Documents in the organisational context mean various physical papers and soft data for various transactions entered within the departments or with outside parties during organisation’s lifetime. Documents may even consist of various contracts / agreements.

Similarly, soft data may be in the form of soft acknowledgements or soft workings or emails or digitally scanned documents with / without digital signature. Various organisations are issuing digitally signed documents through emails to avoid the usage of paper. These documents have increasingly been accepted as legal documents as evidence in the courts of different countries.

Importance of documents

    • Explain / justify the transactions
        • The documents explain the transactions for their occurrence in the past and why those executed / not executed.
    • Demonstrate the authorisations
        • of the concerned persons for the execution of transactions;
    • Evidence
        • Documents are also used as evidence in the courts of law at the time of any dispute.
    • Analysis
        • For analysing the historical data for taking present decisions;
        • For bringing clarity of a transaction by analysing the documentations of various discussions held while executing the transaction.
    • Historical moments
        • For reviving and sharing historical moments (like paintings, photographs, etc.) with others.
    • Certification
        • For acknowledging and certifying the work done OR education / training, etc. completed;
        • To be used as certificates / degrees, etc.
    • Knowledge preservation
        • Used as books OR drawings OR diagrams, etc. for gaining the knowledge;
        • Re-creating the products / services in the future with available knowledge.
    • Regulating the processes
        • Checklists, benchmarks, etc. for ensuring standard actions to be taken by various departments for completion of transactions.

Preserving the documents

    • Segregation of documents year-wise → moving and preserving each year’s documents including soft data from active work-place to separate place / separate computer hard disks → limited access of historical data;
    • Using third party physical document management services wherein the specialised service provider manages the documents on behalf of the organisation, {e.g. document management solutions from Xerox OR from Ricoh;
    • Securing the historical documents kept at separate location for unauthorised access OR theft OR deterioration by pests or water, etc.;
    • Digitisation of documents for easy retrieval of documents and avoiding handling of physical documents;
    • Lamination of documents for increasing documents’ life.

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