It's easy to underestimate the necessity of a seamless paper trail until things become adversarial and it is necessary to prove a case in a lawsuit. Whether there is a labor dispute, a dissatisfied client, or a supplier disagreement, having the proper documentation is of utmost importance.
Essentially, a paper trail is a series of documents that give a chronological account of transactions. These may be receipts, contracts, material delivery, insurance certificates, site inspection, etc. While maintaining these documents can be cumbersome, especially if done manually, it's still essential to have them all.
However, the goal should be to digitize as many records as possible. In addition to freeing time and improving efficiency, digitization helps minimize the risk of losing vital documents, which can be costly. PricewaterhouseCoopers approximates the cost of recreating a lost document at $220. That's too much.
There are numerous benefits of maintaining an accurate paper trail. The top three include:
Construction businesses have different categories of documents. From contracts to financial documents and project paperwork, the records are many and diverse. While the documents may differ from one company to the other depending on the construction contracts, the most common ones include:
Seamless documentation of procedures may not be possible without the involvement of the entire team. For this reason, it's essential to sensitize teams – managers, workers, site foreman, and supervisors – to follow procedures by educating them on how to conduct proper documentation.
State statutes govern how long each document should be held. This is informed by applying the statutes of limitations (determine the time limit of filing a lawsuit for different categories). Therefore, it's crucial to implement your documentation based on the relevant statutes to avoid destroying evidence too early. It also guides when it's most appropriate to get rid of documents as storage space becomes an issue and files accumulate.
Lastly, we began by emphasizing the importance of digitizing your procedures. Doing so can save the company money and time, leading to an improved bottom line. There are different facets to digitizing your operations. For efficient paper trailing, start by implementing digital document management and integrating departments for real-time updating of records. Digitization also alleviates the need for physical storage space which can be cumbersome and costly.
Briq is a corporate performance management platform built specifically for construction financial professionals.
We join modern technology with hundreds of years of combined construction experience to give you key information about your business and your finances.
Briq unifies your financial workflows, making them more efficient, accurate and timely.
By automating workflows, consolidating financial data, and enabling faster and more efficient reporting, we allow contractors to make efficient and effective financial decisions.
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