February 2019 Newsletter – Going Paperless
The Paperless Office
It’s a Journey, Not a Destination
So often, we find ourselves swimming in paper – not by choice but because that’s the way we’ve always done it. As budgets and time allow, we take a shot at “go paperless”. Somehow, paper shows up. We realize we do not control some our processes, through no fault of our own.
If we capture the most recent paper-based information, we can make use of it. As we begin our day-forward process of going “paperless” everything seems to work and we have success. What do we do about the older information?
How much should I scan?
Securing important records may appear daunting, but with the right tools, expertise, and a defined goal, you will have a usable and find-able resource of information. You don’t always need to scan “everything”. To learn more, read about retention policies contact our office.
How do I find it?
Accordingly, some questions we ask our clients are, “How do you find it now”, and “what would you change or improvement?” So often there are changes where the last person in THE position reorganized documents in a method they preferred. The record-keeping they established isn’t shared and others cannot comprehend it. Further compounding this problem, the person before them might have done it in a different fashion. Yet another common occurrence: a new type of document is introduced which doesn’t fit the current way we file. The structure and standard must be altered, yet again. Basically, we don’t need to retain everything. But how do we know what must be retained without accurate tracking and consistent organization?
Figuring out what type of records you have will help figure out what you need to keep and how long. Retention policies are often something nobody really concerns themselves with until there’s an issue, then it becomes an all-hands-on-deck fire as we scramble through piles of documentation to find records.
We’ve all heard you need to keep seven years of tax records: that is a retention policy, one of many required for business operation. How long do you need to keep your engineering drawings? How about your employee records and on-the-job medical claims? Each type of document has differing retention policies depending on the requirements of your local, State, and Federal laws. On the far end of the spectrum, a legal hold may be issued for impending or existing lawsuits. If you have been issued a legal hold, all records must be immediately obtained and secured until legal action is complete.
Additionally, to learn more about how to secure and effectively index your records for easy access, what retention policies actually apply to your business, and how to ensure you are compliant with said policies, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We are here to help you through this process, and prevent future headaches caused by sudden document requests and retention policy compliance.