Compliance and Document Management

A lot of compliance regulation focuses on the storage and security of documents. Whilst some Professional Document Management companies focus on the advantages of going paperless, in terms of the cost effective advantages of going without the same storage space needs for your business, security is another advantage to having documents scanned and stored by a third party.

Data Protection and Security Policy

An element of any security or data protection is the responsibility of the company and each will have their own policy, such as this example from an educational organisation discussing their approach to security and confidentiality in their documents. This is a policy which is informed by wider regulation, but implementation in some areas is down to the discretion of the individual company or organisation. In the example given above, security consists of avoiding leaving personal data in offices or areas accessible to members of the public. Data, the policy notes, must be kept as ‘securely as possible’. Whilst there is some room for interpretation here, the real threat of failure as far as data and document management is going to be a haemorrhaging of personal information or important documents.

In order to minimise this risk of data loss or a breach of security, document management through a professional service is one way to step up your internal policy when it comes to the security of your documents.

The Document Management Process

The process of transferring your documents from the physical paper notes which are held in storage in secure sites or locations within your office, to digital versions of these notes which are stored within either your own local system, or externally and accessed via a cloud is quite simple. The documents are organised and scanned into the document management system. Often at this point, character recognition tools are used. This allows for the archives of documents to be searched for particular terms after they’ve been scanned. Even if these are purely visual in their format, character recognition allows for them to be interpreted into the characters and words of which they comprise. This can mean much faster searches of your document archive, with searches that would take hours manually, taking just seconds. In an instance where documents are not in a condition that character recognition would recognise, they can be in putted manually by a typing bureau.

Once they exist in digital form, they can be accessed either by using secure cloud storage, or they can be stored securely on your own system. One real advantage to this method is the increased accountability it allows for access to the guarded information. As controlling the individuals who have access to documents and information is a key element of the regulation in this area, having different tiers of access to a digital document storage solution is one way to guard against documents being accessed by the wrong people. Similarly, the viewing of documents can be traced by the username which accessed it. This means that there is increased transparency and accountability when it comes to accessing of controlled documents.

Compliance with Tax Regulations

A final element of compliance to bear in mind is the requirement for documents to be held for fiscal purposes. For reasons of tax inspection, some documents are required to be help for anything up to seven years (inclusively), meaning that they could be requested at any point within that time. Having them securely stored at the click of a button ensures compliance with this demand and once they’re stored through scanning, the cost of physically holding these documents in a secure location isn’t any longer an ongoing cost, meaning many companies find it more cost efficient to use a document scanning and storage system in the long run.