As we have mentioned several times in our weekly blog posts, The Filing Room grows when the country grows. In one of our earlier articles, we explained how GDP growth, population growth and the development of a burgeoning financial sector all have positive effects on the archiving industry.
That is because archived documents are generally “the ongoing evidence of thousands of contractual agreements being made between Kenyan businesses.”
In this article, we dive further into the details. To get to the heart of the matter, we need to have a closer look at some of our clients. In the interest of confidentiality, we won’t disclose any names. However, we can disclose the type of client who regularly walks through our doors.
Bank are some of the biggest generators of records. It is not hard to understand why. Banks are the very backbone of any free-market economy. Every business, new or old, has some dealings with a bank and this generates transaction documentation, teller vouchers, know-your-customer documentation and so much more.
A growing economy means banks are producing more and more documents each year. So, it is no surprise that they represent some of our biggest customers.
So, banks have a huge number of direct customers. From individuals to businesses to charities and NGOs, banks are the lifeblood running through our economy’s veins.
Of course, like many industries, banks are not immune to the digital world and the changes it brings. Several years ago, all transactions began life as a paper transaction. Now, some banks say 80% of transactions begin life as a digital transaction and therefore no paper is ever produced.
Furthermore, innovations like M-Pesa give the individual huge amounts of control over their own finances. In many instances, M-Pesa means entrepreneurs can completely bypass the bank for their monetary needs. Whilst this means we need to look at how we view the future, we at The Filing Room are fiercely proud of Kenya’s microfinancing service as it is one of the most cutting-edge in the world today.
Insurance companies and banks are cut from the same cloth. Like banks, insurance companies have large numbers of customers. Individuals, businesses, charities and many more have some sort of arrangement with an insurance company.
They are an essential part of a growing economy and we rank insurance companies alongside banks as our largest customers.
Another type of customer that often holds a lot of records are businesses that either have or have had large numbers of employees. These could be parastatals, telecommunication companies or even NGOs.
These employees will have important documents relating to their employment. Personnel files, contracts, pension files, etc: these documents are vital. Pension files can generate queries for decades and we’ve had occasion to retrieve personnel files many years after an employment contract has ended. Having the right information can save hundreds of thousands of shillings.
The importance of accountancy and tax documentation cannot be overstated. We often hear customers talking about the need to keep documentation for seven years. We would caution that this timeframe must be longer – certainly for tax documentation. On occasion, we have had to retrieve evidence of tax payments going back over twenty years and we always recommend that for the small amount it costs to archive, it is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to tax and accountancy documents.