7 Benefits of Using an Online Compliance System for Document Retention

From registration forms and medical waivers to background checks and training certifications, youth sports organizations have a lot of documentation to collect. But how and where to store it all?

Document retention is crucial for legal compliance, safeguarding athletes’ privacy and protecting your program in case of litigation.

In this post, we’ll look at document retention guidelines for youth sports organizations, how to meet state and federal regulations and how to use a compliance management system to make life easier for everyone involved.

Document Retention Guidelines for Youth Sports Organizations

Document retention relates to how records in an organization are accessed and stored. Every organization should have a document retention policy that dictates things like:

  • How documents are stored and organized
  • What measures are in place for safeguarding confidential information
  • Which roles in the organization have authority to access certain types of information
  • How long various documents are kept for
  • The procedure for document disposal

This policy is crucial for several reasons. Ethically, sports organizations have a responsibility to keep athletes’ personal information safe from potential data breaches or misuse.

It also aids in tracking important information about athletes, such as emergency contact details, medical histories and consent forms, so your organization can respond promptly to emergencies and provide appropriate medical care.

Lastly, maintaining a well-organized document repository allows you to confidently navigate audits from regulatory bodies, protect your organization in case of litigation and stay compliant with the law.

State and Federal Legal Requirements

You may be wondering which documents you need to retain and how long you need to keep them for. There’s no single answer here. Each state has its own regulations on top of federal laws. These may differ depending on the type of organization (e.g., corporation vs nonprofit), the type of records (e.g., medical records vs financial documents) and more.

At a federal level, HIPAA laws dictate that sensitive medical records be kept for a period of six years. However, some states also have their own, more stringent regulations around medical data.

Read more about HIPAA in our Compliance Guide

Business records like employment contracts, invoices and receipts have separate regulations. For example, in New York State, all tax documents need to be retained for three years after filing a return, but other states may differ. For federal tax returns, the IRS has its own set of rules that need to be adhered to.

This article at the US Chamber of Commerce has some general guidelines and best practices for how long to store business records. For nonprofit organizations, the National Council of Nonprofits has some helpful guidelines and sample policies.

In short, you should always check the specific local, state and federal requirements that apply to your organization and ensure your document retention policy adheres at all levels.

make meeting compliance standards easy

Why Use an Online Compliance Management System?

Regardless of what records you’re storing or for how long, one thing is certain: an online recordkeeping system will make life easier.

Imagine collecting waiver forms on paper. You have to print them, physically get them signed and returned, then store them securely. In this scenario, there are no backups if the paper files get destroyed, digging one out would be time consuming and messy, and you have to manually track which forms are outstanding.

Now imagine logging into a dashboard and seeing a big green check mark next to the names of everyone that’s signed a waiver. Accessing records is easy, information is secure and staying compliant is no longer a headache. That’s the difference an online compliance management system like Ankored offers.

Consider these seven benefits you’ll gain from switching to online document management and retention.

1. Easy Access to Files

Storing your files online gives you instant and convenient access to documents from any location. Without the need for physical retrieval, stakeholders can retrieve information swiftly and effortlessly, whether they’re in the office, off-site or at home.

While this is true of any online file storage, using a compliance management system like Ankored gives you the added benefit of flexible account structures, roles and permissions so you can clearly define who has access to what.

2. Save on Space

Storing physical documents uses up lots of valuable space. Online document management frees up valuable real estate within your office while also reducing the costs associated with managing physical documents.

Without cabinets full of dusty files, workplaces are less cluttered, more aesthetically pleasing and more efficient.

3. Improved Compliance

Improper document management is one of the most common compliance issues in youth sports organizations. Opting for a system that’s built for industry compliance lets you know from the outset that your compliance needs will be better managed.

Ankored avoids the hassle of filling out forms and chasing people down by easily capturing all your consent forms, waivers, background check records and more. You can even create and assign custom requirements based on your local laws.

When you use Ankored to manage compliance, all your documents are securely archived so they’re available whenever you need them. Records are searchable and key data is visible at a glance via a handy dashboard, so you can quickly track everyone’s status and identify compliance gaps without the need for binders or spreadsheets.

4. More Secure

When you use an online compliance management system, you can rest easy knowing your sensitive data is secure. Thanks to features like encryption, access controls and user permissions, there’s far less risk of unauthorized access or data breaches.

Additionally, files are backed up and distributed so you don’t have to worry about loss from physical disasters like you would with paper files.

5. Increased Productivity

From coaches and staff to volunteers, you want everyone involved in your organization to reach their potential and contribute to creating the best environment possible. The less bogged down they are in paperwork and administrative tasks, the more they’ll be able to do so.

Using an online system increases efficiency, making everyone more productive and able to focus their attention on the tasks that truly matter.

6. Fewer Errors

Manual records are prone to human errors. Compliance management systems were created to solve this problem. They reduce the risk of errors and ensure the latest and correct documents are always accessible.

And, with fewer errors and greater efficiency, the organization ultimately saves time and money.

7. Lower Environmental Impact

Paper files have significant environmental costs, like deforestation, water and energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation. By going digital, organizations can make a greater impact on the world around them by reducing their carbon footprint, pollution and waste. In short, everybody wins.

If you think your organization could benefit from faster access to files, improved security measures and breezy compliance tracking, try Ankored for free today.

* The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, financial, or professional advice and should not be construed as such. The content of this blog may not be accurate, up-to-date, or applicable to your specific situation. Always consult with qualified professionals or experts for advice relevant to your circumstances. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is at your own risk.