Final balance sheets, constitutional deeds, changes and operations on company shares, business transfers, modifications to company agreements, acquisitions, mergers, dissolutions and cancellations: the common denominator to all the annexes delivered to the Companies’ Register is PDF/A format. “An obligation” says Giada Marangone, Head of Communication at CGN services: “which we adapted to both early and well”. The first Italian IT network, CGN, brings together more than 20,000 professionals from the fields of accounting, law, tax and labour. They benefit from services for their day-to-day work such as Chamber of Commerce forms, tax obligations, legislative updates, data banks as well as consultancy and training.
The reasons behind the choice
Software is also one of the tools CGN supplies to the professionals in their network. So, for the conversion and validation of the files to be deposited in PDF/A format at the Chambers of Commerce, CGN set out to find an adequate tool. And the choice – after a complete analysis – was pdfaPilot from callas software.
It’s a product that can be used both as a stand-alone application and as a plug-in, which CGN’s team of developers has integrated into its own data transmission platform through which the professional members access its services. The search for a suitable product started by looking at the ones listed on the www.pdfa.org website. Various tests were carried out, since there are tens of thousands of forms presented to the Chambers by the members of the network and it was necessary to ensure a totally suitable conversion to PDF/A.
The objective was to find the right product to meet the indispensable requirements of lightness, ease-of-use and non-invasiveness with regards to the operating system. CGN periodically supplies its members with a CD containing the programs which enable interaction with the network’s data transmission platform. Since the PCs which the various professionals’ offices work with are very heterogeneous, sometimes with rather outdated operating environments too, it was fundamental that the application could operate without changing the registry file and without requiring particular configurations. All these were the key characteristics that CGN found in the generation and conversion tool already adopted by Infocamere, which CGN then decided to use themselves.
The CGN team has thus enriched its new services data transmission platform by giving the client’s associates the same application. The software gets copied from a CD to a directory on the hard disk and can be used right away. The package’s interface is typical for the Windows environment, doesn’t require particular setups to function, and the execution of the operations takes place transparently.
A professional who has to produce a deed in PDF/A format, whether from a text processing application or from a PDF file, launches the virtual printer and gets the PDF/A document which is later validated by callas software. This may then be sent by Internet to the Chambers of Commerce Register. pdfaPilot does a good job not only in converting PDF files generated by Microsoft Office applications but also from all other sources. However, there are situations where the tool is not able to repair a PDF file accordingly. This is a difficult situation for somebody who is not a computer expert. A certain expertise with the various stages between generation and transformation of the format is needed. To simplify the matter, and to supply valid answers in recurring cases, CGN has created a document that summarizes the solutions to the most frequent questions received by their call centre.
A necessary move
Based on the conversion capabilities of their software solution provided to the network members, and on the basis of their precise instructions on how to generate documents for compliance down the line, the users have been able to independently solve most of the problems.
The final step for the professionals is the transmission of the deeds in PDF/A format to Infocamere’s web “front office” – Telemaco. First though, the form’s sensitive data is transmitted to CGN for a final check, ensuring the “cleanliness” of what is going to be sent. In general, the task of CGN is to lighten the workload of the professionals who belong to their network by speeding up their operations. This clearly stated role, alongside free membership, may be the decisive factor for the professionals when deciding between the different providers.