Records management isn’t just for large corporations. Even sole proprietors and “mom-and–pop” stores need cost-effective and efficient solutions for managing information. You may be wondering, “Where do I start?” To answer that question, we are sharing five records management best practices that benefit your small business.
Nothing is worse than digging endlessly through a file cabinet to find a document. You need efficient and easy access to your business information. Dividing your records into categories that best fit their description and function is a must. Since different departments in your organization may have unique requirements, identify the legal and operational specifications for each one. Start with broad categories and then subdivide as necessary.
2. Retention Scheduling
After organizing and categorizing your records, it’s important to develop retention schedules for each category. Retention schedules help you fulfill legal, administrative and financial requirements. Each retention period should denote the date a record was created, and also when it should be destroyed. Your records management provider can help you create a retention-friendly file system and ensure your documents are securely destroyed when they are no longer needed.
3. Offsite Storage
Paper records take up tons of office space, and storing them onsite increases your risk of a privacy breach. Fortunately, you can store them offsite securely and affordably in a commercial records centre. There, your documents are barcoded and stored on high-density shelving units that keep them organized and safe from water damage. State-of-the-art fire detection and suppression systems protect against the risk of fire, and access to the records centre is limited to background-screened records management professionals who keep your inventory organized and deliver records at your request.
4. Document Scanning
Converting your active paper records to digital files improves workflow processes to keep you productive. Your most active paper records are the best candidates for digitization. This is how it works: A professional document scanning service converts your documents to digital files and uses optical character recognition (OCR) to make them fully searchable. Your provider will also help you choose a document management system that keeps your digital files organized and ensure they are securely and efficiently shared and distributed to authorized users within your organization.
5. Legal Compliance
Compliance with regulations is one of the best reasons for having a strong records management program. Poor record-keeping processes can lead to audits or even stiff fines. Combining the categorization, retention, storage and file conversion strategies we’ve mentioned above helps ensure your records management program complies with provincial and federal laws.
Docu-Dépôt offers records management services for businesses in Montréal and throughout Québec. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.
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