A stress-free guide to Human Resource audits using electronic personnel files.

How To Have Stress-Free HR Audits with Electronic Personnel Files

HR audits are a seriously stressful time of year. With all of the requirements around a storing and managing your personnel files, a lot of companies wind up just doing what they can and hoping for the best. Your HR audit experience does NOT have to be like this, though! Moving to electronic personnel files can make a tremendous difference in how your HR team deals with audits.

Indexed files provide instant retrieval.

One of the hardest things about paper personnel files is keeping them organized so you can find them again quickly when you need them most. On paper, this can be nearly impossible with the amount of paperwork coming through the HR office each day. The beauty about electronic personnel files is that they can be "indexed" by different categories like "Employee Name", "Document Type", "Expiration Date" and other identifiers.

When you need to pull up a document, a simple "index search" brings back exactly what you're looking for. Interested in John Doe's Payroll folder for the last 2 years? Just select John's folder, pick "Payroll" as your Document Type and designate an Expiration Date range. This saves a ton of time thumbing through different folders and eliminates the need for rigorous naming conventions that often don't get followed anyway. Audits run a lot smoother when everything is in its proper place.

Audit reports ensure you're always prepared.

With electronic personnel files, long gone are the weeks of audit prep. Instead, automatic audit reports can be emailed to your team at the start of each week to keep them up to date with what's going on in your employees' folders. Audit reports can tell you:

  • Which employees are missing required documents from their folder
    • Along with what those missing documents are (I-9, W-4, 1099, Policy Acknowledgements, etc)
  • Which employees have time-sensitive documents coming up for renewal
    • Along with what kind of document it is (Policies, Credentials, Tax Forms, etc) and its expiration date

With these automatic audit reports, your HR team is never in the dark as to the status of your personnel files. You can always be sure that your folders are complete and up-to-date with all required information so there is no need to rush before a big audit.

Cloud storage keeps auditors out of your office.

Since electronic personnel files exist as digital data and not on paper, audits no longer have to take place in your office. Cloud storage not only allows your HR team, Payroll staff and Managers to access the documents they need from anywhere; but also gives you the option to allow external auditors to get the information they request remotely.

Simply create a "View-Only" user with your auditor's name and email address and cherry-pick the specific files and folders they have requested. When your auditor logs in to your online filing cabinet, all they will see are the folders and documents you made available to them; and, when they select a document, they are only allowed to view it, so that the original cannot be modified. In this way, electronic personnel files let you escape on-site audits completely and remove a ton of stress from your team.

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