Managed records storage is the practice of maintaining the records of an organization from the time they are created up to their eventual disposal.
This may include classifying, storing, securing, and destruction of records. As the requirements for records management continue to change, practices need to stay updated on the latest regulations and ensure that they’re in compliance with the latest retention periods. With these additional responsibilities, it’s more important than ever to understand the ins and outs of managed records storage and best practices to maintain compliance.
All About Records: The Basics
Records are basically information that is created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by a business or person. Records are an essential resource and contain information which is unique and invaluable. They can be used as an audit trail as they provide evidence or proof of a specific activity. Records come in digital or analog/paper format. It is important that both types are managed equally well, especially in terms of storage, accessibility and disposal.
Many companies are required by law to retain financial and legal documents and files about their business and clients for long periods of time. In some cases this can be up to ten years or more from the original date of the information or document. It’s absolutely critical that your organization has the ones it really needs, in the moment they are really needed, while considering compliance, security and auditing issues. There are two steps to proper records management:
- Create and capture records to meet requirements for evidence of business activity.
- Take appropriate action to protect the records authenticity, reliability, integrity, and usability as their business context and requirements for management change over time.
To properly maintain records, managers should develop a records storage plan, which includes the short and long-term housing of physical records and digital information. It’s imperative to identify, classify, and store the records. Of course, coordinating access to records internally and outside of the organization, balancing the requirements of business confidentiality, data privacy, and public access is all part of the process, too.
Managed records storage is easy to implement. Using a digital archive tool, users can manage and control their records for both electronic and physical formats. It enables to search, track, store, organize, share and manage documents and relevant information for multiple business purposes.
When It’s Time to Dispose of Records
The final stage of managed records storage is knowing when to dispose of records that have met their retention periods and then using the legal disposal method to destroy them.
Businesses should regularly schedule paper shredding services once documents exceed the approved time limit. For paper destruction, use an outside agency with an approved record destruction program including the shredding of confidential documents. For digital records, your safest course of action is to use a hard drive destruction service.
Knowing that your paper shredding is being taken care by professionals will give you the greatest peace of mind, which we feel is the greatest benefit to our mobile shredding services. Legal Shred handles confidential information in the most professional and secure way, and we provide a certificate of destruction upon completion.
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