NEW BERN, N.C., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- While staffing and customer relations often top priority lists during a business merger or acquisition, business-related information acquired during this process is rarely addressed. Confidential Records Management, Inc. (CRMI) urges businesses to be proactive when acquiring another business' information.
"Information management isn't usually considered until after the sale, which is typically too late," said Gail Bisbee, President/CEO of CRMI, the North Carolina-based records management company. "This can be stressful because businesses typically don't realize the compliance and audit risks they're taking by acquiring such documentation. To avoid risks, businesses should develop a records management plan to manage acquired business information."
"Your plan should address how information will be managed to comply with regulations and keep the information secure and available during a potential audit," said Bisbee.
Bisbee's tips include:
- Plan a retention strategy – Educate yourself about industry-specific records retention-related regulations and stick to them. Securely destroy acquired information past its lifecycle or properly retain it in a locked, climate-controlled location.
- Shred unneeded information – Don't forget to evaluate information stored on computer hard drives. Be sure to talk with a records management company that can handle complex shred jobs.
- Decrease integration time – Convert all acquired information needing to be retained to an electronic format. Converted files can be hosted through a secure, password-protected website, allowing easy access of all your past and newly-acquired files. Find an option that automatically monitors retention periods to comply with regulations.
- Seek help – Find a records management company that has experience helping businesses with such a transition.
- Establish policies – Develop policies relating to the management of your new records, including who will have access to the information, where files will be kept and how you'll destroy unneeded information.
"By examining what information a business may have and planning how to best integrate this information with your own before the sale is complete, you can avoid a potential problem and instead, focus on closing the sale," said Bisbee.
Founded in 1995, Confidential Records Management, Inc. (CRMI) is a North Carolina-based business with state-of-the-art record management facilities throughout North Carolina. CRMI is the industry leader in professional records management. For more information, visit www.crmi-online.com.
SOURCE Confidential Records Management, Inc.