Yesterday I reviewed the Mobile Surveillance Unit and introduced a new Standard Mobile Surveillance Lease for that equipment and service.  I mentioned that the MSU service was relatively new.  Thinking about it [and I apologize because I am not technical] the MSU for construction sites and other open areas not suitable for traditional alarm installations, or temporary installations, has a predecessor.  I don't know what it was called, but this system was also contained in a box.  The system was [and I think may still be - with newer technology] used in abandoned homes.  
    The box sat in the living room, had a motion detector, siren and cellular device, all powered by long life battery.  I suppose this system could be covered by the Commercial All in One.  Even though it is in a residential building [commercial buildings could also be abandoned and without utility] without utility, the agreement is usually with a bank or management company working for the bank.  
    This box may be the original DIY intrusion system.  Just drop the box in the living room, come back every few months to check the battery [which I think lasts years].  
    If anyone actually knows the origin and present use of these systems let us know.  
    I was recently informed that when storing contracts electronically, scanning the back side is very important to lenders and buyers.  Is this true? 
     As an FYI, the back side of our contract is boiler plate (same on every contract) and the front page contains a statement (which we require the customer to initial) stating that the customer has read all terms and conditions including those on the reverse side.
    You need to scan and preserve the entire document.  Whether you will be successful convincing a Judge to admit into evidence or consider at trial your half scanned document is the question.  It will take a lot of explaining and it may be difficult to produce a witness who can testify that the specific document you are trying to rely on was not altered or amended at the time of signing, assuming the Judge accepts that the back side was presented at the same time as the front signed page.  
    I know you are not thinking about a court of law and convincing a judge, but that is exactly what a lender or careful buyer is thinking about.  That's what they have on their mind when challenging the authenticity of the half scanned document.  Just because you have a form on the back doesn't mean an astute, or difficult, subscriber didn't make any changes.  The person scanning may not have noticed, or cared.  
    How hard is it to scan the complete document.  And not just contracts.  You need to preserve all important records for subscribers.  That may include installation and service records and will almost always include central station history reports.  
    The statute of limitations for lawsuits vary state by state, but 6 years is a safe bet.  Keep in mind that you can be dragged into a lawsuit that's been pending long after the 6 years, so if you know of an event that may involve you in a lawsuit, preserve the records.
     This same question was sent to Mitch Reitman who does a lot of due diligence for the alarm industry [in addition to his tax and accounting services].  His response follows.
    Ken can comment on the legal reasons to keep the entire document on file.  From a business prospective, the Buyer is purchasing the entire agreement, front and back, and this is what should be scanned and reviewed in the due diligence process.  It is not uncommon for a customer to alter, or cross through, a provision on the “back side” of an agreement.  I have also seen situations in which there was a dispute and the customer’s agreement contained a modification, but the Company did not have the back portion.  Buyers want to see the back portion.  Not having the back side can kill a transaction. 
Mitch Reitman
Reitman Consulting Group
Fort Worth, TX