That’s right! The legislator has defined it very simply for the cash register manufacturer in the Finance Act of 2016 and also in the subsequent clarifications:
All data must be in plain text. There is no exact format, for example, specific data fields or data formats, nor defined file formats, except that they must be non-proprietary.
The format of the fiscal archive
This is clearly defined as “non-proprietary”. This means that formats such as pdf, xlsx or docx aren’t permissible. On the other hand, csv, txt or JSON are permitted because these formats can be read by any computer without any additional software.
The contents of the fiscal archive
In its simplicity, the French legislator is very clear: everything must be included!
However, this “everything” has a reference point. It must contain all the data that make the cash operations traceable. So all document data, also the single lines, all periodic closings and all other documents which would change the cash balance.
The period of a fiscal archive
Here the legislator sets only an upper limit: it may not contain more than 365 days and no more. However, it does not prohibit the creation of several smaller archives, for example monthly archives.
And what do the certification bodies say?
They adopt the rules of the legislator and verify their compliance, but they do not extend them. But the verification must include a description of the archive and a way to verify the integrity of the archive. And here it already becomes difficult, because these two points must be created in addition to the POS system and the conformity. With fiskaltrust.Middleware you are covered here, because it is “Compliance-as-a-Service”! You can get both at any time, here on the fiskaltrust website.
Fiscal archives must be understandable!
Legislators and certification bodies agree on this. In the event of a financial audit of a cash register operator, the operator must provide proof of compliance with the law. And right after that he must present the required fiscal archives. If he has not yet created them or has not secured them, he must provide the auditor with instructions in French on how to make the archives available.
And at the same time, this instruction must include an explanation of the archive. What is the structure of the archive, what data is contained, what do the individual data fields mean and much more. This is exactly what is included in the documentation of fiskaltrust. In addition, we explain the contents of an archive in easy-to-follow examples. This makes the control easy, calm and smooth.
Fiscal archives must be protected against manipulation!
Just like the receipt chain, the archives must be protected. On the one hand, the archive document itself must be protected against manipulation. On the other hand, this also applies to the archive, to the physical file itself.
Security against loss
The simplest way of security for archives is retention. For fiscal archives, as for all accounting data, the retention requirement is 6 years plus the current fiscal year. The treasury operator must ensure this. He must store the created data and/or archives in such a way that they cannot be deleted, destroyed, stolen or otherwise disappear. Of course, this can hardly be ensured by the cash register manufacturer; he can only point this out to the retailer and/or operator. However, there is a solution with the fiskaltrust.ArchiveAuditable! Here, the archive data is stored for 6 years in addition to the current year in an audit-proof memory outside the POS system. The best way to protect the archives from loss is to simply store them outside with a third party. Just think how fast a hard disk can be corrupted, a USB stick is lost or the whole POS system is defective.
Ensure the completeness
The POS operator is obliged to ensure the completeness of the archive data. The data contained is provided by the POS system and should be complete, this is the responsibility of the POS manufacturer. But every single archive must be available in chronological order, the POS operator is responsible for that. Here, too, a mishap can happen quickly! Just once forgetting to save the archive to the USB stick or using two different sticks and one disappears, or, or, or… Here, too, there are enough possibilities for mistakes.
Check the content
This is exactly what the law requires! There must be a tool that checks the contents of the archive and reports any existing errors. This tool must be provided by the cash register manufacturer and/or the cash register operator during a cash register audit. It must be easy to use, in French and instructions in French must also be provided to the auditor.
This is another area where fiskaltrust can assist. With the archiving of fiskaltrust, the tool from the website can also be used. It is available free of charge and fulfils all requirements.