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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: records: electronic documents and records

The terms ‘electronic document’ and ‘electronic record’ are interchangeable.

A document is defined in law as ‘anything in which information of any description is recorded’.

This covers both paper documents and those held electronically. It also includes the device on which the electronic data or individual documents are stored, for example:

  • internal or external hard drives containing backed up information/scans of paper documents
  • CDs or DVDs
  • memory sticks or cards
  • record-keeping apps on smart phones or tablets.

Examples of devices considered to be computers, include:

  • modern constant memory tills and other Point of Sale (POS) systems
  • smart phones
  • tablets

Further useful advice can be found on the Data Handling Specialists page and ISBC Systems Evasion and Audit Team (SEAT) pages.