Federal, state and local governments all have guidelines for how long a business must retain their records. These requirements pertain to information such as accounts payable and receivable, payroll, tax records and financial documentation. Each of these items has different criteria for how long it must remain in office, or in an off-site storage facility for the retention period. In order to be compliant with the guidelines, a business must have the proper retention schedule and methods for storing information. In addition to these requirements, there are steps that must be taken to eliminate identity theft and privacy violations. In order to maintain integrity in the marketplace, companies must adopt strategies to aide in meeting these requirements while still being able to efficiently manage their internal resources.
This is where a document management strategy becomes important. Document management systems are frameworks within which you may organize and index your information based on retention guidelines. The system also establishes permissions and levels of access to make sure the data doesn’t end up in the hands of an unauthorized user. The typical lifecycle of any given document results in numerous opportunities for threat or violation of compliance guidelines. Consider how often a new document is created, updated, opened, saved and distributed. During each of these actions, and the retention period that follows, the organization faces a threat if the data isn’t securely stored and managed.
A document management company can help you decide on the best long-term methods of securely storing and retaining your information, and tailor a solution that fits the way your business operates. Deciding on the best strategy depends on what type of data you have, how you want it organized according to retention guidelines, and what access to grant users. Electronically managing documentation also allows a business to control their internal costs, establish better business practices and mitigate overall risk. For more information on establishing an electronic document management solution, contact ILM today.