Audit Trails and Document Tracking

The way your business stores its files makes a big difference in maintaining an audit trail. Paper documents are notoriously insecure and storage on computers can also be frustratingly inefficient when there’s no easy method to organize and locate information at a moment’s notice.

An audit trail is a chronological record of all the actions related to a particular document such as access and changes. When properly set up the process promotes accountability and transparency while reducing the chance of malicious actions by identifying the person who accessed or modified a file. The key aspects of an audit trail are time stamps, identification of the user, recorded actions or events and system data.

Audit trails are commonly used to check compliance with regulations, such as security laws and accounting laws. The most basic audit trail, for example could be an invoice that records the date, time and the item purchased. Mortgage lenders can utilize more intricate audit trails to verify the source for funds used for a downpayment. Financial regulators will scrutinize more extensive audit trails developed by brokerage firms to monitor market activity.

Another important use of audit trails is to record the workflow and improve accountability among teams. For instance, Folderit’s Audit Trail feature displays the due date of a file to provide an easy reference to the date, removing confusion over when a task is due to be completed and allowing managers to determine who set the deadline.

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