We speak to FFLs of all sizes from coast to coast daily. There are a few common questions that seem to repeat themselves. They are great questions, and clearly, the repeatability means they are on the minds of FFLs, and with good reason.
We will tackle them one at a time and try to be brief and to the point while addressing them.
The most common questions/concerns we receive are:
- Is it secure?
- Will it trigger an ATF Audit?
We will respond to these with 4473 Cloud as the foundation for the answers.
Is It Easy To Sign Up And Use Digital Storage For 4473s?
Signing up is as simple as completing the “get started” form on our website. It will take you no more than a few minutes to complete. Here’s the link: https://www.4473cloud.com/get-started
Complete the form, select the plan based on your 4473 volume, and you will receive an email to create your password shortly thereafter.
Ease of use is at the core of how we built 4473 Cloud. If you can use a microwave, you can use our software starting day one. If you want to see how easy it is to use, click here to watch our demo.
How Difficult Is It To Transition to Digital 4473 Storage?
Switching to digital storage is as simple as signing up. There are NO long-term messy IT implementations. You sign up, create your password and you can store 4473s digitally today. Difficult? Not even a little bit.
ATF requires that you notify them of your intent to store 4473s digitally and keep a printed copy during the first 60 days. But, there’s nothing stopping you from getting the benefits of digital storage immediately. Simply notify ATF, start storing digitally, and just keep a printed copy as well for those first 60 days.
On day 61, no printing, no more boxes and no more dust!
Can ATF Access My Forms Whenever They Want Too?
ATF can only access your 4473s when YOU give them permission to view them. You are in complete control of not only when ATF can view your 4473s, but when ANYONE can access them.
Is 4473 Cloud Secure?
Digital storage with 4473 Cloud is significantly more secure than paper 4473s. Many FFLs have a false sense of security around keeping thousands and thousands of paper 4473s in their facilities. The reality is that those 4473s and the sensitive data on them are only as secure as the access your store staff has to them and the lock on your front door.
How is digital more secure with 4473 Cloud?
- Your 4473s are stored in a Tamper Evident File Format.
- Any interaction with that 4473 is tracked and kept forever.
- Your 4473s are uploaded in a 64-bit encrypted format.
- You control who in your store has access to your 4473s.
- You control what level of access they have.
- User-level access is view only.
- In a paper environment, anyone that can open the door can put your compliance at risk.
- Natural disasters have no impact on your retention of 4473s.
- Your 4473s are stored on a US-based server and are also backed up on separate US-based servers.
- If you have a fire, flood or other natural disaster hit your facility while using paper, what will happen to all those 4473s? They may be gone forever.
To read more about how 4473 Cloud is vastly more secure than staying on paper, click here.
Will Using 4473 Cloud Trigger an ATF Audit?
No. ATF has issued ATF Ruling 2022-1, allowing all FFLs to digitally store 4473s if the software the FFL uses meets the requirements outlined in the ruling itself. You are at no more risk for an ATF inspection than you are by using paper 4473s.
It is, however, important to understand the requirements in the ruling itself, and you can read them here.
REMEMBER – you, the FFL, are 100% accountable for the software you use and how compliant that software is. This applies to ALL compliance software you use, whether it is a digital bound book, your e4473 provider or your digital storage solution!
The software company is not on the hook for the result of your inevitable ATF audit. Make sure you are fully educated on the requirements and ensure that you challenge whichever software provider you use on their compliance with all pertinent ATF rulings.
Yes, 4473 Cloud not only meets but far exceeds the requirements of ATF Ruling 2022-1!
As always, we are standing by to help answer any questions you may have when it comes to launching your business into the 21st century. Click here to get started today!
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