Documentation has always been a part of our life. In the early stage of our life, our teachers taught us to write everything down – from school notes to academic writing, and even personal diaries. As we get older, our head a little harder, our employers instruct us to always put everything down in writing.
Basically, we write to communicate and document. With the advent of technology, the conventional way of writing has changed immensely. While a lot of software has been developed and more is being created to allow people to make a complete and seamless digital transition, especially in this time of pandemic when face-to-face transactions are obviously limited, the need to keep a hard copy of documents is still seen as beneficial.
Below are some small business documents, which hard copy should be kept:
- Business Licence and Registration. Most companies all over the globe still hold hard copies of their licences and registration and show them on their place of operation. Not only this is subject to audit by the Authority, displaying these records makes consumers secure that they are doing business with credible and legitimate merchants; this is as important as management of your reputation both online and in media.
- Tax, Financial Records and Accounting Documents. It is necessary to retain a hard copy of those documents which are audited by third-party auditing firms and which are then submitted for filing purposes to the Authority. Although several countries now file taxes online, having hard copies that can be easily retrieved in the event of system failures is still secure.
- Legal Documents. Contracts and other forms of agreements should be finalised as perfect as your make-up on your wedding day so it requires printing in order to be signed in conformity by the parties concerned. In order to verify the fairness of an argument against the previously negotiated terms and conditions, contracts can be consulted from time to time. In addition, these records are checked by lawyers and presented as evidence for any legal proceedings before the court, which is why it is necessary to keep these records in handy, but they should be properly preserved.
On the other hand, did you know that there are records that must be properly disposed if in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles? That is why it is critical to resort to professional document shredders and own them. You’ll never know when a highly confidential document, such as personal information of clients, patients, and even former employees, gets into the wrong hands and misuse it until you receive a court hearing invite or subpoena.
To know the organisations who have responsibilities under this Act and the coverage of the said responsibilities, you can visit Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.