What is a Document Retention Policy?
A document retention policy provides your business with increased profitability and efficiency, safeguards for litigation, and helps your business maintain regulatory compliance. Let's take a close look at how a document retention policy provides each of these benefits.
A Document Retention Policy Can Increase Profitability and Efficiency
A Document Retention Policy Provides Legal Safeguards to Your Business
Similarly, if you are involved with legal proceedings with another business, you could be held liable if you're unable to produce the necessary documents due to destruction or misplacement.
A document retention policy will provide your business with procedures for how to store and destroy documents in a way that supports your business legally. A DRP can help you know when to suspend document destruction in case important files are shredded.
A DRP Helps Your Business Maintain Regulatory Compliance
Overall, a document retention policy will help your business identify the documents that need to be retained to maintain compliance for your industry. A well-planned and executed DRP can take the guesswork out of locating files and protect your business from legal and regulatory vulnerabilities.
How to Create a Document Retention Schedule for Your Business
Select a Document Manager
Crucially, this person should be able to stop the destruction of documents when necessary, and quickly retrieve critical business documents.
What Kinds of Documents or Records do you Have or Use?
On top of that, each industry will have specific documents that need storage, protection, or destruction. We won't belabor the countless types of records this could be, from financial institutions' accounting records to law firms' deposition transcripts, but the important part is identifying the key kinds of documents and records your business needs to store.
Which Documents are you Required to Keep?
This is also a good time to think about how your business stores and organizes files. You'll want to consider the following:
- How are files managed?
- Where are documents stored?
- Who can access the files?
- Does your business follow a standard naming convention for documents?
Document destruction is equally as important to your DRP as storage, as your business could incur liability if you've held a document too long and it falls into the wrong hands. However, as document destruction becomes commonplace after you've implemented your document retention policy, it's crucial your DRP administrator is able to stop the presses and prevent documents from being shredded if you're in the litigation process.
R4 Services Can Help Keep Your Business Safe & Compliant
Every organization will come to their own conclusion on the timing of document destruction. It’s important to weigh the risk factors and your litigation strategy, and make the right decision on the timing of purging your company’s records.
Need help with securely destroying your confidential information this year? Let R4 Services help you achieve compliance and reduce costs.