The advent of the digital age introduced a novel conundrum for businesses, and it is adhering to stringent government regulations related to record-keeping. This challenge becomes particularly pronounced for companies that manage extensive reservoirs of data. However, cloud computing has revolutionized how enterprises manage their records and make it easier for businesses to comply.
Cloud-based record-keeping solutions have advanced features like data protection and easy accessibility which have enabled efficient and secure record-keeping services. This article will explore the records that a business needs to keep, how cloud advances have made record keeping easier than ever, and how businesses can take advantage of these advancements to ensure compliance with regulations.
Records A Business Needs To Keep
There are a series of records that a business is required to keep by US law. Some of them are:
- Business formation documents
- Employment records
- Business asset records
- Tax returns and supporting documents
- Sales receipts
- Ledgers and registers
- Leases or mortgage documents
- Shareholder meeting minutes
- Bank and credit card statements
- Licenses and permits
- Insurance policies and records
- Loan documents.
Some records can be kept for one to seven years, while those at the core of the business’s operation remain for a lot longer. For businesses that handle vast troves of data, maintaining records for such a period is taxing and risky due to factors like natural calamities, possible theft, and more. Cloud record-keeping services would therein come in handy.
Here are some of the ways cloud advances make record-keeping compliance easier:
1. By Offering Secure Record-Keeping Services.
Cloud advances offer records management service that helps businesses to gather, store and manage their records securely. With most businesses keeping sensitive records at the heart of the business’s operations, the cloud provides security measures that will guarantee safety.
Cloud servers ensure the records stored therein are secure by using modern encryption technology, which can protect data from hackers and other threats. Moreover, remote access to these records is limited exclusively to authorized users through password authentication. This is a stark contrast to traditional practices where documents stored in a physical room could potentially be accessed by anyone.
The cloud record-keeping servers are physically secure with security measures. Businesses using the cloud find it easy to comply with record-keeping regulations when they are sure their data is safe and secure. They can then spend more time adding value to their businesses than worrying about the security of their records.
2. Cloud Advances Make Record Keeping Easy And Efficient
Advances in cloud computing technology mean businesses can access records stored in the servers from anywhere, provided they can access the internet.
This capability proves beneficial to businesses with employees in different locations, provided they have the required permission levels. Cloud advances also allow businesses to store and access all records in one place, making them easier to manage.
In terms of efficient access, cloud servers have an organize and search function that enables businesses to find what they need quickly, much to the benefit of firms with a lot of records and those that receive many documents daily.
3. Cloud Services Are Cheaper To Maintain
Cloud advances make record-keeping compliance easier than ever because cloud-based systems are cheaper to have and maintain than traditional systems. Cloud-based record-keeping systems are hosted on remote servers. This can help your organization save costs that would have been spent on expensive hardware and software licenses. A business simply needs to pay for the storage space they need to keep their records.
Cloud servers are also more efficient than traditional on-site systems because they require less maintenance and IT support, as the cloud service providers handle that. A business, therefore, doesn’t need to allocate any of its resources toward maintaining a record-keeping system. Instead, it can focus its resources on growing its value.
Cloud record-keeping systems being more affordable and efficient than traditional record-keeping systems makes it easier to comply with record-keeping regulations.
4. Cloud Record-Keeping Services Regularly Backups Business Records
Loss of records is not new to businesses and organizations that swear by paper-based record-keeping systems. Natural events like hurricanes, floods, and even fires can result in the loss of essential documents and records. However, regular backups on cloud storage make it easier to keep the records intact for as long as needed.
Regular document backups benefit businesses by making it easier to recover from losses. Through regularly backing up the records, cloud-based record-keeping systems help companies to meet compliance requirements.
Dangers Of Not Complying With Record-Keeping Regulations
Failure to keep the appropriate business records may incur legal and financial penalties. Some of these penalties include:
- Paying extra taxes, as without records of your business’s tax payments or planned deductions, you won’t be able to prove that you have paid your taxes and settled other financial obligations as required.
- Losing out on contracts in the public service or private sector.
- Neglecting to maintain crucial business records such as tax statements and other pertinent documents could jeopardize your potential collaborations with other organizations. This lapse could prompt questions about your credibility, thereby undermining your professional standing.
- You may receive tax adjustments to a higher scale if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits your business and you don’t have the relevant paperwork to prove that you’ve been paying taxes as per the law.
- You risk audit failure, which may lead to huge fines and, in some cases, the closure of your business.
- You may pay a heavy price in case of employee lawsuits if they take you to court on claims such as wrongful termination or failure to pay them due compensation. Without proper employment records, you’ll have no way to prove that your business acted in the right way when parting ways with the disgruntled employer.
- You may lose out on insurance claims because the insurance firms will find it hard to compensate you if they can’t find proper records of your business operations.
- You may have to pay huge sums of money in fines for improper record keeping.
Good records are essential for your business. They help you to monitor progress, prepare financial statements, identify and take advantage of sources of income, and track deductible expenses.
Using cloud technology to store these records can help to reduce costs associated with physical storage, increase accessibility, improve recovery in case of disasters, and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Cloud record-keeping solutions will benefit your company in ways that traditional data-keeping methods may not have.