Every business needs a records management program. Systematic control of the storage, accessibility and disposal of your information benefits your organization both legally and financially. Whether you're creating a new records management program from scratch, or are hoping to retool your current one, here are three things you can't afford to go without:
1. Vital Records Protection
Some documents are so important that losing them could paralyze your business. Commonly referred to as “vital records,” these documents include:
- Contracts and agreements
- Accounting and tax records
- Standard operating procedures
- Client and personnel files
Even though vital records may comprise just a fraction of your business information, their protection is essential for a solid disaster recovery plan.
Vital records protection requires the right offsite storage environment. The facility you choose should be secure, clean and pest free. Unlike a self-storage unit or a multi-purpose storage warehouse, a commercial records centre offers regulated climate-control and advanced security systems to keep your documents safe.
Your vital records are stored on high-density shelving units that keep them organized and safe from water damage. State-of-the-art fire detection and suppression systems eliminate fire and natural disaster risks. An investment in vital records protection is essential to your records management plan.
2. Regulatory compliance
Your Canadian business is subject to federal and provincial privacy laws and sometimes, cross border regulations as well. For example, when providing goods or services in the United States, you must comply with laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA). To ensure regulatory compliance with privacy laws, your records management program should include:
- Retention schedule monitoring
- Documented chain of custody
- Destruction processes for final disposition of information
Look for a records management provider who can design a program that helps you meet these regulatory obligations.
3. File Accessibility
How many times have you searched for misplaced documents? You probably stopped counting a long time ago. “Records management” is a misnomer without efficient and reliable file accessibility. Your files should be categorized and organized so they can found quickly and easily. Unfortunately, in-house filing methods come with administrative burdens and high overhead so the efficiency you need doesn’t always happen.
Outsourced records management offers a dependable and efficient alternative to sluggish and expensive in-house processes. Your files are professionally indexed and barcoded. A secure document management web portal lets you view and manage your records inventory with the click of a mouse. Wasting time searching through file cabinets and bankers boxes becomes a thing of the past. With the professional file indexing, retrieval and delivery services you get from a records management provider, you’ll stay more productive.
Vital records protection, regulatory compliance and file accessibility are three things every records management program should have.
Docu-Dépôt provides records management solutions for businesses throughout Montréal and Québec. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page. We’re here to protect your data!
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