Almost every business out there is looking for ways to get rid of paper and get in tune with technology. Banks are no different. They want to reap the benefits that come with less paper, however, the decision to go digital is only part of the equation. The other part is deciding how to handle those records. Below we will explore some issues to consider as you go forward with your document retention policy.
Why Do You Need a Document Retention Policy?
So why should your bank have a document retention policy? For starters, at some point your institution may be required to produce documents for legal reasons. In today’s litigious society, you never know when your institution is going to end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit. If this happens, you’ll be glad you had a policy and the systems in place to implement that policy. Also, depending on the type of document, your institution may be required by law to retain it for a specific period of time. In short, there are many valid reasons to have a policy, but how do you do it effectively while maintaining efficiency in operations and other areas?
The interesting fact about document retention is the way that it has evolved in the last 10 to 20 years. In the old days, document and record storage was paper driven, but in recent years, that is no longer the case. Of course, there’s still a use for hard copies, but most companies (including banks and credit unions) are finding that digital retention is faster, more efficient, and costs less than older methods. While some additional effort will need to be put forth into security and technology, going digital has become a “no brainer” for most organizations. In fact, customers of banks and other financial institutions have made it an expectation that records will be stored digitally because it’s so much more convenient for the customer, auditors, internal departments and branches.
Get Some Help
Even though the decision to have a formal documentation retention policy may seem like a “no brainer”, it doesn’t mean that it won’t take some brainpower to actually create one. Once your institution has made the decision to commit to a policy, consider getting some outside input. Think about it: this may be your bank’s first foray into document retention, but a lot of specialty providers like AccuSystems have gone through the process many, many times. Why not leverage our experience and know-how? It’ll sure save you a lot of time and headaches.
As you can see, the decision to go digital is often an easy one; however, there’s still work to be done. Your organization will need to decide on a retention policy and the specifics of your document storage. You should also consider getting an expert involved to help you create your policy.