Answers to Your Records Management Questions

Records management is the systematic oversight and administration of information during its life cycle, from creation to destruction. In this context, a “record” is defined as evidence of and information about business activities and transactions.

To have an effective records management program, you must understand the processes and systems for managing your information. Here we answer the most common records management questions.

Q: How Does Records Management Benefit My Business?

A: Records management benefits your business in several ways:

  1. It helps you control the growth of your information. With a records management policy you know what information to retain, how long to keep it for and when to destroy it.
  2. If your business fails to produce records during litigation or a regulatory check, you may be fined. Records management ensures full compliance with the law.
  3. Records management helps you properly safeguard sensitive information. When retaining personnel records, financial documents or client files, you have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect your clients and employees from identity theft.
  4. Records management saves time and money. It helps you cut your storage and administrative costs and streamlines access to your documents and data. 

Q: How Do I Start a Records Management Program?

A: Starting a records management program is easier than you think. If you haven’t already done so, inventory your documents and data. This will help you determine how to store information and where to archive it. If the inventory process is too hard for you to manage internally, look for a trusted outside records management partner.

Q: What’s the Best Way to Classify and Index My Documents? 

A: A document classification and indexing scheme should support your business functions and daily activity. Start with a broad category, such as “Financial Documents.” From there, you can subdivide the category into as many sub-folders as necessary. No matter how many categories you use, make sure they are retention-friendly. If you are unsure of the process, it is too stressful, or you don’t have the time to take it on, seek the help of a records management provider. Professional records managers will index your files and verify essential documents are included. Then they will create a filing system and instruct your staff how to use it.

Q: How Does Records Management Differ from Records Storage? 

A: Records storage is an important part of records management, but there is much more to records management. It also includes properly classifying your information and destroying it when it becomes outdated. Put simply, records storage is more than putting a box on a shelf and forgetting about it. You have to make sure your information is protected and preserved for the long-term, yet easily accessible.

Having the answers about records management can help you protect your business and even run it more efficiently.

Richards & Richards offers records management services for businesses throughout Nashville.