Electronic Records Storage
The most common form of records storage used by businesses these days is electronic storage in digital form. Using digital and cloud storage has now become the 'go-to' method for everyday records storage, including sensitive or important records.
While this is the quickest and convenient way to store your records, you need to remember that digital and cloud storage may not be quite as secure or permanent as keeping hard copies of your most important documentation.
Cloud and digital storage
Despite the great advances in technology over recent years, cloud storage services are still at risk of suffering cyber attacks, hard drive failures and network power outages that could result in lost data that is unrecoverable.
Keeping digital copies on your computer hard drives or on digital storage devices in-house may also pose risks because your company may not be able to provide the security or confidentiality needed to keep these digital copies safe.
If you only keep one digital copy of your records on-site, then you can still lose this data should your workplace suffer from a fire, flood or you experience a break-in where your data devices are targeted for theft, or become damaged during a spate of vandalism by unwanted intruders.
Existing back-up resources
A lot of companies still use back-up storage methods such as tape drives to keep a set of permanent records. However, tape drives are still prone to risk of theft, damage and breakdown, so even if you decide to rely on your existing tape records as back-up, some of the data may be lost or unreadable due to deterioration caused by age, especially when they are kept in an unsuitable environment such as in extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, exposure to dust and other environmental pollutions etc.
Many businesses still rely heavily on their paper records storage and rather than choose to digitise existing paperwork to save storage space, they will simply wait until their archived paperwork expires and then dispose of it through secure shredding.
Most modern business owners have chosen to make the switch to digital record storage while leaving their existing paperwork to eventually expire. However, in the meantime, they will still be responsible for keeping all of this paperwork safe and protected from risk.
While you may think that you are saving money by not digitising your existing paperwork, you could actually be spending more money on the costs of storing your files in-house than the costs of either digitising it or moving it to an off-site secure records storage solution, such as what Restore Records offer with our Archive Storage Services.
Alternative records storage solutions
When your company carries an overwhelming amount of physical paperwork that would be too costly and time-consuming to convert to digital copies, you realise that these old documents need to be kept somewhere, but what are your options?
Restore Records can offer you the perfect solution. We offer ample, well organised and very secure hard copy storage solutions for businesses to help them remove the burden of on-site paper storage.
We understand that just about every business has to complete some paperwork at times, and this needs to be kept somewhere, right? However, storing a lot of paperwork on your business premises is not only risky but the floor space that you dedicate to it could be much better used for more productive tasks.
The cost of business rents is currently going through the roof. Because a lot of businesses rent offices and workshops or industrial units by the floor space, it makes no sense to pay out rent on dead floor space that is being taken up by your ever-growing amount of filing cabinets and storage cabinets.
What sort of records do businesses generate?
Every business needs to keep good records. Maintaining good records will help your business to:
- Supply proof, should you be investigated by HMRC
- Makes it quicker to prepare your year-end accounts
- Gives you the information and analytical data you need to grow your business
- Helps you plan and budget for tax payments Identifies the strengths and weaknesses of your business
- Records your payments to creditors and employees
- Avoid over/under tax payments
Managing your business paperwork
The number of records produced by an average-sized business over a year can be quite staggering. Your business records can be maintained manually using physical copies, or digitally with electronic records kept online or on your hard drive or other forms of digital storage.
If you operate a business where you need to keep hold of receipts, bank statements, time cards and invoices, this can be a daunting task to manage, especially for a small business where there is only a handful of people responsible for doing all the jobs it takes to run a company.
The key to keeping all of these important pieces of paper safe is to update your records regularly then safely storing them away instead of letting the paperwork pile up into an unmanageable, chaotic pile.
Off-site secure storage in near-storage facilities
An ideal solution here would be to make use of Restore Records near storage facilities. Here you can safely and securely store your company paperwork and still have very easy access to it because you may have an ongoing need to use it.
