Business Records Retention and How It Intertwines With Everyday Operations
A sound business is characterised by a strong filing system. It helps in reducing the work time as often it is found that most efforts are lost in searching for a document. In the earlier years, it was the practice to file these documents with a record keeper under lock and key. A paper shredder used to be an important part of an office. With automation, the need for paper work has considerably reduced. Documents not only need to be preserved but to be kept safe so that not everyone has an access to it. E-locking the computer and password protecting individual personal files have become imperative. It is also important to keep a constant back-up of records. Also, it is important to bear in mind that documents have a shelf life. A common joke in an official set-up is to make three copies of a document and then destroy. Such is the way junk is collected in any office storage space. The documents which are no longer relevant should be eliminated leading to more space and therefore efficient organisation of data.
When an organisation decides to implement a system of document management, every staff employed has to be involved and briefed about the system and importance of such a practices. The Inventory Department by default updates its records which ensure that the obsolete are deleted. The Accounting Department has to be sensitive with their data and are more regulated by the State’s policy with respect to retention of data. Certain records have a tendency to be sensitive from the legal point of view and thus their retention needs more caution.
Similarly, records of employees in an organisation need to be stored for posterity. Record retention policy has to be planned out and a systematic elimination needs to be worked out. As attrition is the only permanent part of organisation, document retention guide lines have to be in place to avoid complications in future. For legal firms which need huge data and have many court-cases which have bulky files for reference, a proper record retention system is a necessity. They also need to be updated by replacing the obsolete ruling and laws with the latest.
An efficient record retention and disposition schedule would only ensure efficiency in the work place. Utmost importance is to be placed on compliance with the prevailing laws to avoid litigation in future. Litigation due to loss of records, not only monetary loss but also huge in the form of reputation harm, is a big cost to pay. Record retention and deletion also need to be regularly re-visited to understand its effectiveness so as to keep pace with the changing times.
Record retention should not be complicated and time consuming. It should be easy to handle by all the concerned personnel. The naming of files should be self-explanatory and not lead to ambiguity and confusion. The market has software and each has to choose according to one’s need. Such programs help in maintaining high level of secrecy through encryption methods. Whenever a physical document is shredded, it should be scanned and recorded for future use in case of need. Irch.com has a variety of programs not only for retention but efficient management.
About The Author
Sarah Jones is an expert on business data management and records maintenance who also likes to write many interesting articles and blogs, helping enterprises in coming up with the best business record retention schedule and document preservation guidelines. She recommends IRCH.com as the best source of information on the subject.