Going paperless is become a movement and happening across many businesses now. Going Paperless truly transforms any organization to improve workflows and streamline records management, as digitization offers faster data retrieval, minimal errors, and fewer records storage costs. By going paperless your business is fast getting ready to conduct business in a modernized manner in a collaborative manner.
By going paperless, are we clear if we are referring to Digital Documents or Electronic documents? Do we all know the exact difference? Many of us use these terms digital and electronic interchangeably.
What are Digital Documents?
Digital documents are paperless. They are generated as a non-physical record or created as one by means of digitization of records. They can be easily manipulated when provided required privileges.
What are Electronic Records?
Electronic Records are static. They are mostly non-modifiable. File formats such as PDFs, Jpegs, and other scanned document formats. One can still manipulate them with a little more effort.
What’s the Difference between digital documents and Electronic Records?
Though ‘digital documents’ and ‘electronic records’ sound like the same thing, they too actually are not. Digital Documents are born digital. They can be easily exchanged with others and actively collaborated upon. Such digital documents carry updates as it moves along in the approval chain. Examples: E-Invoices, Payroll records, etc.
Electronic documents however are static and are often not easily manipulated. They are made to be compatible with electronics like computers and other gadgets. Examples are scanned documents, scanned images, scanned photographs, PDF Files, etc.
Caution while Digitizing Records
Digitizing records or creating electronic records – ensure you protect the privacy and integrity of data. Digital and Electronic documents are often easily manipulated with the increased awareness of computing and the availability of advanced tools. They are also vulnerable to any data breach, data theft, data leakage, etc. Necessary security audits, encryption of data, vaulting, security policies are important.
Examples of Digital Documents
Digital documents serve a variety of purposes, though some of the most common examples include personnel records, legal documents, internal communications, applications, and invoices.
1. Personnel records
Typically, the HR Function or Finance Function maintains Personnel records. Personnel records include details like employee’s application, job description, salary records. Hiring documents, performance reviews, and compensation records.
2. Legal documents
Documents like non-disclosure agreements, background checks, and medical records are legal in nature. It is advantageous to digitize these records as they are easily searchable, distributable, editable, and occupy lesser records storage space while providing a seamless experience for users.
3. Internal communications
Any records that are being circulated using computers internally that drive communication and collaboration are being referred to as digital documents. Examples like employee handbooks, circulars, and office communications like email, chats that can be shared within a few seconds.
E-Invoicing eliminates the need to scan individual documents into systems saving time and cost for printing, packaging, and postage. Invoices travel across businesses, clients, banks, partners, and government bodies for tax filing and return filing processes.
Going digital is important. However, maintaining physical records or electronic records is important too as regulatory bodies demand hard copies to be stored for a certain number of years.
As you go along with your paperless journey, you need to clearly understand these finer details. Educate your employees and implement detailed records management standard operating protocols (SOPs). By partnering with a records management company you can handle your physical, electronic, and digital records in a unified manner.
Consult KAYMAN Records Management Services.
Documenting Peace of Mind.