Organisations demonstrate compliance with tax regulations, the Data Protection Act or industry standards by means of document-based records and the integrity of record keeping systems. Maintaining these records entails a level of both risk and cost.
In most organisations, the majority of records are still maintained in paper format, even though electronic records can have full legal validity. With paper records, some of the risks affecting compliance encompass lost or misfiled records and difficulties in monitoring unauthorised access and tracking high volumes of paper through systems.
Costs associated with maintaining paper records relate to the time and effort needed to file, retrieve, copy, distribute and manage paper documents, and the storage costs incurred in retaining large volumes of paper records for several years.
In addition to the above, many systems must now manage records in both paper and electronic formats. This presents a range of challenges such as achieving effective version control and the fact that different record formats will be stored in different locations. A topical example is the increasing reliance on emails as official records, for example as records of approval or authorisation, or the means for receipt of official documents such as invoices.
Benefits of document scanning for compliance
So how can document scanning help reduce the risks and costs incurred in achieving compliance?
With document scanning software such as Kofax Capture and Kofax Transformation Modules, organisations are able to manage all records in electronic format, regardless of whether they arrive on paper or by email or even as images submitted from mobile phones.
By systematically scanning and indexing paper documents as they arrive, organisations can track these effectively from the point of entry into the organisation to final archive, which is a major factor in demonstrating compliance.
As the same Kofax software can also capture emails, faxes, SMS text messages or documents stored in networked folders, organisations can leverage document scanning and capture as the starting point for the creation, tracking and management of all records entering a system.
Centralised records management
Document scanning and capture enables the use of structured document management systems to maintain an archive of all of the above record formats in accordance with compliance requirements.
Online document management systems such as FileStore allow organisations to store captured documents in one central location with restricted and auditable user access. Being able to demonstrate the security of records and provide audit trails of who has accessed them and what actions were performed are further key factors in achieving compliance.
Improved records accuracy and automation
Document scanning systems which use software such as Kofax Transformation Modules (Kofax KTM) allow organisations to bring greater automation and accuracy to the records management process.
Kofax KTM can be trained to automatically recognise and classify documents by type. This eliminates the variability and risk inherent in manual classification, enabling large numbers of scanned documents to be correctly routed under highly automated conditions and any exceptions to be queued for prompt resolution.
With Kofax KTM, organisations can also eliminate the errors occurring in rekeying data from large numbers of documents. Instead, KTM extracts the data directly from captured pages with high degrees of speed and accuracy. On-screen validation of extracted data is fast, resulting in higher throughput of more accurate data.
Systematic use of document scanning can reduce the risks and costs of compliance by:
- Enabling cradle to grave tracking of all documents entering the organisation.
- Enabling centralised electronic storage of records with secure and auditable access.
- Ensuring the accuracy of received information.
- Eliminating the occurence of lost or misfiled document records.
- Eliminating the need for costly paper document storage.
- Reducing the effort required to manage records and prepare for audits.
Document scanning enables a greater level of automation to be applied to the creation, handling and tracking of records, whereby automation can be read as enabling the reduction of both risk and costs.
Data Capture Solutions and Document Compliance
For assistance in assessing and finding the right scanning and document management solutions that full meet industry regulations and legal compliance talk to DCS on +44(0)1753 616720.
DCS are experts in a wide variety of document management and scanning solutions and can help your organisation find the software, systems and services that will not only improve your productivity and save resources, but also keep you on the right side of document compliance requirements - visit Data Capture Solutions at http://www.dcs.co.uk/ for more information.