Follow your document retention policy with simple processes that work automatically to keep documents compliant
Your organization has multiple departments with differing electronic document types and uses – and each one has its own timelines and requirements. Legal needs to make sure contracts are reviewed before they roll over or expire. HR needs to perform quarterly staff evaluations. Accounting needs to hold their invoices for seven years, then dispose of them. Health and Safety needs to make sure the material data sheets are reviewed each year. Should any one of these departments miss their deadline, it would require time and effort being spent to remedy the problem, along with possible financial or legal consequences. Your system relies on people remembering to complete all their tasks and it only takes one forgetful morning or busy week to throw that into chaos.
The Solution – FileHold Event Manager
When documents are added to your FileHold Library, you will classify them immediately. This will help FileHold determine the difference between a contract and an invoice, between a MSDS and an HR report. FileHold can then apply different event-based processes depending on the classification. This process works in the background, providing you with a confident way to ensure they are being handled correctly.
Record Retention Policy
Every organization today needs a record retention policy. This can be driven by regulatory compliance, internal processes, or common-sense needs. These policies should determine how which documents require review, archival, and/or disposal, and what timeline these events should happen in. FileHold can apply these settings to your document types automatically, as soon as the document is added to the Library.
Electronic repositories of documents can become cluttered with old documents. FileHold provides an Archive for historic documents and records that need to be saved, but would only provide visual noise in the active Library. The Archive is filtered from simple searches, which lets you exclude the historic results, but not lose the documents from the system. The Archive can be searched with a check-box selection in advanced searches. As part of a record retention policy, FileHold can automate this archival. For instance, FileHold can be configured to automatically move documents to the Archive after one year after its last edit, or after it was added to the Library, or whatever length of time or event makes sense for that document. This keeps your Library efficient and ready for audit as needed.
FileHold classifies the Library contents into two broad categories: documents and records. Documents are editable, while records are not. This applies to FileHold’s version control, and not to the nature of the file; for instance, a Word document might be editable on your computer, but FileHold would not let you modify it if stored as a record – any edits would need to be saved in FileHold as a new entry. This demonstrates that records remain in their original entered format, and that can be a requirement of many industry regulations. FileHold can automatically convert documents to records as part of your record retention policy, just like it can auto-archive – on your schedule, as required by your documents. In fact, FileHold can do both at the same time – convert all documents to records and move the archive after one year after they were added to the Library, for instance.
In many cases, what is needed for the document is a review – a look-over to ensure it is up-to-date. If there is a date attached to the document, FileHold can use that to send a reminder on or before the date to remind the owner (or a delegate) that the document needs review. The date could be a contract expiration, or a health & safety report, or a personnel file; the review could be set from a manually set information tag, or from when the document was entered into the Library; the reminder could be 30 days before the event, or two weeks, or one year – and it could be set to repeat. This can be fine-tuned to each type of document used by each department, so no need to compromise; one year leases can be reviewed at one year, and six month leases reviewed at six months. The reminder could be an email or an item in the FileHold Calendar.
Some documents and records need to be deleted, either due to regulatory requirements or internal policy. FileHold can be set do this automatically as well, just like the aforementioned processes. However, FileHold does this in two steps – first, it performs a “soft delete” and removes the documents from view or searches. An alert can be sent to the document owner or designate, and if they need, it can be retrieved by a system administrator. Otherwise, after a specified length of time, the file is permanently deleted. This ensures not only compliance, but that documents can be protected from final destruction if needed.
All departments are getting their reminders. Invoices are being converted and archived at the end of fiscal. Legal gets their notices to review their contracts two weeks before they roll over. Health and Safety is notified as procedures and documents are due for review. Staff evaluations are being monitored and updated each quarter. All documents and records are being cleared from the Library as needed, and deleted altogether as required. No need for worry that compliance is not being met, or that documents are falling through the cracks – FileHold has your events managed.
Chris Oliver brings his twenty years of experience in management in the entertainment industry to FileHold Systems as the sales consultant for the Eastern United States and Canada. To learn more about how FileHold DMS can work for you, contact him at [email protected].