One of the major benefits of a thoughtfully designed document management system (DMS) is increased organization and searchability that allows you to locate and retrieve documents quickly and securely. While locating documents is imperative, it is critical that your users feel confident that your DMS is not missing documents and there is system integrity. Therefore, to continue to maximize your investment, it is important that you define a long-term process and solution that manages the retention and deletion of your digital documents and emails, especially when you take into consideration the expected growth in your digital footprint.
A document retention policy is one tool to help you evaluate your digital data storage needs by helping you identify and delete unnecessary documents. While a strong document retention policy is imperative to your firm, we also know how challenging it can be to manage, retain, and properly dispose of records. Get started by understanding the best practices to build the right strategy for your firm.
Ensure important regulations for document retention compliance are being followed
The correct amount of time to retain confidential client, employee, and company information can vary by the type of documents, the type of business, and current legal requirements for your area. It’s important that you create a policy that is in compliance with your area’s regulations.
Commit to enforcing retention policies
In a DMS there are tools to automate document destruction and retention policies, meaning manually managing some documents can be a thing of the past.
Utilize tools and features within your DMS with which you are already familiar
For example, learning how to employ NetDocuments’ saved searches to discover documents that meet your defined criteria (based on date, client, status, or a specific matter for example) is a great way to track and then classify your documents. Learn more in our detailed NetDocuments Saved Search overview.
Don't solely focus on discarding documents
Make a plan for retaining required documents and records that cannot or should not be deleted, or don’t have a backup. Specifically, if a client’s attorney was unavailable, or no longer with your firm, how could you expeditiously help your client?
To learn more about the benefits of a document retention policy, be sure to join us for our upcoming webinar. Or just give us a call at 877-676-5492 or simply request a consultation. Affinity Consulting can simplify the process of defining, maintaining, and committing to your document retention strategy with our team of experienced experts. Contact us anytime!