Records Management with DocuWare

DocuWare AG has introduced additional functions for records management with the latest version of its document management system, DocuWare 4.6a. The new product version provides for greater control over retention schedules along with enhanced audit trails of document access.

Control over records retention and document access is of growing importance. While the discipline of Records Management originally referred to administration of paper records, it is now playing an increasingly important role in electronic document management. Legal provisions on retention of business records have been substantially tightened in the U.S. based on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act signed into law in 2002. In Europe preparations are under way to enhance existing record retention practices and harmonise them on a European level. The Basel II Directives, for example, will complement national financial sector provisions in ensuring consistent risk-management practices and accountability, for which formalised record retention policies and secure document control will be vital.

In addition to automating document capture and storing records in a non-alterable format, DocuWare 4.6a brings extended functions that enable simple administration of retention schedules and selective monitoring of document access.

Managing retention schedules
Legal provisions envisage different retention schedules for a range of document types within the management of business records. The requirements vary depending on the document type and what is to happen with the records after the retention period expires. With DocuWares CONTENT-FOLDER, a virtual folder can be created containing all electronically filed documents that are subject to specific retention requirements. These documents are selected for retention based on specifically chosen index criteria. When opening the folder, it will display all documents that correspond to these criteria.

Usually the person responsible for records management will implement the necessary disposition rules at this point. If the process for elimination is initiated, there are several options to choose from: deleting the documents or migrating them into old or offline archives.

Managing document access
The second important aspect of records management focuses on controlling document access. DocuWare functions ensure that only authorised people can access certain documents and that their access is monitored. With version 4.6a the most diverse authorisations can be attributed to groups or individuals, even in terms of single document properties, index or filing criteria, and comprehensive audit trails can be established.

Centrally storing e-mails
Records management explicitly includes the filing of e-mails. Compared to most e-mail archiving solutions, DocuWares advantage is that e-mails are not stored in separate archives and hence no extra file cabinets have to be created. With DocuWare, e-mail can be filed together with other types of documents in the central document pool, consistently categorised to reflect entire business transactions.

Jrgen Biffar, Board Member of DocuWare AG, and as such responsible for Product and Finances: With DocuWare 4.6a enterprises receive a state-of-the-art document management system that complies with international legal provisions on records management at low costs and organisational effort.

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