formulated electronic accounting requirements as unconstitutional, it will be for sure only a few months until those problems are solved and the requirements are manifested! 

The technical guidelines for submitting those records (Annex 24 of the Administrative Tax Rules for 2015), however, violated the Constitution’s principle of legal certainty because they were not created by the tax authorities and were written in a foreign language. Therefore, taxpayers will not be required to file new or previously unfiled accounting records electronically until the tax authorities modify the technical rules.

Finally, the Court held that the electronic tax drop-box was constitutional and must be used by taxpayers for submitting any kind of writ, petition, informative reports or requests to tax authorities, as well as any report responding to tax authorities’ information requests.

In Mexico you have to keep all documentation which also includes electronic data for 10 years!

The main books and records with all supporting documentation must be maintained at the companies official address and remain available for 10 years!

Mexico is since 2012 adopting the IFRS to their MFRS! - so you know what will come up in future but there are some differences too.

But as you can see in case of Mexico the data has to be available for 10 years. 

This is a Period which no company - not even Odoo can predict that they will still exist in 10 years. 

The best solution actually for a company which uses the meanwhile mandatory electronic accounting way is to have the data stored WITH the current state of the program the data is still working in and perhaps even with the operating system.

A read Only version would be actually sufficient if no new data could be entered this would be OK as this is actually not needed. when they check!

An online version can't provide that security! but an offline version could do the job pretty well. As the data needs to be stored on a yearly base for auditing and checking purposes, it would be sufficient to have the accounting data working i.e. in a release of the community version.

@ERIC - Let's have a look to China!

I hope that you know that the retention periods for accounting records have been risen to up to 30 years!!! in China!  I hope you and your accountant are aware of those new requirements! There is simply nothing to make jokes about or about other countries!

China's revised Measures on the Administration of Accounting Records came into effect on 1 January 2016 with a view to improving the administration of accounting records.

  1. Longer retention periods for accounting records (in China)

Minimum retention periods for various accounting vouchers, accounts, books, financial reports and other accounting documents have been extended to either 10 years or 30 years:

  • Original vouchers and bookkeeping vouchers – increased from 15 years to 30 years
  • Ledgers and journals – increased from 15 years to 30 years
  • Other accounts books – increased from 15 years to 30 years
  • Monthly, quarterly and half-yearly financial reports – increased from 3 years to 10 years
  • Bank statements – increased from 5 years to 10 years
  • List of submitted accounting records – increased from 15 years to 30 years

The requirement for permanent retention of certain key accounting records has not changed:

  • Annual financial accounting reports
  • List of handover accounting records
  • List of retained accounting records
  • Accounting records evaluation opinion (added to the list)
  1. Accounting records may be stored solely in electronic form


Beside that the Chinese Government has also defined how electronic data has to be provided over that period of time!!!

A company's accounting records management system must be able to receive and read electronic accounting records accurately and effectively, and be able to satisfy long-term retention requirements. 


So I think if Odoo can solve this 30 year retention requirement in China, than also all other requierements all around the world could be satisfied quite easily.

The records must be derived from a true and valid source, and be generated and transmitted through an electronic device.

I hope also Fabien is aware about those changes all around the world!



On Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 5:12 AM, Ferdinand Gassauer <> wrote:

Hi all,
it's about knowing how to deal with certain situations, one of them is "end of life" of a company (also mergers), and everyone responsible should know how to handle this situation.
This is nothing new and  not related to Odoo.
The proposed "download of the postgres db" is definitely only a feasible option for experts, because of the use of id's, related fields, property fields and translations, the sql-output of tables is not readable by humans (and fiscal authorities)  nor a reproduction of the "original" documents (invoices, vouchers)
so IMO the only pragmatic way to archive the data according to  fiscal requirements is to ask your tax consultant what is necessary and do something like

  • archive all invoices, stock pickings, orders, journals ... as pdf
  • archive various lists (account_move_lines,...) as csv / excel
  • relevant attachments ... (replace file name with meaningful names...)
  • ....

on a yearly basis.

That's what  fiscal authorities typically will ask for.

All this can be done using existing features of Odoo.

On 2016-10-20 02:33, Caudal Eric wrote:


Post to:


Post to:

Post to:

<img photoaddress="" photoname="Karsten Eberding" src="/web/image/2918684" name="postbox-contact.jpg" height="25px" width="25px">
19 October 2016 at 17:51

it's worthwhile to look at the detailed regulations, here is an example from Germany:

Rough translation of chapter 9.4 "Moving dataside out of the productive system, change of system"

In case of a system change (switch of system, migration), or when moving data with retention requirements outside of the productive system, the hardware and software of the original productive system cannot be switched off unless the following requirements are met for the remaining retention time:

1) Data with legal obligation for retention (including meta data, master data, movement data and associated links) must be moved in full and with the same quality into a new system, database or archive system that complies in full with regulations. If data conversion is required, it must be limited to the data format (e.g. date or currency format), no content change is allowed. All conversion changes must be documented ...
2) The new system or archiving system must allow an equivalent level and quality of analysis and evaluation of the data under retention as the original system

Otherwise, the original hard- and software of the productive system has to be kept together with all data until the retention period expires.

In other words, keeping a 1-user DB in Odoo online would cover the requirements. A download of the Postgres DB or a conversion into Excel would not, as it would not provide equivalent analysis, and change of data cannot be restricted as required.

Other countries may be different, but the overall requirements are usually similar.

A possible solution would be to allow for read-only access for at least one user, once an Enterprise license expires.