Companies in the legal sector are constantly striving to improve customer service and productivity, with reduced cost and ensuring data security. Many of these organizations are considering transition to a paperless office as an effective option for attaining the goal. Transformation of paper-based document workflows into digital workflows can help in increasing the speed and efficiency of business processes. In such a scenario, document scanning has attained importance and has emerged as a critical business process for law firms.
Considerable office space will be consumed when paper-based documents are stored in file cabinets. Employees have to invest a lot of time searching for a required client/case file and when different employees have to work on one case file, there are chances for misfiling or loss of documents. Scanning of legal documents is the ideal solution to address all these issues, as it allows quick and improved access to information, and requires only reduced storage space in comparison to hard drives.
There are several reasons that make digital conversion of paper based documents a necessity.
Productive Use: Legal documents including complaint letters, powers of attorney, tenancy agreements and wills, when digitized can be shared both internally and externally with clients. This helps in reducing cost and time considerably, as digital storage and electronic data sharing would reduce the physical visits required.
Back up Storage: Scanned documents should be backed up to ensure their long term sustainability over the full retention period. The following steps should be followed for proper back-up of documents:
- Back-ups must be part of a routine maintenance program
- Back-ups should be stored in a location away from the source, and in a secure environment suitable for storage of data media.
Safe Management of Old Documents: Digital preservation of court documents having historic value is gaining importance, as these fragile paper records are easily damaged. These records often contain information of evidential and intrinsic value. They can provide specific information regarding an individual and an economy or society for a particular period of time.
Document Security: Constantly growing volumes of legal documents and files often increases the risk of data security. Documents containing key evidence should be kept safe for the purposes of auditing, discovery demands and enquiries. Scanned documents can be digitally stored to ensure simplified search for a professional work atmosphere. In addition, data can be locked with encryption or password protection techniques.
Infrastructure Management: Paper files occupy a large volume of space in the legal office, as used up files and old documents cannot be destroyed or thrown away. With scanning, it is ensured that the working space is freed up to ensure more comfortable working quarters.
With scanned documents, legal offices can maintain meticulous and well-organized records. It acts as a simple way to incorporate digital documents into their business and that too at an economical cost.