As stricter legislation and compliance regulations concerning the retention and archiving important documents have come into place over the past years, it is now a critical part of most businesses that they retain an archive of documentation such as accounting records, tax records and other statutory company records, legal and medical records.
With so many records to store over long periods companies are looking for safe, secure and also cost-effective solutions to their document storage. Traditionally specialist records management companies would have handled the archiving and storage of a company’s documentation but increasingly self-storage providers are offering the secure, climate controlled storage environments that are required by many organisations for the long-term storage of documentation required for regulatory reasons.
The requirement to retain documents for legal and regulatory reasons necessitates the ordered filing and tracking of all documents so that they can be retrieved easily if, and when, necessary to comply with legislation. Many large companies will employ dedicated security and compliance staff to ensure they meet their obligations but in smaller companies this role is often performed by someone in addition to their regular job so they need a solution that will allow all staff to continue with minimum disruption to their day-to-day responsibilities.
The 3 main factors of concern are security, compliance and retrieval of documentation; these are the minimum requirements of an effective document archiving procedure. Off-site storage facilities can provide the secure location for the storage of the documents in a climate-controlled environment at a cost that is less than the cost of storage in expensive office space. Some specialist storage companies will also offer the facility to catalogue and track documentation using state-of-the-art bar-coding and, where required, scan the documentation to preserve an electronic copy as well as the paper original.