Restore Records operate 70 secure storage warehouses across the UK, so there will be one that is close to your business premises where you will be able to safely store your archived paperwork, but it will not be locked away in an inaccessible place at the other end of the country.
Keeping your paper documentation in our near-storage facilities means that you will be fully compliant with HMRC rules about keeping your records for as long as the law requires.
You will need to keep your financial records for six years for VAT or five years from the latest date for filing your tax returns. This includes copies of paperwork such as payment details, receipts, credit purchases and sales, assets and liabilities.
Our off-site secure storage solution is ideal for protecting your archived paperwork until it becomes of no further use to your company. You can then choose to conveniently have your expired paperwork securely shredded with our Restore Datashred services.
Documentation that you must not destroy
While it makes sense to securely shred any archived paperwork that is no longer needed for business purposes, certain legal documents require a permanent physical copy to be kept by law.
It is of great importance that your company keep these documents safe and secure, and not kept on-site in a filing cabinet – even if the cabinet is kept locked!
For these reasons it makes more sense to put these critically important documents into more secure off-site storage where you know that they will be fully protected and away from risk.
Ultra Secure Vault Storage
For an added layer of protection for your most important company documents, as well as for precious items that are rare, of high value or are irreplaceable, you should consider our vault storage facilities to keep your company's legal documents secure.
It makes good financial sense to store valuable paperwork and items of high value in secure off-site deep storage such as ours. Not only will storing them in our ex-military, underground, deep vault facilities give you great peace of mind, you will also know that they are being kept in the very best climate-controlled PD5454:2012 conservation standard environment for perfect preservation of your treasured items.
Records storage for safeguarding
The whole idea behind using secure off-site records storage services is to keep your essential business records safe and protected from data breaches and ID fraud.
Secondly, it is to protect your documents from the risks of fire, flood, vandalism and environmental deterioration.
Thirdly, and this is the reason which most business owners hardly ever consider – it can save you money! Not only can you free up valuable floor space for more productive work, but you can also save money by not needing to move to larger business premises to accommodate your expanding company, instead you can better utilise your existing floor space to keep your overheads down.
Protecting your R&D
A lot of companies such as product manufacturers, drug development companies and architects will produce a lot of plans and original design and developmental work that you will want to keep to yourself and prevent from falling into the wrong hands.
While most new conceptual art, packaging, blueprints and designs are created on a CAD system, there are often hard copies made for distribution to key project workers and even hand-drafted designs created. These copies need to be protected.
Keeping a physical backup of your R&D is a good idea, the thought of losing that work is very scary, especially when it comes to hand-drafted paperwork that would be impossible to replace.
Rather than leaving these sensitive documents lying around or kept in unsecured filing cabinets that are easy to break in to, it makes sense to keep hard copies of your R&D in our secure document storage facilities, whether they be near-storage for ongoing access, or deep storage for archived documents for completed projects.
How secure are our secure records storage facilities?
There is no need to have any security concerns when placing any of your company records in storage with Restore Records. All of our storage facilities offer secure records storage no matter which forms of storage facility you choose.
Restore Records will store and manage all of your records, whether that be in the form of back-up tapes, heritage items, or archived paper records. We store and manage over 22 million items including archive boxes of document files, discs, digital storage devices, film and computer tape across more than 70 secure-entry, CCTV monitored, warehouse facilities nationwide.
Lockdown your on-site chain of custody, increase productivity and ensure your business is responsive to data protection regulations.
We take care of more than 4,000 clients that trust us with their confidential records including many blue-chip companies such as leading accountancy, corporate, financial, insurance, law and media firms, as well as local authorities and hospital trusts.
With more than 22 million items currently in storage, Restore Records offers our clients an unbroken chain of custody right from collection, tracked transportation, and managed storage through to the final destruction of expired business documentation.
Do not hesitate to contact or friendly team of storage experts at Restore Records. You can get a quick quote online, complete our online contact form or give us a call. We would be pleased to help answer your questions.