Replacing paper records with scanned versions? You’ll need an electronic retention program!

Posted by TAB on

When planning a document conversion project, the basic details of who, how, when are vitally important to the success of your project. However, there is another important factor that an organization must consider.

What about our retention requirements?

Converting paper records into electronic formats raises some important legal and compliance-related questions. For example,

  • Will the electronic versions satisfy our records retention requirements?
  • Are there any exceptions?
  • Is it OK to destroy the paper versions after conversion?

Unfortunately, there are no straightforward answers. Each depends on a number of legal, technical and business factors which can vary across different jurisdictions and business sectors.

The importance of an Electronic Retention Program

An electronic retention program is where all these answers come together in a set of compliant company policies for your conversion project and scanned records. An electronic retention program will ensure that you don’t inadvertently destroy the only legally-acceptable format of an important record, and that you don’t hang onto scanned documents too long, exposing your organization to unnecessary risk in the event of litigation.

So where do you start in developing an electronic retention program?
Our free white paper, Strategies for Developing a Document Imaging and Electronic Retention Program outlines the importance of three initial steps.

The first and obvious step is that you know the law, which in some cases is clear, and in others, less so. To provide more clarity and assurance that your electronic retention program will be compliant, a second important source of retention information are any applicable industry bodies and associations. Many industry associations publish their own guidelines for retention, including specific guidelines for electronic documents.

The third initial step is to secure senior support for the program. With legal compliance and litigation risks on the line, getting written approval and support for your project is vital to ensuring it will stand up if challenged by law.

There is more to electronic retention programs of course, but these steps will get you started. In a future post we will look more closely at what’s involved in developing a successful electronic retention program for your organization. Stay tuned!

Next Steps


Related Posts

View more

Talk to us about your business issues.

Email Us

or call 1-888-466-8228