Retention: Not All Document Management Systems are Created Equal

Not all document management systems are created equal – especially when it comes to ensuring compliance with your retention policy.

In this post, we’ll explore several common approaches to bank document management (and why most of them fall short). We’ll also discuss why our purge feature in AccuAccount is transforming how financial institutions maintain compliance.

Paper Document Management

According to our internal study, approximately 70% of community banks rely on electronic imaging technology to organize loan files. Although that’s a sizable majority, it means that thousands of branches across the country are struggling to make do with paper documents.

If you’ve ever been involved with a paper-based retention process, you know how incredibly frustrating and time-consuming it can be. For starters, you have to find a secure storage location that’s large enough to handle all of your files. Once that’s in place, someone from your bank must pay close attention to the retention tickler (oftentimes a spreadsheet), consistently identify files set for destruction, shred them, and update the tickler. All of this consumes hours of work and leaves room for tickler oversights and errant shredding.

Shared Network Drives

To reduce risk of information loss and long-term storage costs, some banks store electronic copies of their files on internal network drives. This approach can certainly reduce the amount of shredding that a bank must do; however, it does not solve the underlying tracking issue. In most cases, banks still use a spreadsheet or manual tickler system for knowing what to purge. Even then, it’s not easy to locate the documents that are eligible for discarding. Digging through folders – whether they be paper or electronic – is not an efficient use of time and consumes precious bank resources.

Core Imaging Modules

Many core banking systems offer basic imaging modules. In some cases, core banking providers will offer such modules at a free or reduced rate to entice your bank to sign a long-term contract.

Much like shared network drives, many core imaging modules utilize a hierarchical file structure, making it difficult to locate documents that need to be purged. And, unless the imaging module has an integrated tracking component, the need for an external tickler still persists.

Integrated Document Management System

Document retention is a big reason why 15,000+ bankers trust our AccuAccount platform. Unlike paper documents, network drives, and core imaging modules, AccuAccount delivers a single source of truth – both from an imaging and tracking perspective. Define and manage retention rules for customer types, account types, collaterals, and specific documents in the system. AccuAccount uses date fields to ensure your retention rules are followed as you intended – without relying on a third-party tickler system or spreadsheet.

Purge Rules Retention

As documents reach the end of their retention periods, AccuAccount prompts your team to action by preparing a summary of records that are eligible for purging (based on your bank’s policy, of course). Once your team has reviewed the summary report, you can then purge the files from the system.

AccuAccount Purge

It’s important to note that nothing is purged automatically by AccuAccount. The system simply tracks and reports on records that need your attention, saving your bank time and boosting efficiency.

Enhance Your Retention Workflow with AccuAccount

Whether you’re shredding documents or digging through network file folders, one thing is true: your bank needs a document management system that’s capable of streamlining retention. Check out our 5 minute demo video of AccuAccount and learn how our software reduces risk, fosters transparency, and enhances compliance.

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Connect with Cathy Cirullo

Cathy Cirullo is the Implementation Manager at AccuSystems and has 30+ years of experience working in the banking industry. Having overseen loan operations departments, compliance programs, and retail operations, Cathy has extensive knowledge of loan and deposit documentation and regulations.