Records Management: Are you in control of your information?

PaperworkEvery day, in most companies, each department creates its own set of information.  But where does it get saved and stored? Who manages it? Are there backups? What happens to old records? Knowing how to manage the information is challenging enough, let alone trying to manage information found in a variety of departments. It’s a challenge that increases as technology continues to grow. That’s why it’s crucial to have a company-wide records management system in place, rather than separate departmental systems.

The following key areas should be part of your records management plan:

  • Secure storage – Lock all confidential and proprietary files in a filing cabinet, safe or vault located in a separate, secure room. Consider installing security cameras and make sure the storage location will protect your records from water, fire, heat and dust.
  • Controlled access to information – Limit access to files by password protecting computers and selecting only a few trusted employees with the passwords and keys to your files.
  • Document retention – Make sure files are always backed up just in case something would happen to the original. Talk with a trusted advisor and your legal and accounting staff to determine the length of time to keep specific records. Think twice about keeping everything forever because during an audit, federal law says they can go through all of your records on hand, regardless of the age. 
  • Destruction – Always shred files whenever possible, including old discs or CDs with information on them. If you use a professional shredding service, make sure they can not only shred your information and recycle the paper documents, but can provide you with a certificate of destruction.

For more information about records management planning, visit

Print Friendly, PDF & Email