There are many reasons why businesses may not be compliant when it comes to their records management processes. If a business is found to be non-compliant, it can cause many serious consequences. Fortunately, there are many enterprise content management solutions that can fix the internal issues preventing companies from being compliant, and consultants specializing in this field who can help ensure their successful integration. So, is your business compliant? By the time you finish reading this article, you should have a better idea of the answer.

What is Records Management?

Before you can determine what the best records management solution is for your enterprise, you must first have a full and rich understanding of what exactly this concept is. When we talk about records management, we are usually talking about a set of processes that manage an organization’s records from the moment they are created until they are disposed of. There are many different types of records that an enterprise may use, from medical bills to transaction receipts to event logs to documents of data. The record is the final version that is going to be stored and possibly returned to in the future as needed. Managing these records requires preservation and maintenance, and may eventually involve destroying documents when they are no longer needed.

How Do I Comply?

Many industries have retention schedules for their most important records, which are set by state or federal laws. This means there are legal guidelines in place dictating how long various records must be maintained in their original, recorded state before they can be disposed of. This is often true in the healthcare and biotechnology fields, for example, where medical records are crucial. Most financial records must be retained in an unaltered state for seven years, regardless of the industry. Companies that fail to comply with such legal regulations can find themselves in hot water if they are ever audited or under suspicion for any sort of financial misdoings. For this and many other reasons, it is safest to set up a records retention system and many other processes for managing records efficiently and cost effectively.

What’s the Best Way to Schedule Records Retention?

Setting up a retention schedule is perhaps the easiest and most effective records management solution that an organization can implement right away. In industries without state or federal laws regulating their retention schedules, there may still be organizational policies that should be adhered to. And, of course, there are internal records that may not be affected by state or federal regulations, but should still be retained for a long period of time for a variety of valid reasons. This is why organizations must find a schedule and system for managing their records based on when and how those records will need to be used. For example, records of emails and call logs can be very useful for a short period of time when they are necessary for following up with business contacts, but at a certain point, they are no longer necessary. Retention schedules, when designed and implemented effectively, will help save space and resources while preventing compliance issues.

More notes on compliance

When an organization’s records management policies are being adhered to, as well as any related laws, that organization has achieved compliance. If you want to make sure your company is compliant and that you will be safe from audits and investigations, you will need to have such policies in place and make sure there are checks and balances to ensure they are being followed. For most organizations, this means implementing enterprise content management systems that allow them to go paperless and keep all their important records in one central, digital location.

A Field Guide to Enterprise Records Management