- August 15, 2022
- Posted by:
- Category: Back Office Support
Document archiving is securely storing information (both digital and paper format) that you no longer use regularly.
It’s important because it:
- stops you from losing data
- ensures only the right people can access the right documents
- keeps documents organised and easy to access
- saves valuable storage space in your office and on your server
- helps your business meet legal requirements for auditing
The key reason to archive your documents is to avoid losing data
All documents are vulnerable to being destroyed or corrupted (if digital), either maliciously, by accident, or by a natural disaster, such as a flood or fire.
Electronic documents can be compromised by:
- security threats
- software or hardware failure
- power failure
- computer malfunctions
Paper documents can be lost through:
- human error
- an act of God
Correctly archiving documents prevents all of this, giving you peace of mind and ensuring that, should the worst happen, your data won’t be affected.
5 reasons why document archiving is important
1. Data is well organised so it’s easier to find the right documents when you need them
Properly archiving documents means your employees have quick and secure access to information they need, resulting in less downtime and fewer delays.
Many companies choose to use records management software to store, manage and access their records.
2. Records can be easily audited and retrieved for legal reasons
An audit involves examining your business’s records to confirm they are accurate. Audits can be done internally by an employee, or externally by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). If you’re audited externally, HMRC will want to see documents.
3. Improves security—only the right people can access the right documents
When you archive digital documents, you can protect them with a password so only certain people can access them. Document management systems create an audit trail so you can see who has accessed, changed or deleted files, and receive real-time updates.
4. Saves space in your office
Archiving documents saves valuable storage space in your office by keeping paper documents off-site. Converting paper documents into digital format means you can destroy the paper copies (or store them off-site) and access them via a secure online portal. Alternatively, you can store paper documents off-site without converting them into digital versions and still save space in your office.
5. It prevents you from losing data
Losing important documents could have significant consequences for your business:
- Drop in productivity
- Loss of customers’ trust
- Breaking the law
- Damage to your reputation
How can I be sure of the security of records and documents?
If you’re keeping records on-site:
- store them in a dedicated room which is secured with strong locks and/or an access system
- don’t permit visitors or unauthorised employees to access the room without permission and supervision
- label all files and boxes clearly and store them in an easy-to-understand system
- fit a security alarm and fire alarm in the room and, if flooding is a risk in the area, consider installing protection against flood water
- destroy any records you no longer need
How should I archive project documents?
Archiving project documents means they are available for employees to refer to when working on similar projects. When you complete a project, you should file project documents and data in your company’s records management system. This includes any documents created by:
- employees working on temporary contracts
- other companies or departments who have taken part in the project
Before archiving a project document, it’s common to create a project review document. When people want to find out what happened in the project, they have the information they need in one document. Depending on the project, you may want to make all the documents available for retrieval, or just a number of them.