Records management is regarded as both a management and discipline function that includes the secure document storage of the business records that any contemporary organization owns and keeps.
There are storage companies that also offer online document storage of essential business records at competitive rates.
Financial records are documented transactions that are needed and used by the organization in the regular course of business. They are also legally considered as evidence for every transaction entered into. Transactional records include, but not limited to, orderings, receipts, loans, contracts, notifications and schedules.
A record is defined as the business information that is created and received by a person or organization. It is also maintained as evidence pursuant to the legal obligations of the business.
A record is therefore something that can be taken into a court of law. If called upon, the record must be authentic, reliable and usable, complete and unaltered, so it can fully and accurately represent the facts that it attests to.
Records and Information Management
Records have a distinct life cycle that begins with creation or receipt, processing and distribution. The second phase includes maintenance and evaluation, and concludes with ultimate disposition.
The last phase of the cycle involves either destruction or transmittal of records for permanent housing. The company may either build its own vault, archive or another dedicated facility for the storage of the records or engage the services of an outsourcing storage company.
Recordkeeping systems include people who are directly involved in the creation and use of the organizational records, the policies related to such records and procedures that ensure optimum access to and use of said documents. They also include tools and technologies that are employed in the creation and storage of records in various formats.
An organization with a consistent recordkeeping program can conform itself to statutory requirements specifically for information retention. It has appropriate evidence of its transactions in case of audit and minimizes jeopardy at the discovery phase in case of litigation. There would be continuity of operation in the event of a disaster and costs can be controlled because of the timely disposition of financial information.
A recordkeeping system is required to have reliability, integrity, permanence, comprehensiveness and compliance. Reliability is about the consistent capture and access to organizational documents. Integrity involves no unauthorized alteration, removal and destruction of records. Permanence means that no record can be altered, tampered with or improperly deleted.
With comprehensiveness, it involves the management of all created and stored records that comprises the normal continuous activity that links all the units of the organization. Compliance is the creation and maintenance of the documents consistent with all of the applicable policies and procedures implemented in the organization.
Online Records Storage
Today, any type of financial record can be securely stored online and can be accessed via any web connected Mac or PC anywhere in the world.
As businesses now tend to go global, with employees assigned to various locations locally and internationally, online records storage becomes highly relevant and useful. Employees while travelling or telecommuting will be able to store essential documents and files online and instantly access them when needed.
There are online records storage companies that offer simplified online programs. Employees can easily drag and drop several files and folders and organize them in online libraries and folders. They can then share them with other team members.
There are also online storage systems with collaboration features such as version control, notifications, file locking, commenting and audit trails. Amazingly, there are no restrictions on the type of file to be used like MS Office, audio, images and pdfs.
Online storage programs allow only authorized users to gain access to the stored documents. Also, they save time and money, keeping IT costs low with easy to use online records storage solution that can be used with no software or hardware required.
Records management companies offer secure and efficient storage of documents in their vaults or archiving facilities. They have trained professionals who can handle the storage system, thereby keeping information in its strictest confidentiality. They are also experts in the legal aspects of secure document storage.
Online document storage is also gaining popularity as it makes team collaboration and stored documents easily accessible via the web.