Going Paperless
Adams Stirling PLC
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GOING PAPERLESS

QUESTION: Our company is going paperless. All of our signed meeting minutes are scanned and uploaded to hard drives and then to the association's website for viewing. Can we get rid of the original signed paper minutes?

ANSWER: Yes you can. First, however, let your clients know in case they object. If they object, you can ship the paper minutes to them for safekeeping.

Electronic Records. The Corporations Code specifically allows all corporate records to be kept in non-paper form.
[M]inutes and other books and records shall be kept...in any other form capable of being converted into clearly legible tangible form... When minutes and other books and records are kept in a form capable of being converted into clearly legible paper form...[they] shall be...accepted...to the same extent as an original paper record. (Corp. Code §8320(b).)

Secure Backup. Because data can be lost from hard drive crashes, stolen computers, fires, etc., which could put you out of business and get you sued, I recommend redundant, multiple location, backup of your digital records so your company can retrieve the latest data in the event of a disaster. That means your data should be stored in multiple offsite locations. Companies such as Carbonite, IronMountain, and CompuVault will automatically backup your hard drives each night over the internet to at least two secure facilities. The sites should be in different regions or states so if a disaster hits one site (earthquake, flood, fire, etc.), the other site is unaffected. Following is an illustration from a company called "Hybrid Data Storage":

Disposal of Paper. Paper files should not be thrown in the dumpster--they should be shredded so as to protect confidential information.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC