Audit trails enable businesses to track their employees’ daily activities, often via content management software. Because why would you not want to know whats going on in your business? The purpose of audit trails is clear, but what’s not so clear is the number of ways this can positively impact business operations. Here are a couple ways electronic document management can help you with this.
Work together more effectively
Document management software allows collaborative tasks to operate via a workflow, where various employees can work on specific stages of a file’s completion process. Once an employee is finished with his or her task, the software automatically sends the relevant files to the next employee on the task chain, which is customized by the project leader. An audit trail helps everyone avoid incomplete content, as employees are forced to complete assignments chronologically with work flow, which prevents even partially completed assignments from traveling to the next section of the work flow. Since everyone (or select individuals) can view which stage the project is in, any employee behind schedule will be forced to pick up the slack, improving the efficiency of work flow.
Track multiple file types and access
Since document management software allows for hundreds of file types, one may question how specific audit trails are. With most content management programs, there are a bevy of customizable options that range from basic operations (create, delete, rename, and save content, users, and folders) to more unique functions (modify logins, propagate permissions, and check in and out). All these options are available regardless of the file type, eliminating the need for very specific types of files. File access is easier than ever with management software, where employees can view and modify all types of file formats.
Any and every industry benefits
Audit trails are used effectively every day in a variety of industries. In medical practices, a running log or journal is essential to monitoring everything from a patient’s progress to the condition of medical tools. An audit trail in finance is essential in tracking monetary transactions; banks would be in ruin without it. Scientific research is also aided immensely, as scientists often collaborate on research over long distances using content management software. Most businesses can use document management software and audit tracking to improve their daily operations, regardless of the industry.
Find the culprit – or the genius – responsible
Finding the root of most issues is made easy with audit trails. Content management software provides extensive information on the lifespan of every file, from its creation to every single edit beyond that – and even if it’s deleted! It is possible to view the details and time stamp of every edit of every file. The work flow becomes entirely transparent, and finally you can get credit for that extra research you inputted last minute.
This article was originally published as Why Audit Trails in Content Management Are So Important by Steve Harnden on October 1, 2013.