Document Management Compliance

Technology is advancing day by day and so is the business world. Almost everything around us has been revolutionized, landline phones are exchanged with cell phones and typewriters have been exchanged with computers and printers. Heavy stacks of files are replaced with computer folders and almost every data is transferred from manual to digital. Moreover, there is a number of software available to make your life easy. The office life has been made easier with all these facilities but it has become really fast too. You are constantly watched and observed and authorities need compliance from you in minutes and there is no denying because of the availability of internet and smartphones. 

Similarly, state and federal regulations for compliance have also affected the businesses, now more than ever. Businesses are specifically affected in terms of information sharing, security and retention. Your business can face serious trouble if you fail to comply with state demands and it can lead you to implementation of sanctions, breach of contracts and many others. Even though every business is affected by regulatory compliance but large enterprises are especially at risk because the magnitude of the company is directly proportional to the regulations it has to comply with. The bigger your enterprise is the more you need to pay attention to document management compliance.

Luckily, advancement in technology has been a blessing because of a number of solutions it has provided for almost every digital problem. If you are in doubt about using a document management system you are at the right place because you will get to know about the advantages of a document management system. Moreover, you will also learn about the best possible solutions for your document management compliance. First of all, we need to understand what a document management system is and how it works in your favor. Let’s learn about the document management system and its advantages and then we’ll discuss different document management systems. 

  • Why Document Management Compliance is Needed

A perfect document management system for you is the one which does not only manage files and media assets but it will also play a role in regulation of all the work related to office workflows. Once you start using a document management system for document management compliance, you will realize how easier your work life has become. You will not only be able to manage files and documents related to work but there will be other benefits to a good document management system. A strong document management system will do the following along with its basic work which is efficiently managing media assets of an enterprise.

  • Automatic & Effective Delete Schedules & Content Retention

Some of the files and documents require a longer retention. In fact, you never know when you are going to need a file that you have stored and that’s where the content retention ability of a document management system comes in. A longer file retention period is mostly required in the legal industry because you might be going to need a file just after a decade of storing it. Moreover, storage of sensitive documents in a cabinet or in folders can result in damage to the record which can cause a serious problem for the company. It is also important to know that the longer the file has been stored the longer you are going to need in order to retrieve the required file from the cabinets. 

Human mind is also prone to errors and forgetfulness; it is also possible for an employee to forget about where they have stored the files. It does not matter how organized your traditional filing system is, you can make errors in judgments when it comes to looking for long stored data from decades back. All of these small inconveniences can make it harder to find the required document on time. In 2016, legislation in many industries increased and that’s where the document management system comes in to save the day. That is why a document management system is essential for many enterprises. 

  • Unification of  Compliance Objectives of Organization and Authorities

Ever since the beginning of this millennium, regulation and compliance of the documents have become a little difficult to navigate. The reason is that the public use of the internet has been increased and also the specificity of compliance standards by industry has been increased with the passage of time. Most features of the document management system share a symbiotic relationship in which the document management system upholds, ensures compliance and simplifies as  the laws related to it are written to accommodate the propagation of document management system and identical with enterprise technologies.

It has now become clearer that most of the authorities which are looking out for many industries support the document management system. These authorities do so due to its general simplicity and facilitation in the increased compliance process. However, it should be kept in mind that document management compliance cannot only be achieved by just scanning and uploading content to the document management system. You will have to perhaps adapt it from either a document management system (DMS) vendor or any organization which is using DMS itself. 

  • Metadata Simplification and Expedite Compliance with Document Management System

 Metadata consists of document management system’s search ability and retrieval of content but it also has legal relevance as it classifies data for legal reasons of audits and also making the retrieval process of documents easier for people who are conducting audits for both internal and external ones. Compliant classification of files requires meta tagging which should be traceable and depiction of content should be accurate on those meta tags. If these meta tags are not placed accurately, an auditor can see this disproportionate meta tagging as an effort to evade from e-discovery related to the auditing.

