Errors in file management resulted in over $3 trillion worth of losses for the US economy. And that was just in a single year—2016, to be precise.
Do you have a sneaking suspicion your company was among those that contributed to this figure? If you answered yes to this question, it might be time to review your data management strategy.
Read on for some of the critical problems businesses face when organizing sensitive, instructive, or customer data and files—both digitally and on paper.
1. Mismanaging Your Index System
Right from the beginning, create names for files and a categorization system that is logical, easy for anyone to implement, and as simple as possible. If you don’t have an in-house record management team, put someone, such as an office manager, in charge of keeping the system on track.
Are you managing business files physically stored in filing cabinets or other filing systems? Combine efficient analog organization—for example, you can shop for legal documents here: https://legalsupply.com/legal-tabs/blank-tabs/—with a digital indexing system.
2. Not Backing Up Your Paper Files
When protecting business data that’s old and only on paper, you need to make sure it’s all backed up to the cloud or a private server. Even if it’s neatly stored in high-quality, lockable filing drawers, that won’t help you if there’s a fire or flood. Secure all digital documents using industry-grade encryption.
3. Failing to Shred Old or Sensitive Paper Documents
Once you’ve sorted through all your old files for digitization, perhaps you have some documents you don’t need to keep any longer. These files, though ancient, can pose a security danger to your business or your customers.
Be sure to shred them in-house or use a secure document disposal service to avoid leaks.
4. Failing to Protect Your Backups
We’ve already talked about backing your paper files up digitally, but what about your digital files? It’s equally important to back those up in a secure file storage center.
You might think your files are safe in the cloud. Still, sensitive data is always a target for hackers and competitors, especially for companies in large or competitive industries or those dealing with a lot of customer data.
5. Being Ignorant of Information Regulations
Make sure your file management team knows the state and federal laws regarding keeping documents. The type of information and how long you need to hold onto it varies across areas and industries.
Some standard documents that small businesses need to keep for several years include:
- Bank statements
- Invoices (payable and receivable)
- Office expenses
- Advertising expenses
- Tax returns
Review local and country-wide document laws periodically to ensure you’re keeping what you need and not holding onto too much data unnecessarily.
Solving Errors in File Management
The mistakes you’re making might be the result of human error, not putting enough resources into building a competent internal communications department, or lacking the necessary technology to keep things organized.
No matter where your errors in file management lie, the important thing is that you identify and remedy them quickly. If you’re not sure how to do that yourself, hire a data management service to help.
For more unmissable advice for businesses large and small, read the other articles on our website.