All businesses need to practice effective document archiving. This is the storage or preservation of information. More and more organisations are placing their documents onto digital files, as this gives them the ability to store a greater amount of data with ease, and they can increase the lifespan of documents. Nevertheless, there are lots of documents that will need to be kept in paper format. It is important to be able to deal with both options effectively. With that being said, read on to discover more about the rules of business document archiving.
- Audit your documents – There is only one place to begin when it comes to archiving documents, and this is to audit your documents effectively. You need to determine what documents you need to keep in their original format, what documents can be scanned, which documents you can keep online, and which ones need to be thrown away. You don’t want to take up valuable storage space for documents that you do not actually need, which is why this part of the process is so important.
- Get up to speed with the law – There is legislation in place regarding what type of documents businesses need to keep in their original format. Thus, it is important to get up to speed with this so that you do not end up throwing away something that could be important down the line. If HMRC want to carry out a tax investigation and you have thrown out your vital documents and records, you could find yourself in deep water. Nevertheless, there are many documents that you are allowed to keep in digital format these days, and thus this is something that is worth keeping in mind.
- Choosing a location – When it comes to the physical storage of your documents, it is vital to choose a location with care. A lot of people opt for an offsite solution for a number of reasons. Not only is this ideal for those that have outgrown their current office space, but it can be a lot more secure as well. Nevertheless, you do need to think about accessibility, as you will want to ensure you can easily get your hands on your records whenever you need them.
- Know retention rates – It is also vital to ensure you get to grips with retention rates. If you get rid of anything earlier than you should, you could find that you get in trouble in terms of non-compliance. However, you will also want to make sure you get rid of any documents whenever you can. This will free up some space and it will reduce the chance of a data breach if you do not hold onto documents for longer than you need to.
All things considered, if you follow the four points that have been mentioned above, you will have a much greater chance of achieving document achieving success. This is something you need to approach with a proper plan of action to ensure everything is organised and handled efficiently.