White Paper

Sarbanes-Oxley Act Deadline Underscores Need For Records Management

Source: Accutrac Software

Written by Kurt Thies - CEO, Accutrac Software

Corporate scandals like Enron and Arthur Andersen forced Congress to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 to protect investors. As of Oct. 31, 2003, public companies need to have systems in place to ensure that business records relevant to audits and reviews don't get lost or destroyed.

Faced with significant liability, including lengthy federal prison terms, executives must recognize records management as an imperative. Consequences of non-compliance can be as severe as the demise of a company, exemplified by Arthur Andersen, which disappeared virtually overnight, largely due to its disregard and abuse of records management policies and procedures.

If corporations don't already have a Sarbanes-Oxley compliant system in place, now is the time to catch up.

To avoid potential liabilities, public companies need to install a records management system and create sound records retention policies.

An enterprise records repository, such as the one produced by Accutrac Software, provides a structured system for the classification, storage, retrieval and disposition of all records, both electronic and physical, including email and email attachments. Supporting audit trails ensure and demonstrate compliance with the organization's established records management policies and procedures. The organization also benefits from greater operational efficiency and improved decision-making because they have an efficient way to access all business information.

A records management system also helps reduce the risk of litigation by providing a consistent and systematic method for the retention and destruction of records. Discovery costs associated with litigation are reduced when an organization can provide structured access to relevant records without the inclusion of non-records or records appropriately destroyed, in accordance with the firm's records retention policy. Records management systems allow organizations to demonstrate compliance through the application of uniform management policies and procedures across all formats in a single repository.

About Kurt Thies
Kurt Thies, president and CEO of Accutrac Software, oversees the company's records management products and services for government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and professional service firms. Kurt can be contacted at kthies@accutrac.com.

To learn more about Accutrac Software and their E-Records Repository, click here.