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Is Your Records Management Program Audit Ready?
When More Is Better
I love the quote by Larry Page, founder of Google, “Always deliver more than expected.” This is valuable not only for auditing, but to gain and maintain customers and impress your boss. By doing so, you create an unexpected and lasting impression for them and strengthen trust.
The same is true for your records management program. If you do the utmost to protect and track the records you are responsible for, you might just impress the auditor. In the event of an unexpected audit, they may:
- Be impressed by your company’s professionalism
- See that protecting private and personal information is a high priority for your organization
- Be more understanding when encountering any issues
It’s important for your records management program to be prepared should your organization be the subject of an audit. The first step is to have a current, well-maintained, and legally-compliant records management program.
If you’re not sure how to tell if your records management program is audit ready, use our helpful guidelines, below, to evaluate yours.
Chain of Custody
An auditor will be impressed to see that you track the journey of all records throughout their entire lifecycle. Do you maintain a secure chain of custody from when information is generated to when it is securely destroyed? Do you have a Certificate of Destruction to prove that the information has been securely destroyed?
File indexing notes the contents of each file, including file type, department or retention period, and barcode tracking can locate exactly where it is at any given moment so you can request a quick file retrieval should the auditor request it.
Following and responding to file retention periods is mandatory to maintaining compliance with data privacy laws. When a file has reached the end of its lifecycle, it must be securely shredded. Know your files’ retention periods and ensure that there are no files that have surpassed their retention dates. For help with retention periods, work with a reputable records management company.
The use of locked shred collection containers will provide a safe and secure location for your discarded files until they can be shredded. Collection containers help maintain the chain of custody, making sure that unauthorized individuals cannot access sensitive information.
Complying with Data Privacy Laws
An auditor will observe all the processes within your records management program to ensure that your staff and clients’ personally identifiable information (PII) is protected and handled correctly as mandated by laws such as:
- The Georgia Data Protection Act of 2011
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act (HIPAA)
- The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA)
- The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
- The Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX)
Keeping your records management program current and compliant is complicated. Outsourcing your records management and document destruction to a local, reputable records management company can be a life saver. The professionals can help you:
- Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your business by allowing you to focus on your company’s primary mission.
- Meet information security and legal compliance standards
- Be ready for an audit at all times
Records Management Center provides a full suite of records and information management services to clients in Augusta, Evans, Thomson, and Martinez, GA, Aiken, SC, and the Central Savannah River Areas. For more information, give us a call us at 706-724-7982 or complete the form on this page. Our records management experts are standing by to help get your business audit ready.