A records retention schedule is a list of an organization’s record types and categories, with the length of time those files should be kept, and when and how they should be destroyed. There is no “one size fits all” approach; every organization has different requirements depending on the business, legal and regulatory concerns.
Good records management processes – with a records retention schedule that is thoroughly vetted, compliant and followed – yields important benefits. Among them: better control of growing files and documents, improved awareness of and access to critical records, and effective management of legal and regulatory compliance risks. On the other hand, a retention schedule that is poorly designed or ignored will leave the organization in danger of losing vital records, being unable to locate and retrieve files, not meeting legal and regulatory standards, and be losing control of the ballooning number of records.
The answer is to develop a usable and compliant records retention schedule. Here are the key factors to consider:
Identify your records. Do a comprehensive inventory of what documents exist, how they are generated, how they are used and where they are stored. Consider doing this even if you are simply re-assessing an existing records retention schedule. The types of files change as organizations change and the standards they must meet evolve.
- Categorize your records. Once you know what you have, categorize them in a meaningful way. Ideally, the fewer categories you have, the easier it is for people to follow retention and disposal policies. You might consider taking the Bucket Theory approach. Regardless of approach, you need to understand how your records fit into the needs and operations of your business.
- Do your legal and regulatory homework. What regulatory agencies and rules apply to your organization? What are your legal risks, and how do those risks affect the documents you keep? Is there current, potential or emerging litigation that will require a legal hold on certain records? You will need to involve legal and regulatory experts, be they in-house or external, to work with you and determine a defensible standard for these records, from creation to storage to destruction. In the wake of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, you’ll likely find that retention expectations are much greater today than they were a decade ago.
- Assess records in light of business needs. Apart from legal and regulatory concerns, some records will be vital to the continuation of your business. Others are important to keep for historical reasons. As you make those determinations, decide how long such records retain a vital role. The simplest retention schedule has just two words: “Keep everything.” But that is neither wise nor practical. Retaining records beyond your regulatory, legal and business obligations can be as risky to your company as destroying documents before their retention time.
- Communicate and train staff. The most impressive retention schedule on Earth is meaningless if it isn’t followed. Worse, non-adherence puts your organization at tremendous risk. Be sure to equip your staff with the understanding, resources, and skills to effectively fulfill their obligation to properly apply the company’s records retention schedule.
Article source: abraxasworldwide.com
Document shredding services can help you get rid of documents without compromising your organization’s information. However, before you get in touch with them, you’ll have to decide on your destruction plan. This plan will help you determine how often and how much you will spend destroying the documents. The following factors should be considered when deciding on the most suitable plan for your business:
- The volume of paper to be shredded- How much paper do you have to shred? This is one of the first questions the company will ask when you get in touch with them. You don’t need to have the specifics. You can estimate the amount based on volume or weight e.g. the number of boxes. This will give you a rough idea of how much it would cost to have them destroyed.
- How you want them shredded- There are various options for shredding services. These include:
a. Drop-off: This will require you to drop off the documents you want shredded. They will be stored in a locked container until they are ready to be shredded. Many such service providers will charge you per pound, box or bag.
b. Mobile onsite: The service provider will come to your premises with the equipment to shred the documents. They will weigh or pack them in standard boxes or bags before destroying them at your site. This is the best option for highly sensitive materials as it provides greater security.
The type of help you need- You will need to determine what type of service you need.
a. Purge: This involves having a large volume of materials destroyed at once. This is a one-time occurrence. It may happen after spring cleaning when relocating the office, annual cleaning, or other such occurrences. The service provider will show up as scheduled to carry out the purging.
b. Recurring: This is for the long term. It involves a regular destruction of documents. This is ideal if you have a lot of paperwork that needs to be kept in check.
Determining your Schedule
You can now determine your schedule after considering the factors above. The frequency of the destruction will be determined by the volume produced by the organization. A great way to determine how frequently they should be shredded is by setting up shredding bins in your company at the same time important records retention. How long does it take to fill these bins? How much does it cost to have a full bin shredded?
Article source: medium.com
In the business industry, document shredding business has become popular rapidly as they are selecting to contract out their shredding services in its place of doing it from the inside. Document shredding services involve the tearing, into small slices, of important documents for reason of safety and privacy. Every company has documents that carry very confidential information that can destroy its operations if the information falls down to the wrong people. Most businesses prefer to destroy such paper through paper shredding. It is, therefore, necessary for every company to be extra cautious whenever they are hiring paper shredding services.
Before you set out to appoint a Professional shredding service company for your document shredding services, you must put into consideration in some aspects. These aspects are helping you to find the right shredding company for your company. The main factor that you must consider whenever you are hiring a paper shredding company is its efficiency. This means that the company must have the capability to slice all of your documents into small pieces that no one can ever reform it and probably understand what information they contain.
Do they have tools to do this at your building or will they be taking the documents outside?
How to ensure that your hired document shredding company is reliable or not?
Well, there are some ways in which you can know this. First, you need to research broadly on the company’s references. If the company is a well-known one then there should be some type of reviews done on it on the internet. Going through such reviews will help you to collect enough information on its efficiency. Second, you need to ask for contacts or references of the company’s previous customers. Such customers will advise you from their own experience with the company.
One more important factor to think about whenever you are hiring a document shredding company that its affordability. With the present global economic constraint, you should be worried about how to save money on your paper shredding project. Even though this is an important task, it shouldn’t use too much of your money. For this reason, you need to find a document shredding company that gives its services at an affordable cost. Still, be careful of the shredding companies that give their services at an unrealistically low cost. It is a clear sign that their services are not at all reliable.
It’s important to check the experience of the Professional Shredding Service Company which you are chosen. To measure the experience of the company, you need to do a serious research on a number of years that the company has been working. You need a company that will guarantee you the total security of your documents. As a result, choose a company that has handled such projects for many years. Going for a company that provides qualified paper shredding experts will give you the guarantee that not even single bit of your sensitive information will land into the wrong person hands.
Article source: medium.com