Current Events

Why Companies Should Archive Documents and Email

In a world increasingly flooded with digital data, the concept of archiving is constantly evolving. Gone are the days when archiving meant nothing more than physical file folders on dusty shelves. Today's modern archiving encompasses much more, offering smart, easy, and above all, secure methods for managing data.

The term "archive" traces its origins back to the Latin "archivum" and ancient Greek "archeion," highlighting the long history of document storage. However, in today's digital age, document and email archiving almost exclusively takes place in digital form. This digital or electronic archiving refers to the long-term, unalterable storage of data and documents that need to be securely preserved and readily accessible. This is especially relevant as many documents don't lose their importance over time but serve as crucial references for businesses. In this process, it's essential to take into account audit-proof and legal aspects, as well as internal company policies.

The need for archiving stems not least from legal retention periods, which can vary from a few years to several decades. From invoices and contractual documents to tax records and medical documents—the range of documents required to be archived is vast.

Relevant requirements can be found in regulations such as the Tax Code (AO), the Commercial Code (HGB), the principles of proper accounting (GoB), and also in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Here, legislators mandate different archiving periods for various business documents.

Documents that must be archived for 6 years include, but are not limited to:

  • Commercial correspondence
  • Delivery notes
  • Copies of business letters
  • Received business letters
  • Payment reminders
  • Meeting minutes
  • Price lists
  • Audit reports
  • Declarations of assignment
  • Quotes

A 10-year archiving period applies to items such as:

  • Business reports
  • Balance sheets
  • Annual financial statements
  • Accounting records
  • Bank statements
  • Invoices
  • Inventories
  • Import documents

Besides legislative requirements, the specific internal characteristics of each company or industry also play a critical role in determining how long documents should be kept. Certain documents from the medical and legal fields, for example, judgments, dunning notices, or court records, must be retained for even thirty years.

On-Premise or in the Cloud?

As technology has advanced, so too have the options for archiving. Businesses can choose between on-premise solutions, where software is installed and operated on the company's own hardware, and cloud-based archiving.

On-premise solutions offer the highest degree of control and data protection, as all data remains on systems operated within the company. This is particularly crucial for organizations dealing with highly sensitive or security-relevant information. However, the company must have the personnel and expertise to manage both hardware and software on its own. Depending on financial resources and preferences, on-premise equipment can be either purchased or leased.

On the other hand, cloud solutions provide effortless scalability and flexibility since resources can be easily adjusted as needed. Additionally, they eliminate the costs and efforts associated with maintaining and operating server hardware.

Regardless of the chosen method, archiving documents and email is now an indispensable practice for businesses. It's not just about complying with legal requirements but also about safeguarding critical business data and ensuring efficient and secure access to necessary information.

Given the ever-increasing volume of digital data and the growing importance of data protection and security, a strategically planned archiving solution is crucial for the long-term success and compliance of any business. By recognizing the importance of document and email archiving and investing in modern archiving solutions, companies can not only minimize legal risks and save on costs but also streamline their business processes and future-proof their operations.

Want to Learn More? We're Here to Help!

Interested in learning more about EMA's capabilities and applications? We'd love to show you EMA in a live demo. We look forward to your inquiry!

Thank you for your inquiry! We have successfully received it and will get back to you as soon as possible.
An error occurred while sending the form. Please check your details and try again.