Although often overlooked, records management plays a vital role in running a successful business. Paperwork and computer data outline every transaction made by your business, and keeping all of this information organized and accurate is key to success. The safety of your personal and business records is of the utmost importance. Let us take a minute to examine how the most common threats to your sensitive information can be prevented through proper document management.
By storing your important documents in a safe, climate-controlled environment, you avoid the risks of lost, stolen or damaged records. Whether you decide to store your documents yourself, or rent space in and off-site file storage facility, make sure the storage facility is suitable for such a purpose. Storage rooms should be clean, and ideally, used exclusively for storage. A good storage area will be out of the way and secure. While the chances of an item in your office getting lost or damaged on a given day is small, many stored documents have very long life spans. Important documents – everything from board meeting minutes, to medical records, to tax and financial data – need to be kept around for years, if not indefinitely. As time marches on, the odds of these documents being misplaced, damaged, or tampered with increases.
Preventing Fraud and theft:
Two records management techniques – certified shredding and off-site storage- are aimed at keeping your sensitive information secure. Did you know that a staggering percentage of accounting and other fraud in the United States is perpetrated by the victim companies own employees. Despite popular belief, most fraud does not involve any sort of elaborate scheme or cover-up. In many cases, the perpetrator is simply in need of extra cash when he happens upon some financial documents lying about the office; these documents contain information such as credit cards numbers, tax ids, bank account information and more. Whether carelessly strewn about, or stored neatly in paper boxes, leaving such documents in plain sight is poor records management practice. To remedy the situation, consider storing your financial and other sensitive documents in a safe, secure, off-site records storage facility.
For documents with a short lifespan, also consider a secure shredding service. Most records management firms offer some sort of certified shredding service. With this service, your office receives bins. Simply fill the bins with your unnecessary paperwork, then call your records management firm to come pick them up and replace the bins with new ones. You can rest assured knowing that your sensitive documents will be destroyed before they fall into the wrong hands.