Organising files in your office can save you time and money and prevent problems in the long run, so here a few tips to get you on your way.
The average worker spends 3 hours per week looking for missing documents, so here is my first tip.
Taking a few seconds to put a document away correctly can save you a lot of time. An in-house archiving system should be used to index your paperwork. Assign your documents with mandatory fields such as a unique reference, title, dates, description, content and location.
For sensitive or private documents you may want to assign security codes. The codes usually range from 1 (low security) to 99 (restricted access)
Keep on Tracking
At L&R we barcode all of our clients boxes or files which makes the tracking of vital documents a very simple process. In an office that does not have access to such software tracking can be a real issue. A good way of tracking files in an office environment is by using ‘out cards’. The cards can be placed between files and should be used when a file is taken out of its position. The card should be signed by the requester and used when a document or file is taken from its archive position.
An effective retention policy can save you a lot of money. Whether your records are stored in your office or with a storage provider, paying for space that you do not need is a waste of money. When you enter a document into archive, assign it with a review date.
Take a look around your office now. How many unwanted client documents are taking up precious space? What information are you storing about your business that’s no longer needed?
Shred on Time
If the record has passed its legally required retention then it’s time to shred! Storing beyond retention costs you money and takes up expensive office space. Paying a storage supplier to store records you are no longer legally required to retain is also a complete waste of money. If you use a storage supplier make sure they are pro active and alert you to when potential boxes or files no longer need to be retained.
Anyone who carries out your shredding should provide you with a certificate of destruction.
A couple of years ago we were called out to collect records on behalf of an insolvency practitioner. It became apparent very early that there wasn’t a filing system We spent a couple of days organising the paperwork into order (over 1000 archive boxes) A couple of weeks later we were asked to find one particular invoice which would enable the Insolvency Practitioner to claim a VAT refund of £180,000! Yes £180,000! We located the box and located the invoice within minutes. The few hundred pounds it cost to sort out a huge amount of paperwork was well worth it. Our job was done and our client was absolutely delighted.
- Be Diligent
- Retention Policy
- Shred On Time
archive storage filing, archive storage filing.