Data and information security are more important than ever. There are more ways for cybercriminals to steal information and the general public is more aware of the importance of data security. For businesses dealing with sensitive information, protecting documents while maintaining efficiency is a delicate balancing act. How can these businesses improve their document management with regards to security and operations?
In the legal and finance fields, these concerns are heightened. The documents dealt with within these types of businesses are incredibly sensitive and could contain the client’s most important financial or legal information. Information that they trust to be secured.
The Cost of Poor Document Management
Many businesses think that changing from the status quo is costly. However, the real cost may be in sticking with the status quo. Poor document management can be costly for businesses both in the short term as well as in the long term.
Regulators are increasingly going after businesses that don’t properly secure and manage the data that they deal with. Perhaps the most significant situation is the Equifax data breach where a $700M fine was levied. Failing to properly manage or secure data could lead to fines or regulatory actions, especially against financial and legal firms that are dealing with data that is inherently sensitive.
Beyond fines, there is also the potential for reputational loss. What client will want to work with a law firm or financial firm that previously lost or exposed their documents? If the fines don’t hurt the business, the loss of future customers surely will.
And, finally, there is an efficiency loss from using an outdated document management system. If someone has to search old file folders in a storage room to find the document they need, is that really the best use of their time? What if they have to do that dozens of times per day?
What Does Better Document Management Look Like?
Many people will agree, at least on a basic level, that better document management and document security is important. But what does this actually mean for law firms and financial firms?
For starters, this means better access to documents quickly. Documents can be digitized and stored for quick access on a local network or cloud-based storage. Incoming emails, faxes, and scans can even be automatically routed to the correct folder to help save time when organizing documents.
Better control over document viewing, management, and editing is also a major benefit of updating document management systems. Specific permissions can be set to only allow certain staff to manage certain documents. This ensures that unauthorized persons are unable to access documents that were not intended for them, reducing the risk of intentional or unintentional data breaches. With more control comes improved document security.
Finally, better efficiency and collaboration can be achieved with a modernized document management system. For law firms and financial firms, this is essential when multiple people may be working on one file. Authorized users can collaborate on a document and change history can be tracked to see who did what and when. Most importantly, since many are working remotely due to COVID-19, these document management systems can be configured to allow remote access for uninterrupted work.
Staying Compliant with Better Document Management
Document management is about more than document security and efficiency. It’s also important to remain compliant with regulatory authorities. This is especially true with financial firms that may be subject to regular reviews or audits to ensure clients are being properly managed, anti-money laundering documents are updated, and more.
Documents can be quickly searched based on any number of criteria including last date of review, specific document content, and much more. This makes internal and external audits much easier and reduces the risk of any surprises that may come up in the future.
Document Management Made for the Future
A good document management system is built for today and scalable for the future. Say goodbye to filing cabinets, misplaced documents, or frantic searches through unorganized digital files. With improved document management comes improved document security, efficiency, and client service.
To learn more about how a modern document management system can help your financial or legal firm, contact the experts at Doing Better Business today.