What is the best way for our company to “go green” and transfer our paper files to electronic files?
Electronic communication and recordkeeping has been and continues to grow in practice. As such, we have seen government rulings providing guidance to employers who want to move to this less paper-intensive mode. The support of such legal guidance has enabled electronic recordkeeping and communication to become more prominent, allowing HR professionals to become even more productive. Of course, productivity does not come without some significant legal concerns and challenges that must be considered when implementing an electronic system.
According to the IRS an electronic record is “any combination of text, graphics, data, audio, pictorial or other information representation in digital form that is created, modified, maintained, archived, retrieved, or distributed by a computer system”. Various vendors are able to provide electronic solutions that will allow an organization to implement such systems and assist in the management and destruction of records properly, these include:
Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) – Allowing individuals to manage their information on a desktop system.
Electronic Imaging System (EIS) – Allowing employers to manage documents that are scanned and electronically stored.
Records Management Software (RMS) – Tracking software used to manage information about where records are physically stored and to stay on top of destruction dates for documents.
All of these types of systems aid in electronic recordkeeping, just at different extremes and offer great electronic alternatives to employers wishing to move toward electronic storage. “Going green” may not be the easiest thing to do, but a carefully thought out electronic filing system with good policies and procedures will most certainly help you!
Recordkeeping can be a daunting task, especially once you get behind in filing or change to a new system. Keeping some documents readily accessible, but confidential is extremely important. But so is knowing when to get rid of and destroy a document. Strategic HR, inc. has an easy to use desktop reference to assist with managing employee documentation and record retention. Visit our HR Store to learn more about this handy tool.