Today’s busy legal departments process a host of sensitive documents daily as they filter out important facts and details. Without a good system in place, this process of analysis can become a slow and onerous task.
Some documents may get reviewed several times for a single case or need to be referred to later, making a sensible storage and filing system critical to reducing errors and keeping productivity high.
In addition to being able to locate the pertinent information in legal documents quickly, legal teams need secure methods of document management to stay in compliance with the regulations and standards in place across several industries.
Proper document management is an essential element of providing the right operational and security features. These features assist legal teams in managing client files and policy documents while providing a high level of security for sensitive data.
Important Ways Document Management Systems Transform Legal Departments
Legal departments can literally transform into efficient, optimized, low-error workplaces with the right tools at hand.
A document management system is a deceptively simple-to-deploy way to bring multifaceted document handling, retrieval, and storage solutions to your legal staff.
The benefits of these systems are proven:
- Streamlined Workflows for Easier Collaboration
Today’s document management systems provide more than document storage. They also increase document functionality through a series of features that allow streamlined sharing and collaboration.
With document management, legal documents can be scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) to create PDFs that are indexed for easy search and retrieval. In addition, these documents can be annotated, shared, and even e-signed — all using cloud-based servers that provide a high level of protection and document safety.
This not only provides value to the end user — your legal team — but also to your entire organization as it brings enhanced agility, increased flexibility, and encourages better collaboration among departments and individuals.
- Increased Security and Compliance
Reduced risk and liability are important goals any time you are working with private and sensitive information.
No other industry is more impacted by federal and state compliance regulations and oversight, particularly regarding document retention and sharing.
Legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), among others, affects many companies. Legal departments dealing with documents or records governed by compliance legislation are also bound by the same standards.
Electronic data systems such as document management software can provide simple ways to monitor document version control, track users and edits, and allow the comparison of published versions to ensure compliance.
With a range of permission levels for users, document management systems can track all elements of document changes from initiator to time of action to provide a complete audit trail.
Besides proving compliance, such auditing functions can also serve as evidence in a trial, where necessary.
- Fast and Accurate Document Search and Retrieval
Document tagging lets teams organize information by file type and content, allowing attorneys to access specific case files quickly and easily.
You can search by specific criteria such as:
- Custom index fields
- Associated dates
- Document notes
A combination of smart tools and powerful search engines lets you index every text detail for comprehensive and accurate search results.
- Digitized Storage
Storing documents digitally not only saves money by reducing the need for costly physical storage space, it also keeps documents safer.
Digital documents stored in a cloud environment are protected against the threat of physical theft. And today’s cloud-based storage systems are equipped with the latest computer security features such as encryption, firewalls, and more.
Finally, your digital documents are further protected from theft or accidental destruction by a disaster recovery plan that ensures information remains accessible in the event of a physical or virtual disaster to ensure your legal team always has the information they need at their fingertips.
Choose EBS for Your Document Management Needs
At Edwards Business Systems (EBS) we have stood at the forefront of office business systems technology since 1954.
For today’s busy legal environments, we offer a document management system that can help you securely handle your team’s document and information flows to keep productivity — and compliance — high.
If you’re ready to see how our document management solutions can help you optimize your legal department, contact an EBS representative now and get started today!