Quick Tip – Cover your ass, record and store everything

Sounds cheeky, but Cover Your Ass (CYA) is a widely used term in banking and journalism circles. (Wikipedia:


To put it in drier terms, it is a form of due diligence. Ever been asked by the tax man to prove your earnings and expenses as you are about to be audited? Unfortunately, sometimes you need evidence to back up a case weeks, months or even years down the track. This applies equally as much to projects.

Here are some tips for starting and maintain a paper trail:

  • Establish a simple filing system on your computer for storing important decisions and information, such as contracts.
  • Email’s containing actions, responses and decisions should be copied (either via an image writer or pdf) and kept on a network or hard-drive for safe keeping.
  • Conversations or voicemails are trickier. Follow up any chat with a brief note outlining what was discussed, agreed and request any difference of opinion be clarified immediately.


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