Accounting firms large and small generate and maintain critical information and documents daily. And how these documents are stored is increasingly important. In the Sarbanes-Oxley era of regulatory and legal compliance, great amounts of corporate data are being recorded, categorized and archived.
Vital records are defined as “those records containing information that is essential to the survival of an organization in the event of a disaster or business interruption.” All are important enough to safeguard from disaster.
To protect your firm and clients, plus ensure availability and confidentiality of critical files, security safes matter. Our team recommends FireKing fireproof file cabinets to meet your file storage needs efficiently at a smart price. Here are four reasons why your accounting firm needs secure storage:
1. Have critical records secure and on-site for immediate access in emergencies. Records legally considered “vital” are only a small percentage of the vast amount of recorded data created by a typical business – usually about five percent. Accounting organizations, however, will have a much higher proportion of active vital records files.
For an accounting firm, a sudden catastrophic event like a fire, flood, theft or other disaster can have repercussions that reverberate far beyond the original event. In addition to repairing damage and resulting difficulties re-establishing normal operations, accounting firms’ clients may have also experienced damage, in a large-scale regional disaster, for example. These clients may immediately need some of the functions the accounting firm provides – and the client records that the firm maintains. Secure file storage in an accessible, fireproof, lockable storage cabinet ensures that in the face of disaster, your firm will have all its documents secure and available. Vital records protection matters not only to your firm, but also to your client base as a whole.
2. Stay compliant with vital records regulations and recommendations.
The IRS and United States Security and Exchange Commission both require all accounting records to be kept for a minimum of seven years in case of an audit. While these government bodies don’t specify what type of container the records must be stored in, accounting organizations make recommendations and suggested guidelines for firms to follow. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) suggests fireproof records storage in their general financial records-keeping procedures.
3. Add an additional level of security for confidential, critical documents.
Secure file storage in a securely locked, yet accessible, UL rated fire safe file cabinet prevents information tampering or alteration by unauthorized users. The potential threat of robbery, burglary and internal theft is a true concern for any business – and with such confidential data on hand, accounting firms are at extra risk. To combat this threat, your office may have safety precautions in place, like surveillance, camera and alarm systems. Add an extra layer of security for those critical client financial documents, reports and other items with a security safe for your files adds another level of protection. By securing valuable documents, the risk of confidential information getting into the wrong hands is minimized.
4. Secure storage offers peace of mind in case of catastrophe.
Keeping client and company documents safe from fire, flood, theft or other disaster requires attention before the unthinkable occurs. No business is immune to the threat of natural disasters, including storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires. Should the worst occur, your staff can focus on clients and business reestablishment, knowing that critical documents are stored safely and appropriately. SafeFile.com and FireKing offer secure storage that’s natural disaster ready.