Five Records Management Mistakes to Avoid

December 17th, 2013

The electronic age has created an explosion of business information, making it difficult for companies to manage their records efficiently and strategically. But, for most companies, records management is a critical part of doing business, and it’s absolutely imperative for businesses in highly regulated industries that must be able to access records quickly and easily.

 

Make sure your company’s sensitive information is secure, accessible and meets compliance measures by avoiding these five common records management mistakes:

 

  • Storing your files on site: Businesses amass files at an alarming pace, and in-house storage is the most costly and least secure option for inactive paper files, electronic messages and other records. Protect your business by making a digital copy of sensitive and important documents and consider storing them in the cloud, on a secure server or external hard drive, or at an off-site records storage center.
  • KeyboardNot establishing an effective indexing system: Records management is more than moving your files to cloud-based storage or an off-site facility. It’s important to establish an indexing system to ensure quick and easy file retrieval, particularly in industries that are audited frequently.
  • Not defining a records retention schedule: Creating a retention schedule is an important aspect of records management, particularly in industries that are legally required to keep files for a specified time period before destroying them. Automating this process provides an even higher level of efficiency, as it establishes rules-based policies for storage, retention and retrieval for every type of document.
  • Not shredding documents regularly. Identity theft is on the rise, and business trash is highly vulnerable to criminals, competitors and even disgruntled employees. As a result, proper records disposal is more important than ever. Just as it’s important to create a schedule for retaining records, it’s also imperative to shred documents on a regular basis.
  • Assigning records management to untrained staff: While it may seem cost-effective to assign records management to junior or administrative staff, this is penny wise and pound foolish. Your records management professional should have the training and background necessary to implement your company’s storage, retrieval and retention policies, ensure compliance with legal requirements, and manage any technology or system issues.
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