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"We do Austria's accounting". The federal accounting agency (BHAG) signs digitally.

Philipp Gernerth
Updated on 22.11.2022

The Federal Accounting Agency (BHAG) is mainly responsible for the accounting of the Austrian federal administration and has chosen sproof for the implementation of the digital signature.

Short portrait with Alexander Sellner at BHAG's headquarters in Vienna

Digitization is advancing in all areas of daily life. However, many companies that are public are still in the analog world for large parts.
The situation is different at the Federal Accounting Agency! The 500-strong company operates at 7 locations throughout Austria and relies on a conscious and long-term planned digitization strategy.
"We are almost obliged to implement digitization processes in a very timely manner,'' says Alexander Sellner, Head of IT at the Federal Accounting Agency.
The consequence: the introduction of a digital signature platform as a further step towards process optimization. In this way, one of the most crucial operational processes - the secure & legally valid signing of documents - is significantly facilitated.

Initial situation

Digitization is on everyone's lips, including the minds of those responsible in public companies. More and more companies are going paperless, networking their locations or offering new services online. In doing so, they are improving the customer experience, but also collaboration with partners, suppliers and all other stakeholders.

When evaluating further digitization measures for their own company, the top management of the federal accounting agency quickly realized that the introduction of a digital signature platform could deliver enormous benefits. This form of signing is 100% equivalent to handwritten signatures throughout Europe and is subject to the strict guidelines of the eIDAS Regulation (EU) 910/2014 (Electronic Identification and Authentication Services).

However, many entrepreneurs are not aware of the advantages of a company-wide platform for digitally signing documents. A very consistent "credo" is still held against the introduction of a signature platform: "I have the cell phone signature and can already sign digitally.

In fact, almost half of Austrian citizens already use the cell phone signature as a free eGovernment service.

However, the digital signature alone is usually completely inadequate in the business environment. What is missing are processes; customized workflows. A common "dashboard" to have a perfect overview of the important documents in the company, and much more.

In the meantime, a number of internationally active companies have already opted for a digital platform that can digitally map all signature workflows and use cases in the company.


In a first step, the BHAG project team around Sellner evaluated which European or Austrian providers have already established themselves and brought powerful tools to the market.

"When it comes to data storage of sensitive documents, we do not want to compromise. This data should be stored 100% in Europe. From our point of view, sproof meets these criteria by explicitly selecting data centers that are independent of US corporations."

Mag. DI (FH) Alexander Sellner
Federal accounting agency

In addition to the security and conformity of data storage, a signature platform is intended to support various subcriteria runs that are part of daily business at the federal accounting agency.

Thus, the attention quickly fell on sproof. After an intensive test and audit phase, the choice finally fell on the young IÖB-certified company. The cloud solution presented itself very well as an all-in-one platform with the highest security and data protection standards. "We were really honored that the choice fell on us and that we were ultimately able to meet the very high demands of the Federal Accounting Agency," says Dr. Fabian Knirsch, co-founder and CTO of sproof GmbH.

Result and added value

The feedback so far has been very good. Many of the employees, especially in management, use the platform for various signature processes and have since measurably saved time and resources. Documents no longer have to be printed out, signed by hand, scanned and sent by mail, but can be signed digitally with just a few clicks.

This is also good for the environment! 500 sheets of paper consume 7.5 kilograms of wood, 130 liters of water and 26.8 kilowatt hours of energy. This is a positive side effect that is prompting more and more companies to introduce a signature platform.

The smooth integration of the platform into the company's IT landscape was particularly impressive in the first step after the introduction. Thanks to the cloud, onboarding took only a few hours and was supported by sproof throughout.

The smooth communication and flexibility convinced Alexander Sellner. "sproof is open to feedback and customer requests and thus follows the approach of constantly improving the platform," explains Sellner.

sproof sign is the highest-rated provider in the e-signature category on the independent evaluation platform OMR Reviews for Q3 and Q4 2023, as well as Q1 2024.