It’s a brave new world out there in the digital matrix. But it’s still down to smart record keeping even if you’re now a more paperless enterprise. The thing is, that record keeping is like the soft underbelly of business. Neglect is noticed only when it’s about to cause disaster.
How long should documents be archived for?
Regulatory information abounds prolifically so no one has an excuse for not having records on hand when required. Tax-related information and supporting documents need to be kept for a minimum of five years and employee information for three. The trouble is, are we all managing to keep accurate records in digital format?
Who carries the can for archiving documents?
If your company has an HR (Human Resources) department, the responsibility becomes theirs. If you’re a small company or sole proprietor, the buck stops with you – never let archiving of records slip. It seems easy to get away with sloppy attention but it’s best practice to keep your business information in order. The day you don’t sweat when the auditors are due is the day you congratulate yourself on keeping it all together.
Getting into gear for archiving documents in a digital format
To make a massive subject palatable, suffice to say that whether one is archiving paper records or digital ones, the rules and abiding principles are the same. Retention rules need to be understood by all concerned and adhered to by those responsible. A system which aggregates and collates all digital activity is recommended, one with secure authentication to ensure that information is properly created, secured and retained.
Rapid change means rapid change.
While human nature hasn’t changed much since history began, science and technology change rapidly. All digital media is subject to finite lifespans and this has to factor into archiving records. Magnetic media ranges from 7 – 10 years, depending on the different types and optical media can last 20 years or more but most media changes continually. Updating and regular revisits are as vital to everyday business functioning as the daily office coffee.
Some helpful sites on SA guidelines are found here and here.
Mailmech is a company that exists to make your life easier. To that end, we have a high-level archiving system which we offer to our customers to lighten the load. Find out more about our digital archiving solution which offers safe storage of business communications, voice, image or video data, and everything in between. Contact us today to find out more.