Digital document storage is hardly a new or innovative technology. Large and small organizations have been storing their documents in digital format for decades, and the advent of cloud technology means that much of this storage now occurs off-site. Even the smallest businesses likely use an online solution to manage some or all of their record-keeping needs.
Unfortunately, the ease of digital document storage means that it's also easy to end up with a jumbled mess, potentially leading to many problems in the future. If your small business record-keeping approach is to throw documents into the cloud or a local hard drive and forget about them, consider these three reasons professional online records management may be a better option.
1. Easier Access
What's the point in keeping records if you don't know where they are? If you're old enough, you might remember digging through a physical filing cabinet to locate tax documents or other critical records. This process could be time-consuming and imprecise. In a worst-case scenario, you might never find the document you need or spend days digging up an old file.
Digital storage should solve many of these issues, but poor organizational schemes can create the same problems. Improperly named files may be impossible to find, and it's easy to waste hours searching for something you should be able to find in seconds. A professional records schema ensures that your files are where you expect them to be, allowing quick and easy access to your essential business documents.
2. Change Logs and Chain of Custody
One critical and often-overlooked aspect of record-keeping is retaining static information and maintaining an accurate log of both access and changes. Your records may be less valuable, especially for legal or tax purposes, if you can easily or accidentally alter them. A sound document management system ensures the integrity of your records and provides a chain of custody where necessary.
Changelogs can also be valuable when tracking adjustments over time. These logs can help you understand how and why members of your organization may have altered documents and allow you to track these adjustments through time. This information can be helpful when performing audits or attempting to correct discrepancies in your records.
3. Proper Retention and Disposal
It's essential to keep records long enough to cover legal and contractual obligations, but old records can clutter your organizational system and lead to confusion. A well-designed online records system ensures the proper retention and disposal of your company's critical documents. With proper organization, it's easy to ensure you keep records for long enough while disposing of irrelevant or outdated documents.
While it may not be exciting to think about your business's document management needs, you should consider this a critical aspect of your long-term planning. A high-quality records management system will ensure you have quick and easy access to the documents your business needs for its day-to-day operations.Share
5 April 2022
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