Inventory Audit: Choose Your Way to Prove Compliance

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Industry Fact:

Failing audit qualifications and facing regulatory actions are two of the top risks companies cite as concerns from a failure in information governance.

Source: Aiim Industry Watch, “Information Governance – Records, Risks And Retention In The Litigation Age.” March 2013. Www.Aiim.Org/ Research; N=500.

Business Challenge

Demands are increasing for the proof of security and protection of the assets that you manage and protect. Regulatory demands and sensitivity around your customers’ information in your safekeeping are driving requests for greater reporting verifying the location and physical integrity of your inventory.

You need to be able to demonstrate control over the physical assets that you manage and performing physical inventory audits can help show proof of a well-run records and information management (RIM) program. But conducting physical audits presents a number of challenges. You want to comply with these requests with ease, but in order to do so, you need a solution that’s tailored to your organization.

How This Affects You

  • You may need to comply with auditors’ requests to verify inventory location and integrity.
  • You might need an easy way to respond to your customers who want proof that their records are being properly stored.
  • You are tasked with proving good control over your records and information management program.
  • You may need to make sure you can prove the soundness of your program in a cost-effective way.

What If You Could ...

  • Choose the inventory audit method that balances the right combination of speed and cost for your specific situation?
  • Receive reliable asset audit reporting fast, with minimal hassle?
  • Demonstrate compliance in your inventory?
  • Leverage the latest asset tracking technology?

Inventory Audit: Choose Your Way To Prove Compliance

Only Iron Mountain offers you choices for how you will audit your inventory depending on your needs. You’ll be able to satisfy audit requirements by providing proof of your assets in Iron Mountain’s record centers and verification of their physical integrity in one of the following ways:

Physical Scan: A cost effective physical barcode scan where you’ll receive a statistically significant check on a subset of your inventory. This type of methodology allows for a large population of cartons to be checked quickly with minimal set-up time, ensuring an appropriate sample size that accurately represents the total population of cartons stored.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): If your organization requires a 100 percent inventory check, you can leverage the latest asset tracking technology to perform fast and repeatable audits.

How It Works

You schedule recurring or request on-demand audits of your inventory that is stored offsite with Iron Mountain.

Audit Protocols:

  • Proactive annual audit and/or event-driven audit
  • Verification choices — eyes-on check of assets’ integrity or remote RFID-based location verification
  • Program management for RFID tagging of assets
  • Analysis of issues and consultation/actions for enhancements
  • Results reported back to you at the end of each audit


  • Account team works with you to define audit scope
  • You confirm or provide audit list for audit teams
  • RFID asset tagging commences (if applicable)
  • Visual integrity of carton is checked as cartons are tagged
  • Audit is performed; status provided to you throughout the audit for longer term cycles
  • Audit closes; report reviewed with you and research no-finds (if any)

Report includes:

  • Overall target asset count and audit find rate by market
  • Detailed cause analysis on any missing inventory
  • For markets with less than the target find rate, we’ll remediate causes and check for similar at-risk inventory
  • Recommended next steps including follow-up audits

Customer Success

A multinational bank acquired a financial services firm and needed to apply a retention policy to the acquired firm’s records. In order to get a good basis for the bank’s newly acquired inventory, Iron Mountain conducted a physical scan audit to identify which accounts had good inventory integrity and which were below standard. Iron Mountain physically scanned a statistically relevant sample of records across multiple record centers where the acquired firm’s records were stored. The bank used the results of the audit to prioritize their retention policy efforts without having to audit the entire inventory.

The Results

  • Reduced costs for the bank by focusing on accounts with poor inventory integrity
  • The bank is now confident about their inventory across their entire account
  • Greater defensibility with proof that their inventory was audited and is being managed properly.

What You Gain

  • Ability to choose which audit solution best fits your needs.
  • Confidence in responding to auditors and other stakeholders.
  • Proof of effective program controls in place.
  • Access to the latest technology for fast, repeatable audits.


Records Management Solution Brief
Records Management Solution Brief

Topics: Govern Information

With Iron Mountain Records Management services, you'll have the resources you need to effectively store and safeguard your information assets, and make them easily accessible to individuals across your organization.