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No matter how many employees your company has — whether 10 or 10,000 — there are potentially dozens of regulations to comply with. The list can range from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). And that doesn’t even include any internal policies that require adherence.
In the event an IRS auditor or other governmental agency shows up at your door, they’ll want to see documentation to prove compliance, and you’ll need to quickly provide them with what they need.
Shuffling through file cabinets and searching multiple data systems and email inboxes to gather the necessary records will not bode well, and the chances of missing critical paperwork or discovering a costly error are highly probable.
Implementing an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system provides an effective way to store, track and manage documents in a single repository and ensure compliance. Read on to see how your organization can ease the burden of complying with various regulations with the use of this robust technology.
If you currently store documents in multiple platforms, you can import those electronic files directly into an ECM system. Microsoft Office and various databases can all feed into the ECM platform, allowing users to search a single system rather than weeding through multiple programs. Hard copies can be scanned directly from a multifunction printer and saved with appropriate file names and tags to seamlessly search, sort and run reports.
Documents can be routed for edits, collaboration and approvals, and managers and compliance officers can monitor progress to ensure proper protocols and timelines are being followed. Transparency into who is viewing or working on documents helps keep others aware of a contract’s status or customer engagement, for example, keeping everyone in the loop and providing accountability in the event of an audit.
Documents outlining routine procedures, equipment inspections and various OSHA compliance records can be stored and sorted by various filters to determine when an item may need maintenance or replacement according to industry standards. Alerts can be scheduled to notify necessary employees. Additionally, records that document worker training or certifications, for example, can be stored and notifications can be sent when a certification is set to expire and requires action.
Rules-based settings can be implemented for various documentation and records, allowing secure access only to those with proper authorization. Employee records, financial data and other restricted information can be kept in the repository without fear of it falling into the wrong hands. Recent data breaches emphasize the need for protecting data, and many healthcare providers, for example, are adopting ECM as a way to ensure patient confidentiality and improve security.
Some documentation, such as tax-related forms, needs to be kept for a specified length of time and can be archived once it’s no longer needed. A common Human Resources Form I9, for example, must be retained for a designated time period while an employee works for a company. Once that employee leaves, however, the form must be purged from the employer’s records at a set timeframe. Failure to comply with these rules could result in significant fines from the Department of Labor. ECM can be configured to alert authorized users when it’s time to review records and can automatically archive or purge appropriate documentation based on preferred criteria.
We live in an age of information, and maintaining accurate records is a growing challenge. With an ECM system, your company can take control of looming compliance issues and help ensure that your data is securely stored and easily accessible to those who need it.
To learn more about additional benefits and functionality that an ECM system can bring to your organization, contact the experts at the Gordon Flesch Company today. They’ll meet with you to assess your risks and determine if an ECM solution is right for you. Want to get a head start to gauge your readiness? Take our quick 5-question quiz below to see if your needs align with the many benefits that ECM has to offer.