There have been a lot of companies in the past 30 years that were penalized for not having their paper documents in order, searchable, and deliverable when those documents were needed for an audit.
Just 15 years ago, there were reasons to sympathize with these companies as they got slapped with compliance fines. After all, back then, there wasn’t really a better way to store and organize these documents, aside from endless rows of filing cabinets, and that storage method wasn’t conducive to easily finding the documents needed during an audit.
However, in 2015, there’s really no reason for a company to not be completely compliant and able to easily provide documents in an audit. If you are still trying to store your documents in their physical state, without using technology, then you are just asking for the headaches and fines that come along with that. The only people we can sympathize with are the employees working for these paper-filled companies; it must take forever to get things done—that is, if they can find the documents at all.
Before paper, there were many other ways of communicating and sharing information with others—stone carvings, writing on animal hide, metal etchings, and writing on cloth and papyrus, to name a few. You wouldn’t imagine using any of these forms of information storage and transmission, so you shouldn’t be using paper and filing cabinets either, because they are just as outdated and obsolete.
There are some best practices which the largest Fortune 500 companies are using for safely transmitting and storing client data—document management software. eFileCabinet is a document management solution with advanced OCR, workflow, and retention for document security.
Hartmann Studios failed to step into the digital era; here is what the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) fined them for their outdated storage and transmission techniques:
- Failure to fill out any I-9 form at all for four individuals.
- Failure to locate the I-9 forms for 8 individuals at the time of the inspection.
- Failure to ensure that 3 workers checked a box in section 1 indicating immigration status.
- Failure to ensure that 2 workers signed section 1.
- Failure to ensure that 2 workers entered their alien numbers on the form.
- Missing List A, B, and C documents.
You can learn more about this situation here:
eFileCabinet could have helped Hartmann Studios avoid all of this by having every employee form secure and easily accessible within the document management software. They even could have used the dedicated auditor access ability that comes with the program to make the audit go smoothly and easily. With workflows and digital signatures, they would have spotted missing checkmarks and absent signatures. And when that audit came, they would not have faced the fines that they did.
If you are worried about your company going paperless and are not sure how to take the first step, call Don Baker today with eFileCabinet and he will help you start a business plan for taking your office digital. Or, just fill out the form on this page to request a free demo. If you have the mentality of “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” and you want to stick to your old-school ways, just remember the potential penalties that can come from a failure to adapt.