Monday, 21 August 2017

VAT and Your Company Documents: What You Need to Know

On 1st January 2018, the UAE’s value added tax (VAT) becomes law. Many companies are confused about how to prepare for this massive change.

The most important point to understand about the VAT law is that it applies to all UAE-based businesses, even if a company qualifies for an exemption. Every company with an income of more than AED 367,000 must register for a Tax Registration Number (TRN) with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). If a business makes less than AED 367,000 in revenue, it must still prove that it is exempt. The VAT rate will be 5%, and each company must prepare and submit tax returns for each tax period, which currently means every quarter. All submitted documents and supporting records must be in Arabic.

To properly prepare your returns (or prove your exemption), you’ll need complete and detailed accounts. That means keeping your original documents safe for at least five years because the FTA can audit any company at any time. During an audit, you must produce original documents. If you can’t, you could face strict penalties, steep fines, and possible prison time.

One of the most important things you can do for your business is to implement a complete document management and storage system. At Black Box, our offsite records management solutions offer safe, reliable, and secure storage options. To find out how Black Box can help your company prepare for VAT, contact us at

Document Scanning: Scan On-Site or Outsource?

This is a question that many business personnel ask themselves but struggle to find the right answer. This article might be of great help to arrive at a suitable solution. 

First things first

The first thing you need to be clear about is whether you can allocate employees for document scanning? Is it cost-effective?
Ask your document imaging company for an estimate of time it will take to scan and index your documents. Your company will also give an estimate of costs to be incurred for software, hardware and other equipment installation necessary for an in-house document management system. 


Most businesses are better off having employees focus on their core competencies, while the document management experts manage the indexing and scanning processes. Moreover, a document imaging firm is better equipped to faultlessly manage any incidences of increase in volume. Now, whether you want to delegate responsibilities within your staff or have your document specialist manage the entire process; it is something you have to decide. In any case, it is important to remember that you will require adequate IT and tech support to install a document management system in-house. 

Arriving at a budget-friendly solution

It is always economical to let a document imaging firm provide web-based document management services that don’t incur high capital expenditure unlike in-house processes. You will also realise that an all-inclusive Off-Site Document Management System incurs far less money. 

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Key Questions Related to Document Management Planning

Installing a document management system is the key to achieving enhanced business efficiency. A reliable document management company will walk you through the complete process step-by-step such that all your needs are met. However, you need to ask yourself some key questions that’ll help you to get the right solutions from your document management firm.

Question #1: Which department needs to go paperless?

It is recommended to start small. Focus on a department or business process that is the most paper-intensive and hinders flow of business. It can be the Accounts section, Human Resources department or the department responsible for producing proof-of-delivery documents. Implementing document management system in specific departments gives you the opportunity to fine-tune the most crucial processes before increasing the scope of your document management system.

Question #2: Who can access your files, and when?

You would not leave your client bills or other confidential management documents for everyone to read. Just like that, access to scanned files and documents must be carefully planned. The key is to strike a balance between accessibility and security so as not to hamper mission-critical processes. A good Document Management System lets you determine who can gain access to specific files, folders and documents.

Question #3: Which departments need training?

As you decide who will have the access to scanned documents, determine which departments should be trained for document scanning, retrieval and indexing.  Also, determine the category of files that’ll remain on-site due to regulatory concerns.

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Monday, 31 July 2017

Archive Storage In Companies– Do’s And Don’ts

 A company’s security is of prime concern for any overseeing authority (owner) and other stakeholders. A company undertakes several measures to ensure total security, one of which is archive storage. But before installing an archive storage system, it is important to know if your document management company clear about your company’s retention policy?

The importance of clear retention policies

Knowing which documents can be shredded is just one part of retention policy for any company. However, knowing which documents need to be retained is equally important. Hence, it is very important that your document management company has clarity on your company’s retention policies.

The number of months or years a particular set of documents need to be archived also falls within the purview of retention policies, e.g., tax related papers should remain archived for at least four years. Such sensitive facts can only be remembered and taken care of by a professional Document Management Company thus preventing the beneficiary from legal repercussion.

How archive protects the interests of customers?

Let’s take an example of the medical sector run by doctors, dentists, surgeons and so on. Now, how do they remember each patient’s diagnosis outcome or result? They don’t, thanks to archive storage which records the patient’s outcome as well as other information like name, age and number of visits. This means that doctors keep record of patients’ personal data which is managed by a reliable document management firm. Otherwise, a patient’s private data would have gone public!
In simple terms, archive storage helps to keep confidentiality of data. 

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Document Management System: A Key to Saving Time!

Effective management of time is key to success for all the businesses. There are several methods by which the firms save time. However, Document Management System (DMS) is one of the most popular tools in storage business. DMS helps the professionals to access relevant information quickly and help them in saving time in the following ways:

Enhances Search Process:

A good DMS helps users to not only give specific names to their files but also tag or label them according to the information it has. This enhances the  search process for the user as all the files with common tag or label can be searched and displayed in one click; thus making document search a hassle-free process.

Allows Indexing of Information:

In addition to adding tags to the documents. DMS also allows its users to index information. For instance, if a user assigns a document type (agreement, invoice etc.) to a document and 
stores it with indexing information (agreement start and end date, invoice number, amount of invoice, etc.). Then finding a document based on the indexed information becomes easy and hassle free. 

Supports File of Different Kinds:

A good DMS supports almost all type of files. This facilitates the user to run the files directly, saving him with time spent on conversion software.