Case File Storage Policy

As part of your duty to retain client files, you should develop a case file storage policy. There are several options that each have their pros and cons. You should save client files in multiple locations.

Below we will discuss the pro’s and cons of hard file storage, soft file storage, and storage of files in the cloud. Please refer to the pages of these different types of storage for specific steps you can undertake to ensure a good file storage policy.

  • Hard copy:Keep a paper copy in a file folder.
  • All Information in the file is visible
  • More difficult to alter and tamper with than soft copy files
  • Do not have to train staff to use electronic file system or database
  • Take up office space
  • More difficult to search for documents and old files
  • Can be expensive to make copies and/or print all documents
  • Soft copy: Keep an electronic copy on the office’s own internal office database system.
  • Does not take up office space
  • Easier to search for files and documents
  • Does not use up office resources like paper and ink
  • Must have a secure computer system and a reliable power supply
  • Must have someone create a database to house these files
  • Must have enough computers in the office so that staff members can access these files
  • Must have other office equipment such as a scanner to maintain these files
  • More difficult to destroy than hard copy files
  • Copy in cloud: Back up all files in Dropbox or another similar program. This account should be password protected.
  • Files can be easily accessed outside of the office in case your staff works remotely or travels often
  • Files are stored off site, which can be more secure if your office is located in an insecure environment
  • Cloud storage services can be expensive
  • Must have an internet connection
  • Cloud storage sites are susceptible to hacking