Keeping up an ever-expanding volume of information isn’t easy. That’s why your organization needs a plan for managing files that don’t see day-to-day use but help you meet operational goals and compliance objectives. In this blog, we offer several tips for managing your inactive files.
Verify File Retention Timeframes
The first step in managing your inactive files is identifying what documents to keep and what documents to destroy, from a legal standpoint. Review your record retention schedule to make sure it’s up to date with state and federal regulations. If you’re unsure, consult with your accountant and lawyer.
Classify, Label and Index
Categorize your files into classes and series based on their functional need and clearly labeled with their retention periods. This helps you separate inactive files from the those that are needed daily, decide what needs to be sent to offsite, and determine what needs to be destroyed.
Now that you’ve sorted and identified your active files, it’s time to get rid of what’s no longer needed. There’s a good chance you have records that are long expired. Keeping documents beyond their legal retention dates increases your liability exposure.
Use a professional shredding and destruction service to purge expired, inactive files. A screened shredding specialist collects your expired records and, based on your preference, either shreds your documents on-site while you watch or transports them to a shredding plant for secure destruction. You should receive a Certificate of Destruction when your documents are destroyed.
After you’ve purged your expired records, send your remaining inactive files offsite. In addition to helping your business save space, record center storage eliminates unauthorized access to inactive files and protects them from natural disasters. Your active files are barcoded, stored on high-density racking systems, tracked with barcodes, and protected with advanced fire protection and security technology. Whenever you need a file, it’s either hand delivered to your office by a background-screened records management professional or sent to you digitally with a Scan on Demand solution.
An effective inactive file management plan helps protect your business from liability and allows it to grow profitably. For more inactive file management tips, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.
Records Management Center provides businesses throughout Augusta, Evans, Thomson, Martinez, GA, Aiken, SC, as well as the Central Savannah River Area, with full-service records management solutions.