Why it's important for businesses to keep true and accurate records

Jessica is a senior marketing professional with over 10 years in the industry.
Jessica Mckenzie
22 October 2020
Legal and operational compliance

Legal and operational compliance plays a significant role in the success and reputation of a company. Compliance means having adequate systems in place to maintain and manage records. If you don't keep up to date with true and accurate records, you could end up breaching contracts, the law, and both client and staff trust, any of which can damage your business and cost you money.

Most of the time, information is sent via email. This can include:

  • business documents
  • contracts
  • amendments
  • financial records
  • information on current proceedings
  • confidential client information
  • advice from business advisors.

Email is a fast and efficient way of passing information between companies and people. However, this information, including emails and their attachments, needs to be recorded and stored securely.

Compliance requirements are different for different types of documents. For example, you may need to keep financial records for five years, while accounting records need to be kept for seven years, and company documents like board minutes need to be kept forever.

It's important that you are aware of the specific requirements for documents in your industry, along with the privacy considerations that need to be taken to ensure the information remains secure.

Industries such as legal and financial services have varying requirements to ensure that the confidentiality and privacy of client and case proceedings is of utmost concern. These details must be protected at all costs for your firm to maintain its reputation in a highly competitive environment.

Technology to help keep true and accurate records

Technology is essential to overcome these document management challenges. A solution like Microsoft SharePoint, that incorporates cloud storage and lets employees easily capture information, is extremely popular, and with good reason. SharePoint is relatively easy for employees to use. However, just like any technology solution, it's essential for organizations to make sure that employees are, in fact, using it routinely. Even a slight, perceived inconvenience can see employees reverting to workarounds or even failing to store information properly at all.

This is where OnePlaceMail comes in. This solution works within Microsoft Outlook to provide an even faster, more streamlined way for users to drag and drop files from their email inbox into SharePoint, and vice versa. Using metadata, employees can also classify critical email records, keeping the associated email attributes to maintain the accurate context of the email.

Educating employees is key to keeping correct records

Putting a document management solution in place is just one key factor of ensuring your business remains compliant; the other is educating employees about the importance of maintaining true and accurate information.

It may take some time for your employees to get used to using SharePoint, particularly for staff who have been with you for a long time and know the old, legacy system like the back of their hand. And, that's why educating employees is crucial; without proper training, they may simply fall back into old habits. You need to provide training on how to use the SharePoint platform, and the new processes and requirements that have been established when saving information to ensure documents aren't forgotten or siloed off in people's email inboxes or on desktops.

By equipping your team with the appropriate knowledge on the importance of accurate records, not only can it help to streamline business processes and make information more accessible within the company, however it can also help you to avoid breaching legal and industry compliance and causing you financial or reputational damage.

And, by supporting them with a solution that simplifies and streamlines the process of saving documents to your company SharePoint, you can increase adoption of your SharePoint solution and be confident that information is being treated appropriately in your business.

To find out how your business can benefit from using a document management system to maintain true and accurate records, including those from email, contact OnePlace Solutions today.

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