A records retention schedule is fundamental for any organization. This document clearly outlines and defines an organization’s legal and compliance recordkeeping requirements. It is advised that organizations implement a schedule for their records retention to ensure they are keeping records as long as they are legally and operationally obligated to do so. Additionally, a schedule will clearly outline when and how obsolete records are to be disposed of, so that it happens in a systematic and controlled manner.
A schedule for record retention serves as an organization’s legal authority for retaining and disposing of records. Therefore, this document is of the utmost importance for organizations to have and abide by. Contained within the schedule will be all the different types of records that are created and used by the organization and how long each type of record is required to be retained.
Risk of Not Having a Retention Schedule
As the number of business records increases, so do the risks associated with not having a retention schedule in place. Knowing how long to keep records requires the use and implementation of a credible and reliable retention schedule, along with a policy that enforces the schedule. Irregularity or inconsistency within a company’s records can expose the company to unnecessary risks.
The more information and records that a business collects, the more responsibility the business has to identify and locate the records when needed. When there is no retention schedule in place, locating necessary documents can be a challenge. The risk is compounded when companies are not able to produce documents, or unintentionally withhold required documents.
Benefits of a Record Retention Schedule
Once organizations have implemented a retention schedule, there are benefits that become apparent almost immediately. Some of the benefits include:
- Improved utilization of company resources
- Better control of unrestrained growth of records volume
- Illustrated compliance with statutory and regulatory recordkeeping
- Enforced the consistent implementation of recordkeeping policies
- Improved ability to locate and retrieve records when required
- Reduce litigation risks
It is imperative that organizations have a records retention schedule to keep all their records organized and easily accessible. Start today by figuring out a retention system that is going to work bests for your
business’ unique needs.