The paperless office has been heralded for decades. But, as we all know, it has yet to materialize. Most Illinois businesses still have 95% of their information laying on desks or filed away in cabinets. This creates a host of problems for businesses, problems that can easily be solved by converting paper documents into a digital format.
In most cases, when Chicago businesses make the decision to "go digital," they hire a professional document scanning service to transfer paper records into electronic copies. The electronic copies are then available to anyone with access to the document database. Any document can be quickly found using keywords. If a hard copy is required it can be printed, used, shredded and recycled.
For more information on document scanning and for a free quote, please give us a call.
Federal Laws that Encourage Electronic Document Storage
- In 2002, the federal government introduced the introduced the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which requires businesses to properly maintain financial records. That includes being able to retrieve them when required. This is significantly easier when the documents are stored electronically.
- In 2003, Congress passed the Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act (FACTA) which also requires business to properly safeguard and store personal information of employees and customers and properly destroy them. Obviously, if documents are systematically converted to a digital format, it is easier to store, retrieve, and ultimately destroy this sensitive information.
- The third major act which compels companies to store information electronically is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, which addresses the security and privacy of health data. The standards are meant to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation's health care system by encouraging the widespread use of electronic data in the US health care system.
Most offices operate under a flood of paper documents. Employees maintain a personal archive, each office maintains another archive, and then there is also an official company archive. The storage required for paper documents grows at a rate of 20-25% every year. To help meet their storage needs, many companies look to off-site storage to store their company documents. This solves the storage problem but can be very costly depending on the size of the business.
Consider just one 80 gigabyte hard drive. It can hold 2.7 million documents and costs only $120. The same storage for paper documents would be 68 four-drawer file cabinets. The cost for one cabinet alone is more than $120.
With all this to consider, it is no wonder that more and more companies are making the decision to go paperless, and we can help your business do it too!