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What to Consider When Setting Up Your Online Corporate Repository

    
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Dealing with paperwork is an inescapable component of conducting business. In many industries, there are even specific requirements dictating how certain documents should be handled and the length of time they must be retained. Implementing a concrete document management and retention system is critical for companies to stay organized, keep operations running smoothly, and in some cases, ensure compliance with legally mandated standards.

It can be daunting figuring out the best way to store and share a large quantity of documents, especially when they pertain to different company departments or affairs. Even though there may be various ways to establish a corporate repository and needs inevitably vary among different businesses, here are several things companies should consider when establishing an online corporate repository.

A Cloud-Based Repository Must Be Convenient AND Secure

Companies that are considering making the transition to an online corporate repository can currently choose from quite a few cloud-based services to handle their needs. Some of these services are simple and inexpensive, but they may not employ sophisticated security measures or take any security precautions at all. Other services may offer far more than some companies need and at a price beyond the budget of small businesses.

Obviously, the nature of the documents that will be uploaded will determine whether and to what degree security matters. These days, however, most documents contain important information that may end up misappropriated for monetary gain, so a servicer’s security standards should not be overlooked. Fortunately, there are corporate repositories that are easy to use and securely store documents without breaking the bank.

Uploading, Sorting, and Searching Documents Should Be Quick and Easy

Some service providers try to entice prospective users by offering a myriad of features. However, more is not always better and having to figure out a ton of (often superfluous) functions may unnecessarily complicate matters. A useful online repository should have features that are simple and intuitive so that anyone (even the not so tech savvy) can quickly and easily adapt to the system.

In particular, an online corporate repository should be easy to set up, allowing for rapid document uploads and file creation. In addition, once documents are sorted into their respective folders, there must be a comprehensive search feature to ensure that items can be located quickly and efficiently.

Document Naming Conventions and Indexing are Essential to Organization

In order to keep documents organized, it is important for document names to clearly identify the content of the particular document. And, it is imperative that document names not become overly redundant. For example, company personnel cannot indiscriminately save anything that is a contract as simply “contract.”

To accomplish this, companies should implement a clear-cut document naming convention. For example, a company’s vendor contracts should include the name of the specific vendor along with a description of the type of contract and perhaps even the date the document was created or executed. Document naming conventions should be as specific as possible, and leadership teams must mandate company-wide conformity. Anyone within the company who understands and abides by the naming system should be able to easily determine what a document is based on its name alone. Then, once documents are saved according to the prescribed parameters and uploaded in a corporate repository with an automated index function, locating a needed item should be effortless.

These are simple but vital steps companies can take to simplify document management and maintain an organized, efficient corporate repository.

 

A CFO's definitive guide to document retention