In 2016, we were able to look back on a half-century of DATEV. A 50-year success story, right from the beginning – which is a reason to celebrate and look back on the milestones of our cooperative’s development with pride. But at the same time, we also looked ahead – to the challenges of the digital transformation that still lie before us.
50 years of DATEV: a major anniversary and reason enough to revisit our company’s successful history – because what began in Nuremberg on February 14, 1966, grew over the years into a forward-looking, strong cooperative. Electronic data processing was already the answer to the question of how to handle the large amount of work to be done at tax consultancies back in the 1960s. At the time, Germany’s economic engine was running at full speed, and accounting experts were sought after nationwide. This led several tax consultants, on the initiative of Dr Heinz Sebiger, to form a cooperative that, as a self-help organization, would make it possible to process accounting data electronically – which was the right service at the right time.
The number of members increased, and their needs did as well, meaning it soon made sense for the cooperative to establish its server infrastructure – with the first DATEV data center entering operation in 1969 and remaining at the heart of DATEV’s solutions today. Over the course of time, we repeatedly took a leading position when it came to electronic advancements, completing the first major software project back in 1974 and, in the same year, introducing remote data transmission, making it possible to transfer data recorded on magnetic tape to our data center over telephone lines. This was followed by DATEV entering the PC era in the mid-1980s. And we had already begun to electronically transfer tax return data to the fiscal authorities back in 1995. In 2002, a DATEV member was the first company to send a digital tax return with an electronic signature using our infrastructure.
Independent of all these developments, our top priority remained the same from the very beginning – IT security and protecting data and data transfers. Even with all of our achievements in the preceding years, there is one thing we are also especially proud of: our members’ success. This is because, as a cooperative, we pursue sustainable objectives together – business objectives, but also environmental and social goals. With this attitude, we look to the future with optimism, to the new challenges that the digital transformation will bring – and, in doing so, to the success of the next 50 years of DATEV.