Most organizations have had a physical document archive that has grown over the years. This includes filing cabinets, bookshelves, archive boxes or Compactus shelving storing a litany of different business documents.
In recent years physical archiving has been superseded by electronic document management systems (EDMS). As digitisation becomes more pervasive document controllers will need to decide what to do with the information stored in their physical document archives.
These physical archives aren’t always a high priority for most office managers, so, putting off the decision to digitize is understandable. Even so, most office managers agree that physical archiving is not an ideal way for storing historical documents and whilst the decision can be delayed for now, they know that ultimately they must choose to either destroy or digitize their physical archives.
If destroying the information is not a suitable course of action digitising the archive is the only way forward. The argument for digitising a physical archive is strong. As you’d expect scanning your archive will give you all the benefits provided by your EDMS and as such the business case is similar to that of installing an EDMS in the first place. We’ve gone through some basic reasons why document controllers and office managers digitize their physical document archives :
Reason 1 : Reducing Storage Costs
Perth office space is at an all-time premium and thanks to the one in a hundred year mining boom it doesn’t look like it will change any time soon. Costs associated with filing cabinets include the floor space they occupy, the cabinet itself plus the paper within it. Reducing the number of filing cabinets in your office reclaims thousands of dollars of poorly utilised office space. Whilst offsite storage can reduce the cost, especially for those in the CBD it introduces its own unique problems and ongoing charges.
Reason 2 : Reducing Retrieval Costs
A large part of the cost of your archive is the time it takes to retrieve documents from it. Finding documents can be difficult in large, disorganized archives and chew up a lot of labour time. Even the best organised physical archive will soak up hours of your employee’s time and retrieval times and costs can grow considerably when documents are stored offsite. Compared to the time taken to search through an EDMS the long term cost of storage and retrieval of electronic documents is considerably lower.
Reason 3 : Meeting Statutory Requirements
Depending on your industry you may have a legal requirement to retain certain documents. Government instrumentalities have a more pressing need to retain documents for longer periods of time. The period can be as long as 20 years once a document becomes inactive. Scanning your archive allows simple access to the documents without having to worry about the safety of the document for 20 years or more.
Reason 4 : Surviving a Disaster
Physical archives are susceptible to fire & water damage. Scanning your archive allows you to create multiple redundancies for these documents in separate locations across the business. In the event of a disaster, business interruption is reduced to the absolute minimum.
Reason 5 : Maintaining Archive Integrity
Physical archives deteriorate over time. What’s worse is the use of the archive also can interfere with its integrity, files can go missing and papers can be returned to the archive in the wrong spot. Digitising the archive halts the process of document ageing and misfiling, preserving the integrity of the database.
Reason 6 : Future proofing
Your organization never knows what’s going to happen in the future. Legal challenges may require evidence of original documentation. Even worse critical design flaws in the future may require referencing original plans. As some buildings are designed to last 100 years, it’s unlikely your predecessor will be able to find those blueprints from 2002 in 2102 unless they’re in a safe place.
LLC costs are low compared with other types of business entities. This makes the LLC ideal for small business owners who do not yet have a lot of capital to invest in forming their business. Minimizing your initial costs will help to make your business profitable as soon as possible. You should know exactly how much an LLC costs before you start the process of setting up your limited liability company. If possible, you may even want to investigate LLC costs by state to determine if a neighboring state is less expensive.
Before sitting down to write a business plan for your LLC, first write a business plan outline. This outline will contain all of the pertinent information that you need to include in your business plan and will form the basis of your brainstorming. Your outline will serve as your business plan template and should reflect your core business model. Though you need not submit the results of your brainstorming to the state, it is a good idea to have a solid business plan before registering your LLC. Discuss your plans with your fellow members and use the following outline to guide your strategy.
There are three requirements you must meet before you may take a home office deduction: the home office must be (1) a specific area of your home (2) used regularly and exclusively (3) as your principal place of business. The third requirement may also be met if you use the home office to meet with patients, clients, or customers even if the office is not your principal place of business.
Though not all states require an operating agreement and none require you to file it, this document may be the most important one for your limited liability company. The operating agreement governs the relationships among each of the LLC’s members. Even in a partnership between good friends, an LLC should have a detailed operating agreement in the event of unforeseen disputes.