University of Gdansk (POLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 83-87
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.0045
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Accounting is one of the major specialties at the Faculty of Management of the University of Gdansk. Accounting education - according to the Bologna system - is divided into two stages: undergraduate and graduate studies. Bachelor's studies last two years and Master's studies last three years. Undergraduate studies prepare students to perform simple accounting work. Master's programs are designed to prepare students to independently conduct accounting matters of companies.

The second decade of the 21st century brings very big changes to company accounting. These changes relate to two important elements of current practice, i.e. the concept of an accounting document and its authentication (signing). One of the formal requirements for each accounting document within the meaning of accounting is the need to sign them by hand. Each document must be signed by persons responsible for:
- conducting a given business operation (eg the signature of the issuer and recipient of the invoice) and
- substantive and formal checking of the accounting document (eg signature of the chief accountant).

Until the accounting document is in paper form, handwritten signing does not create any problems. However, major changes in this respect should be expected in the near future. These changes are a direct result of the introduction of the eIDAS Regulation (1), which has been in force in all EU member states since July 1, 2016. The main goal of adopting eIDAS was to build trust in the online environment and electronic transactions. As a result, it will soon disappear:
- an accounting document in traditional paper form and
- handwritten signature on such a document;
and in their place an electronic document, advanced electronic signature and electronic seal will appear.

This “revolution" in documenting and signing business operations requires changes in the curricula of accounting students. The correctness of creating electronic documents and their electronic signing must become one of the elements of the student's curriculum. Tools and methods for visualizing electronic documents and verifying the correctness of their electronic signing will also be very important.

This study identifies those principles of the eIDAS Regulation that require changes to existing accounting teaching at the Faculty of Management at the University of Gdansk. These changes relate primarily to new principles of electronic creation, electronic signing and electronic delivery of accounting documents. What's more, corrections in the curricula of students with a specialization in accounting must be introduced both in Poland and in other EU member states, as the same provisions regarding electronic documents, electronic signatures and electronic deliveries are to apply throughout the EU.

The study also presents the results of a survey aimed at verifying the current state of knowledge of future accountants about the eIDAS Regulation and its consequences for accounting practice. This survey was conducted among two groups of final year undergraduate students at the Faculty of Management of the University of Gdansk.

[1] REGULATION (EU) No 910/2014 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC.
eIDAS, electronic document, electronic signing, electronic deliveries, accounting.