When Do Documents Become Records?

We’re often consulted by companies that want to implement electronic records management software. Companies often need to manage more than just paper documents. We found out that the company was struggling with electronic document management, and there are many reasons they might do this. Documents and records are not quite the same things. So let us describe the difference between Document Management & Records Management.

The majority of paper-based documents in today’s world are contracts, leases or vendor communications. Regardless if you’re sending an email to a customer about their order that just shipped or welcoming them into the fold with your latest news article – it is all documents! Your business documents reflect your daily activities to keep your company running. 

Records are the final, unalterable and legal recording of an event or transaction. Many documents in a business can become records. For example, the final signed contract will always be an essential legal record that cannot be overlooked or altered by either party. Creating a contract is an act that doesn’t just spring into existence. There should always be revisions, collaboration and reviews for everything to work out smoothly. The agreement often contains many iterations, but these are not individual records. Each iteration reflects the finalized version of a transaction with all its provisions and conditions fulfilled by both parties involved.

The confusion typically comes in when you are required by law to keep certain records for specific amounts of time. The length of time needed to keep records varies by type and nature, so confirm with your state what they require.

For remaining competitive, you must have a document records retention policy in place. It will enable your company to continue operating and prosper long after any legal requirements are met. The risk of not having a valid document retention policy is that you may be faced with producing all your business’ documents if it comes under legal action or an audit.

Your records retention policy is significant. If you do not have one, all of your documents and data could be discoverable in an audit or legal action. That would make it easier for someone else to take over any inconvenient tasks like answering questions from shareholders on behalf of the company. Keeping documents past their retention schedule is an easy way to ensure they become records when you need them.

It is essential to distinguish between document management and records management clearly. With documents and records more precisely defined, the difference becomes easy for everyone involved to understand. 

Document Management is the task of simplifying organizing, storing and retrieving documents. 

The records management is not just a storage facility; it’s also an administrative unit that maintains the retention schedule for your company’s documents. What is surprising about most companies’ goals and priorities?

They are so often focused on either efficiency or compliance when ideally it should be both.

When the discussion turns to efficiency, they usually want their paper documents eliminated. The company wants its staff to access any of the documents from anywhere via a web-based document management system. 

The most acute challenges that organizations face today arise from lost documents, wasted time and the need for collaboration within their own company. Best online document management system can help address these issues with more benefits still coming out.

When the conversation revolves around compliance, they are worried about audit trails and being able to track their records.

Compliance is an issue for all organizations. We view this in government agencies, nonprofits and even the most regulated industries- however, it affects every business to some degree or another. The government has a lot of rules about what records companies need to keep and how they are maintained. If an organization does not comply, then there could potentially be costly fines or, even worse – legal action taken against them. 

We know it is tough for a company to find the right software that doesn’t just meet their needs but also compliance requirements. We created our Document Management & Records Solution Platform, which offers all of these features in one easy-to-use platform! The system automatically creates a record of any document that should become one. You don’t have to worry about manually keeping your business’s essential documents in check anymore!

Records management is the key to success for any organization. Once you make your documents records, they become automatically assigned to their appropriate retention schedules. No one can modify or destroy these business records, ensuring compliance with government regulations. The end of your record retention period is crucial in any database system. If you combine it with an automatic destruction or purging process, there will be no need to worry about pesky expired records cluttering up valuable storage space.

If you have an integrated document management and medical records management system software, all documents become a legal definition of record when they meet the criteria. Your documents are important and should be handled with care. To avoid complications, you need to combine all your records into one system, so they’re easy for everyone who needs access – whether during an audit or if there is some other kind of trouble later down the line.

To get more information about how online document management and records solutions can help your organization, please visit Docupile

How would you like to improve your organization’s efficiency and productivity? With Docupile, we can help by providing an integrated suite of services that will save time both internally within the company and at all levels outside it. Learn more about our solutions today!

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