  • Protection from Data Breaches by the Document Management System

A rather uncommon phenomenon of internal data breaches is increasing. This type of internal data breaches are conducted by the people who are already working in the organization. According to an estimate, 50% of data breaches are internal data breaches. Document management systems provide you fool proof security for any kind of breach. However, it is important for the users to understand that you can only use the document management system’s security features completely if you have chosen the appropriate user permissions of the document management system’s security function. Moreover, it is not appropriate during external auditing for some of the internal employees to see documents and you might get penalized for it. This especially happens if the documents of sensitive nature or customer information are viewed by the internal employees. File sharing can also be done very carefully and it can be done using a document management system client portal as it makes the transfer using SSL encryption making it the safest way for file transfer. 

  • Document Management Regulations for Document Management Compliance

Now that we have established that document management compliance is one of the utmost important factors for most of the enterprises and that document management system is an essential requirement for document management compliance, some of you might still be confused. Some enterprises still don’t know what kind of document management regulation to follow in order to fulfill document management compliance. We have made this easier for you by making a list of the best possible solutions you can use for document management compliance. The document management regulations mentioned in the list below are a few of the most used regulatory compliance acts used for document management compliance all around the world. You can look at the list and look and understand the importance of these document management regulatory solutions according to the enterprise and then decide under which category your enterprise falls for document management compliance needs.

  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 

ISO 9001 is a system applicable to every company which is providing services and products to customers and it requires the company to review and approve the documents before distribution. It is one of the most used standards for quality assurance of the product globally. ISO 9001 standards are based on a number of different protocols for maintenance of quality with a strong emphasis on customers and continuous improvement. Moreover, detecting and tracking changes, supporting different formats (like spreadsheets, PDFs and text documents etc) and ensuring confidentiality. 

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR)

Customer data needs to be protected from any threat which can result in misuse, deletion, modification and disclosure of sensitive documents, according to the GPDR Act. This act is a part of the regulation in EU law and it is mainly applicable to any institution working inside the European Economic Area (EEA) and European Union (EU). Commercial banks, insurance companies, security firms and other financial companies fall under the domain of the GPDR act. Moreover, this act requires data backup, access control and the audit trail which tracks back to every file modification and automated alerts. The data processing is also done after the consent of the user and can be revoked at any given time.

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

This regulation mainly deals with financial services as well but it includes financial services of exchange members, dealers and even brokers along with other public companies. The documents covered under the Securities and Exchange Commission rules include customer account ledgers, liability ledgers, trial balance sheets, securities records and income ledgers and assets ledgers etc. It requires data retention of documents, data backup, document versioning, user permission levels, automated retention of documents, undeletable and unalterable audit trails and data encryption. 

  • EuFDA: The Food and Drug Administration

This regulation of The Food and Drug Administration mainly affects drugs and food manufacturers around the country. Traders and wholesalers are also required to document management compliance under FDA. Requirements of FDA in terms document management has rules and guidelines related to access control, audit logs and tracking, copying, electronic signature, permissions, version control and record protection. 

  • EU Specific The Sarbanes Oxley Act (EuroSOX)

Financial reporting for a company can be done with efficient accountability and transparency with The Sarbanes Oxley Act. Auditors, publicly traded companies, brokers, public accounting firms and securities analysts fall under the affects of the SOX act. Financial statements should be accurate, without any omissions and accessible according to this act. Retention periods for different documents is also required by this act for example retention of 7 years of invoices might be required under this act.

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides guidelines for all information related to the healthcare industry and it was developed for the protection of privacy of people who are receiving healthcare services. It is applicable to every employer and health care provider who transmits patient or employee’s information for referral authorizations or benefit eligibility. It mainly requires access control, audit trail tracking, protection against unauthorized deletion or modification of documents and version control of these documents. 

  • Document Management Compliance Risks

The risk of not following Compliance regulations can put an entire business on risk. With the increase in technology and the users becoming more aware about their data being stored and used over the internet, a single wrong move can destroy a company’s reputation. Failure to follow such regulations can also result in fines and loss of faith from the end users. Nowadays, it is not only important to securely save the data of the end user online but the usage of that data also matters.  How and where the data is stored and how it is processed throughout the organization is also a matter of concern for the end user. So, it is important to make sure to follow all of these regulations closely otherwise compliance can be a nightmare for some of these organizations.

These regulations are in place for better working of the companies and industries all across the country.