Learn about the importance of good records management, the types of records you should keep, and how to store and organize them safely.
Published 24 Nov 2022
Records Management is a method of managing information from creation to disposal, regardless of format, and it entails its creation, maintenance, receipt, and deletion procedures. In other words, records management refers to proper data handling—from inception to termination.
A record is any information kept in hard or soft copy as proof of, or utilized in, an organization’s transactions. Final reports, budget papers, company balance sheets, emails referring to an activity, field mission maps, etc., are a few examples of records.
Among the significant advantages of records management are:
Although your company may have many documents, emails, and business reports, only a fraction of them will be critical. The best way to manage these records is to keep only the most valuable documents and dispose of the rest. The system helps to optimize data storage space and information storage.
There are numerous regulations in place that govern how effectively records should be kept in an organization. Noncompliance might result in significant legal consequences and penalties. You may easily follow compliance rules and avoid fines by having good records management.
Like any other enterprise, every company has critical information that it must guard and avoid falling into the wrong hands. You can’t safeguard and keep the integrity of your vital data if you can’t manage it properly. Records management may assist you in organizing information and keeping you safe from data loss vulnerability.
Records can be instrumental when appropriately kept. When you use a robust document management system to store and retrieve information whenever you want, your records become more valuable. Better access to data improves decision-making capabilities for businesses.
When your records are disorganized, you will waste time storing and looking for data. A records management system can make the whole process quicker and more automated.
Electronic Records Management (ERM) is the administration of files and documents saved in digital format. It ensures that a company has access to the appropriate records at the time they are required. By automating processes, digitally storing documents can increase efficiency.
An ERM system has many benefits, including:
There are several various classifications based on the services provided by each record. The following are some of the most frequent types:
Physical Records -These are physical representations of data stored on various media, such as notes and papers, and these records take up actual room.
Electronic Records – An electronic record is a document created and kept using technology. It may be saved digitally and doesn’t require much physical room.
Enterprise Records – These are records that concern a firm’s operations. Enterprise papers include contracts, agreements, payroll records, and so on.
Industry Records – These records are concerned with the operation of a particular sector. Medical industry records, for example, include paper and research materials relevant to the entire industry.
Legal Hold Records – Maintaining these requirements is a legal requirement. Legal hold records are those in which the rules regarding conformance standards (like ISO 15489) are considered legal obligations.
Eliminate manual tasks and streamline your operations.
There are several components of records management, and these include the following:
The first step in a records management system is to establish its boundaries. You’ll need rules to define authority levels and responsibilities at various process phases. It is also essential to provide detailed instructions for implementing the policies.
Some records have long retention periods, while others have short lifespans. The minimum duration a record should stay in an organization is indicated by this timetable.
Maintaining and filing documents should be part of a plan. Records may be stored digitally or physically, referred to as digital or physical records. It indicates the significance of the record as well.
It’s not just a one-person responsibility to keep records. To do the job, you’ll need a team of competent individuals. To guarantee their effectiveness, you must teach them regularly and perform routine audits to verify that they’re functioning correctly.
The records lifecycle is the journey that records take from creation to disposal. Using a system ensures that records are recoverable, protected, and can be discarded as needed. The stages in the lifecycle play separate yet vital roles; if one stage doesn’t reach its objectives, the whole process breaks down.
SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) is a multi-purpose platform used by different organizations worldwide to manage their safety, quality, and compliance programs. As a records management software, SafetyCulture can easily schedule and assign audits, track corrective actions, and generate custom reports, sharing them with stakeholders. Create a custom checklist or use pre-made templates from the Public Library when conducting your audits. In addition, SafetyCulture supports offline mobile auditing, so you can still conduct audits without an internet connection and sync them later with the cloud for secure recordkeeping.
Rob Paredes is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He is a content writer who also does copy for websites, sales pages, and landing pages. Rob worked as a financial advisor, a freelance copywriter, and a Network Engineer for more than a decade before joining SafetyCulture. He got interested in writing because of the influence of his friends; aside from writing, he has an interest in personal finance, dogs, and collecting Allen Iverson cards.
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