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What is an Audit Trail?

What is the Purpose of an Audit Trail?

Audit trails are a transparency, accountability, and risk management tool, that preserve the authenticity and trustworthiness of records. 

Who has accessed information? How did they use it? When did this happen? 

By tracking access and alterations, audit trials ensure compliance, maintain data integrity, enhance security, resolve disputes, and drive continuous improvement.


How do Audit Trails Work?


Electronically filed documents are the most effective and controllable document management solution, which are further enhanced with BS 10008 compliant audit trials. BS10008 compliance covers all aspects of the imaging process to give your digital documents legal admissibility.

The BS 10008 audit trail includes essential details such as document selection, authorisation, scanning, delivery, verification, quality control, and destruction of the original document.

When a document is stored in an Electronic Document Management System, metadata is generated. Creation date, modification dates, user engagement, and document type are all examples of metadata.

As users interact with a document, the audit trail links changes in the content with metadata, to create version histories. Version histories show how the document has changed over time, and who has changed it.

A workflow audit trail tracks the movement of information throughout an organisation, ensuring that outcomes are a product of process and identifying potential bottlenecks.

This practice displays that information is being handled compliantly and provides transparency, accountability, and control over operations.


What are the Benefits of Audit Trails?

Compliance and Security Response

An audit trail compliant with international standards ensures documents are legally admissible and the necessary protocols are put in place to quickly identify breaches, unauthorised access, fraudulent behaviour, or information misuse. Audit trails enable organisations to take direct and targeted actions in response to security breaches, informing relevant parties of the source of the violation to mitigate the impact.

Advanced Searching

Audit trails allows for advanced searching and grouping based on metadata.


Audit trails play a crucial role in retention. They help locate, track schedule changes, and identify missing documents. When paired with the advance search capabilities of EDMS, documents can be grouped by retention length or destruction date, and updated simultaneously if there are any changes to data privacy law.

Analysis & Process Improvement

Audit trails generate live dynamic reports to provide valuable insights for system analysis. Organisations can identify and resolve bottlenecks by using the information from audit trails. Audit trails facilitate process improvement, providing detailed insights about actions and their outcomes. By analysing the audit trail, organisations can identify areas for optimisation and implement targeted change. 

Truth and Transparency

A detailed record of a documents's lifecycle shows what was true at any given point. This enhances the credibility of information, and meets the criteria for making electronic documents legally admissible.

Easy Auditing

A comprehensive and easily accessible process overview simplifies internal and external audits, it also allows you to be reactive to subject access requests.


Creating an Audit Trail that Works for You

Enterprise document management systems that record user interactions to generate valuable metadata play a vital role in the development of effective digital transformation strategies.

The audit trail gives a precise representation of user interactions by capturing relevant data points throughout document lifecycles. You are able to identify patterns, detect anomalies, and make informed decisions regarding process optimisation, compliance adherence, and resource allocation.

By establishing a metadata schema that aligns with your business, its goals, and regulatory requirements, you stand to take full advantage of the features of a sophisticated EDMS.

Features like system analysis, KPI reporting and advanced searching all contribute to document control best practices, and increase the productivity of your processes.

Compliant Audit Trails

Datatron solutions are designed to evolve with the needs of your business.

By capturing audit data at each stage of transportation and transformation, we verify that data is being handled appropriately, consistently and accurately throughout the process.

We pride ourself on the ongoing support and constant development we offer to all our customers.

Get in touch for a free consultation with digital transformation experts, or give us a call today!