The Importance of Protecting Firms and Clients with a Properly Executed Document Retention Policy – Part 2

Closeup to the word "Policy"Goals of a Document Retention Policy can include:

•  Retention of important documents for reference and future use;

•  Deletion of documents that are no longer necessary for the proper functions of the  company;

•  Ensure that documents are only being stored by the custodians of the records;

•  Organize important documents for efficient retrieval; and

•  Ensure that company employees know what documents should be retained, the length of their retention, means of storage, and when and how they should be destroyed.

In the words of the IRS, a “document retention and destruction policy identifies the record retention responsibilities of staff, volunteers, board members, and outsiders for maintaining and documenting the storage and destruction of the organization’s documents and records.” (Source: Instructions to the Form 990 page 20).

According to the CIO.com, “The 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley regulations served as a wake-up call for CIOs to formalize document retention policies to meet compliance requirements. But regulatory demands—and the number of documents produced daily—continue to grow. So a solid document management process is a necessity.” While document retention policies are critical for every business, those businesses subject to Sarbanes must be especially diligent.

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