Digitization has changed the way documents are managed in business organizations. Earlier, every business used to maintain records of various communications, invoices received and generated, agreements and contracts, accounting journals and books, employee details and payroll processing and so on and so forth. With digitization, most of these documents are now maintained electronically. Most of these processes are done digitally and hence, there’s no need to maintain separate documentation of various processes and transactions physically. But document management still remains an essential federal requirement for all businesses. Organizations are required to maintain certain records physically and/or digitally to comply with the federal laws and regulations. Here are 7 ways records management legislation is changing with digitization:
Records to maintain forever
Although different states follow different laws regarding the various records that need to be maintained forever by the organization, when it comes to certain formalities such as the license documents and contracts, they definitely need to be maintained forever. In fact, certain documents such as business contracts should be retained until after many years, depending upon the state regulations, to be made available when required. If your business functions across countries, records management can become a cumbersome task which can better be outsourced to a competent outsourcing partner that has ample experience and knowledge of managing different records across the globe. They will have offshore facilities to ensure that local legislation are complied with.
Records to destroy
Certain records those are no longer valid such as cancelled contracts, records of employees who are no longer with the organization for more than 5-10 years etc are completely obsolete. Such records should be sorted and checked for any legal requirements and destroyed to improve the record management efficiency. An outsourcing partner will be able to sort through such old records and destroy the unwanted documents safely.
Records to maintain for a short period
Certain records such as employment records, employee’s personal records, purchase and sales invoices, short-term contracts etc. need not be maintained over the entire tenure of the business. In fact, the personal records of employees should not be maintained citing a risk of losing their privacy. This again varies from location to location. An outsourcing agency with ample experience and resources in different locations where your business functions will be able to handle these digital records and physical documents competently.
Formats to follow
One of the major issues many organizations struggle with is to maintain and submit the documents to the concerned authorities in the stipulated formats. Even though the government authorities provide the formats in advance, the businesses may find it difficult to follow those formats every time it is changed. An outsourcing partner for document management will ensure that all stipulated formats are correctly followed.
When it comes to legal records, everything must be maintained in full. Incomplete information submitted to the government will attract penalty and legal action. Always make sure that your business complies with the records management legislation laid down for the locations where you function. This is best done with the help of outsourcing partners who will conduct periodic audits to ensure that all required records are maintained in complete.
Never encrypt when you submit to government
The government authorities do not encourage encrypted documents submitted for their reference. They do not have time to sort out the passwords to open such documents and hence, such documents submitted to the federal authorities should not be encrypted. You can send them over a secured network to ensure data security.
Cloud to protect data
If the business is storing data on the cloud, they have to take ample steps to ensure data privacy and security. This becomes mandatory when you are storing customer records on the cloud. Since cloud services are typically outsourced, the cloud vendor will undertake the risks revolving data security.
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