Across all industries, an effective records management system is essential to successful organizational compliance. With growing local, state, and federal regulations and increasing penalties for non-compliance, organizations are faced with balancing profitability with governance.
Records management software facilitates compliance by providing an interrelated, centralized database of records metadata, user activity, and records retention schedules – strengthening the reliability and integrity of information stored within that system. More specifically, it is crucial that the solution provide functionality enabling demonstration of compliance in the following four key areas:
1. Extensive reporting
Records management software solutions include extensive reporting capabilities, providing decision-makers with visibility into access, actions, and history of all records and documents. Uncertainty surrounding records access is greatly eliminated when a report can be quickly produced clearly showing this information. Reporting capabilities include:
- Box and file requests
- Delivery reports
- Location and content reports for boxes and files
2. Audit trail
Audit trails are key to providing a history of actions taken on a particular record. With a records management software system in place, every action, update, or request is captured in one permanent, secure, centralized location – and creates a legally defensible audit trail.
In addition to its reporting capabilities, the automatic creation of an audit trail can save organizations from spending hours locating records and verifying user activity.
3. Retention schedules and disposition approvals
Records management software can easily manage an unlimited number of complex records retention schedules while also supporting disposition workflow. Once in place, there is no confusion about which records are eligible for destruction, which are on legal hold, or whom within the organization can provide approval. Whether based on statute, regulation, or internal policies, records management software ensures compliance with all retention schedules.
4. Location of records
Regardless of where physical records reside, in-house or off-site, information about a box or a file’s current location is imperative for records life cycle management. Without this information, records delivery requests, pickup requests, or transfers can be significantly delayed or left unfulfilled. Simply put, control over the location of records, and the ability to locate them easily is fundamental to successful compliance.