Do upcoming audits fill you with a sense of dread? Knowing that you and your teams will have to scramble to find the necessary paper documents, electronic files and emails stored in all sorts of different places. And you know it will put some of your people out of action for weeks as they pull together all the documentation needed.
However, non-compliance is not an option. Whether it’s a financial, regulatory or industry compliance audit, failing to provide the necessary documentation can put your business at risk. These risks can include financial penalties, legal costs, loss of industry certification and damage to your organisation’s reputation.
How do you take the worry and pain out of audits? With the right records management solution, you can slash the time it takes to prepare audits from weeks to minutes.
But some solutions are more effective than others. An enterprise content management (ECM) system, for example, can provide a central repository for storing and managing all your organisation’s electronic records, documents and other content.
To ensure your organisation is properly prepared for an audit, ask yourself the following questions about your records management solution.
Can the system capture records from anywhere?
You can take the stress out of audits with an ECM system that handles compliance for you and your people. For example, a Software as a Service (SaaS) ECM system can allow your users to easily create, capture, categorise and find any type of records and other information on any device.
Is the captured information easily discoverable?
If the information you need is not discoverable, you won’t be able to pass an audit. So, your ECM system should enforce compliance by ensuring your users capture metadata with each document—and that metadata should be easily searchable. In addition, the system should allow users to easily broaden their search and find the information they need within the documents.
Does the system capture audit history?
Your system should have audit tools that log actions performed on your documents and allow you to view those actions. These should include retaining logs on document views and changes to classifications, metadata, index links, retention settings and document actions such as lock and destroy.
Does it generate detailed audit reports quickly?
Being able to log these actions is vital for audits, particularly when your organisation needs to demonstrate the integrity of its data. But your system should also make it easy to generate audit reports, detailing each record’s history—including who has viewed or printed it, metadata and other changes, and version history.
Does the system have built-in compliance?
With the right system, you can enforce total compliance with auditing and records management standards across the enterprise. These should include the government standards in your jurisdiction, and support for automating the document retention and disposal schedules that your organisation needs to comply with. What’s more, a SaaS ECM system can ensure these standards are always up to date.
With these tools and the right processes in place, you can set up your system to do the heavy lifting for your organisation’s records compliance. And stressful audits will become a thing of the past.