Q&A: Electronic Document Interchange in Russia

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I don’t see other companies using EDI so why should I?

Because EDI is a common back-office function, it is often not visible to the end-user but its usage is felt everywhere. Also, while EDI is rather new in Russia, companies are still learning about the possibility and many are not aware of the capabilities of EDI and that it can be implemented in most any organization. Soon, like in the West, EDI will become commonplace in most companies.

What are the costs involved in establishing EDI and is it worth it in the long run?

Most costs involved in the implementation are related to converting your business processing from a paper-based system to an electronic system. The start-up costs are usually related to redesigning back-office processes and training staff on how to use new software. In the end, the savings will result from using fewer staff, maintaining fewer archived documents and fewer mistakes.

Can I use EDI only in Moscow?

As the use of EDI continues to develop across Russia, more and more companies are finding it more efficient to exchange accounting documents with each other in an electronic format. Currently, the tax office and customs office have implemented EDI and recent legislation opened the door for all companies to do the same. A good starting point is to discuss EDI with your suppliers and customers to find out how it can be implemented in your current business model.

Is my organization too small for EDI?

There is really no company that is too small for EDI because EDI is scalable to the needs of your organization. After the initial set-up, companies are often charged based on usage and so larger companies would have a larger cost. In any case, the benefits of EDI are suitable for any company of any size and implementing EDI can provide savings to companies of every size.

What is the overall implementation timeframe?

This largely depends on the size of your business with smaller companies completing implementation sooner. Generally speaking, there is a lot of planning involved in an EDI implementation because it presents the opportunity for a company to redesign some of its back office processes. After the planning stage, there is software installation, testing data exchanges and finally after successful completion, a company can go live with EDI. A good implementation will take several months from start to finish, but in the end, well worth the time and money saved.

RUSSIA CONSULTING has been consulting and supporting foreign clients in St. Petersburg since 2004. The company has been instrumental in helping foreign investors to set up businesses in the city and handle local economic conditions. On-the-ground presence and years of business experience in the given city are essential to giving sound advice on foreign investment. RUSSIA CONSULTING can provide you and your organization with an in-depth understanding of business set-up, business consulting, taxation, accounting, recruiting, basic legal matters, IT services, set-up of internal control systems, adapted to the local environment. Furthermore, we can provide you with office space, a local general director, or finance and tax due diligence.