Records may be held either electronically (soft copy) or on paper (hard copy). Copies of any signed documents should be kept in hard copy, but it is appropriate to hold soft copies of standard documents such as disclosure statements.
No matter how records are kept, there are security implications and the following measures should be taken:
- Soft copies of documents passed to the client should be provided in a format that cannot be edited, for example, PDF;
- Back-up copies of all soft copy materials should be kept;
- Original hard copies of documents should be retained in case they need to be accessed should the electronic filing system fail; and
- Security must be in place in the case of emergencies such as fire and theft, and it is recommended that soft copies be kept separate from the office.