An In-Depth Guide to the Best Records Management Practices

Amy Pattinson
August 17, 2022
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9
 Mins Read

Records management is vital for every organization because it helps achieve business objectives faster. A well-built records management strategy ensures that documents can be tracked easily. It also helps in removing unnecessary records to keep the space uncluttered. You can take several steps to ensure your records management program is effective. In this blog, "Records Management Best Practices," we recommend twelve records management best practices to have a look at it.

Records management is excellent for preventing data breaches by ensuring a suitable process for storing, protecting, and destroying confidential information. Companies should adopt the best records management practices and stick to certain principles. Before knowing the best practices and valuable principles, you should understand the importance of implementing the best records management practices. Invensis possesses deep-seated capabilities to scale up document management services by changing requirements, ensuring your project's continuity and on-time completion.

Importance of the Best Records Management Practices

The best practices for records management ensure that company data is not lost or misplaced. You need to adopt the best methods to reduce the time and effort required for records management. They are also essential for complying with the regulatory standards.

Compliance with the law is one of the primary reasons why companies opt for records management in the first place. Adopting the best practices for records management also ensures that you always have backups if something happens to the original records. It also prevents the loss of information while transforming paper records into digital copies.

Top 12 Records Management Practices Every Company Should Adopt

Every company considers some records to be vital. Therefore, they need to store them for effective functioning in the future. The following are the best practices for conducting records management:

Defining Business Goals

Each organization should set the need for records management. It involves looking at current storage systems and identifying how they are used. It helps understand the future requirements. The records management process should provide a clear framework for creating, destroying, and disposing of records. The process enables companies to develop appropriate legal records. It also helps companies to retain records based on maintenance stipulations.

Destruction of records is no longer necessary and should also be made clear in the framework. However, proper disposition of records is often mandatory to protect the confidentiality of business operations.

Systemic Approach to Identifying and Documenting Records

Identifying and documenting records is a significant aspect of the records management process. The records that need to be stored usually depend on the archives. But typically, records created as evidence of any event should always be kept. Among all the complex steps in the records management process, the first is identifying the ones to include within an archive.

Establishing a Schedule for Records Maintenance

A retention schedule will help avoid the costs and risks of losing records. It determines how long specific records should be stored. The schedule for different types of records is as follows:

Personnel

Managing personnel records once a year is enough.

Financial

In the case of financial records, the schedule can be set at different intervals depending on the type of documents. For example, tax and financial accounting documents usually need more time to meet IRS regulations than personal documents.

Legal

Retention periods for legal documents will depend on the type of document and the nature of the business.

Reviewing and Updating Records Management Policies

Formulating a records management policy isn't enough. Organizations need to review and update their record management policies from time to time. It ensures that the records' integrity, accessibility, and confidentiality can be protected. All records should be kept within an area that falls under the developed records maintenance policy.

Setting up a Records Management Team

An organization should form a specific records management team to find success in that area. The team should be given the responsibility of tracking and storing records. In addition, they should ensure that the records stay secure as long as needed. The team should also be responsible for destroying unnecessary records to keep more storage space.

Creating an Easy Workflow for All Team Members

Organizations should focus on setting up a records management workflow to store records appropriately. The workflow should include the following:

  • Capturing and maintaining the data
  • Storing data within a key location in the company
  • Managing and controlling which users have access to the records
  • Controlling what happens to the records when no longer needed

The systematic workflow will help the records management to operate smoothly.

Choosing a Secure Location

Finding the right place to store organization records is a major aspect of records management. You should consider the following to find a suitable location for records management:

  • Any security facility with several layers of protection like on the grounds of an embassy or a bank vault
  • Offsite storage that can be accessed only by authorized personnel after putting in the right clearance credentials
  • A business like a cloud computing service to handle your digital information

Finding the right place will ensure that unauthorized people don't have access to company records. A suitable location becomes mandatory when companies need to store confidential or sensitive records.

Tracking and Monitoring Records

Records are always moving in and out of the storage facilities. Records are also moving between departments and employees. A monitoring system should ensure that no files are lost during transit.

Keeping records of day-to-day organizational operations is essential for developing future decisions and processes. Without referring to the records, it becomes challenging for the company to evaluate whether they are going in the right direction. Tracking and monitoring records will help organizations to find success in the future.

