Records retention policies are important for all businesses to understand. “Seven years”, they said…And that’s how the story goes every year. When December 31st rolls around, the conversation at the office starts with generating ideas on how we can best purge the records that we don’t need to keep anymore.
The seven year itch
Your Accountant might say, “I know it takes up a lot of space, but the Tax Agency said that you have to keep these records for seven years.”
- Financial statements
- Tax records
- Purchase receipts
- And the list goes on…
If you are running a business that is reliant on records, then the papers and filing cabinets fill up fairly quickly. For a business that is growing, the fruits of your labour will eventually lead to records that have to be kept in storage (sometimes known as ‘the basement’) for those specified number of years.
A basement or storage facility is not a good idea for a records retention policy
- While they are easily accessible, individual files are also time consuming to locate.
- Files are kept in a central location, though the safety and security behind them can be compromised.
- Records are sorted by your own methodology, which may not be easily understood to another employee within your organization.
Think outside the box
As you sift through dozens, maybe hundreds, of boxes that are the backbone of your records retention policy, a common set of questions and answers will come up:
- What if you need them later on? “I would figure out a way to find them – but it would take some time.”
- What happens if you wanted to pull up purchase orders by a particular customer? “I would go through the boxes and pull out the right records.”
- If something happens to these records, then how easy would it be to recover or replicate this information? “That would be a major problem.”
- Is there an affordable way to manage these records so that they are readily accessible? “YES. myDigitalOffice clients affordably access on a daily basis with our Paperless Night Audit solution.”
- How easy is it for a client to implement a system to store their records? “Depends on the types of records. myDigitalOffice could have them up and running in a matter of days.”
- How much time would it take to store, manage, or query a record? “It would only take seconds with myDigitalOffice.”
Safe, secure and accessible
The industry calls it “document management” – and investing in a document management system is one of the best ways to keep your records in a safe, secure and accessible environment considtent with a modern records retention policy. Whether these records are stored on a cloud platform or private server, the ability to quickly pull these records using whichever search parameters you want is made possible with an effective system. Pain is resolved thanks to a document management system that allows you to index (tag) your records so that you can find any record within seconds.
Size no longer matters
Document management platforms used to be something that were reserved for big business. The price tag was high, the training was extensive, and the services that the platforms provided were highly customized based on needs. Thanks to recent advances in technologies, small businesses now have the opportunity to invest in similar platforms at a fraction of the price.
There is a tremendous amount of value in a document management system, and educating small businesses about it is one way we can get people talking about it. Trust us – it’s easy, affordable, and gives you peace of mind! For more information on records retention strategies and the services we can offer, contact myDigitalOffice.