Familiarizing Employees with Updated Records Management Policies

Organizations often develop their records management policies. If that happens, they should keep every employee in the loop. The updated records management policies vary from one organization to another. Therefore, the management should take the responsibility of updating them on the company website.

Training Employees About Records Management

Records management is often a time-consuming task left to managers. Many complicated procedures are included, and it's impossible to remember them all the time. To reduce the burden on record managers, employees should be made to manage their records. However, if you want all your employees to become good at records management, you need to train them. Start by introducing employees to the difference between vital and unnecessary records. It will enable an organization to remain productive and efficient.

Keeping Records and Information Architecture Accurate and Efficient

Your information architecture is the blueprint of your information inventory. It is a major part of any organization's governance policy. Good information infrastructure guarantees the security and easy accessibility of business records. Consider the following while designing the information architecture:

Business Classification Scheme

Grouping related content and allocating each group to a master arrangement is a great method. It is a type of taxonomy that makes it convenient for organizations to locate data. In addition, a BCS will help you give specific users access to information based on the grouping during the classification process.

Metadata Schemes

Companies often believe that organizing their folders inside a network drive is sufficient. But efficient records management will require every document to include metadata. A document management system can read the metadata of a document to classify it. It eliminates spending hours detecting which folder should include a particular file. Metadata also makes it easier to find documents. You will no longer have to manually click through folders to look for the file you need.

Retention and Disposal Schedules

A retention and disposal schedule ensures that companies meet their legal obligations and compliance requirements. RDS makes sure that businesses know how long they should keep records. It also makes it easy to find records that need to be thrown away. As a result, RDS helps companies successfully avoid compliance risks. But it also minimizes the time and resources required for retrieving records.

Capturing Recording Without Affecting End-Users

Some records management systems involve end-users. It often leads to engagement issues that can disrupt workflow and productivity. Therefore, all your record-keeping efforts will be ruined.

An advanced records management system will work in the background and remain invisible to end-users. They will manage records across multiple platforms, including social media, email, cloud storage, computer desktops, and network drives. The end-users will be able to continue working while the record management system captures records. It will also be able to capture metadata automatically. Therefore, end-users won't have to add metadata into a pop-up form while uploading documents to an advanced records management system.

Invensis: The Ultimate Place to Take Care of Your Record Management Needs

Invensis provides the best cloud computing services and will easily take care of all your records management requirements. We will use the best industry-relevant services to offer cloud-based records management solutions to clients. Our services are meant to reduce business expenses while increasing proficiency.

After staying in the industry for more than twenty years, you can undoubtedly form a reliable partnership with us. Our strict security measures will ensure that your confidential and vital records remain protected at all times. So no longer hesitate to book a value-added consultation with us.

Wrapping up

Records management is a crucial part of every organization. Any company must adopt the best practices to ensure a seamless transformation to paperless records. Everything should be a part of the process, from setting clear record management goals to training employees. In case you struggle with records management, outsourcing it to Invensis will always be prudent. Organizational competency requires proper document management processes to ensure the management of valuable business information accumulating daily. Therefore, Invensis, a global IT-BPO provides cost-effective and flexible automated document management services for your organization. In addition, we provide end-to-end strategic and tactical services for the entire data management cycle.

FAQs:

1. What Principles Should You Follow During Records Management?

The principles to follow during records management include transparency, accountability, security, integrity, compliance, retention, disposition, and accessibility.

2. What Comprises Effective Record-keeping Efforts?

Effective record keeping will ensure that company information stays accessible as long as required. However, they should be only accessible to authorized people. It also involves the destruction of records when they are no longer necessary.

3. What Is the Purpose of Record Management Audits?

Record management audits review an organization's policy of storing and maintaining records. It ensures that the record-keeping efforts of an organization comply with legal and federal requirements. It also points out ways that policies for managing records can be made better. A thorough audit also helps mitigate risks related to records management.

4. Why Should Company Records Be Destroyed at the End of Their Lifecycle?

Both digital and physical and digital records are vulnerable to breaches. Statutory regulation requires companies to keep some records forever. But most records are supposed to be destroyed after a certain time. It can prevent the leak of confidential data and also clear storage space.

5. Is the Process of Digitizing Physical Records Costly?

Digitizing physical records is often expensive and time-consuming. However, companies are still opting for the digitization of records because the results are exceptional. Digitized data is less prone to damage and also reduces business expenses. It also takes less time to locate digitized records.

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Article by
Amy Pattinson

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