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Records Management and Retention

A good records management and retention program is a fundamental part of a successful business. The ability to identify, organize, maintain, and access needed information, and properly dispose of the rest, pays off in cost savings, efficiency, regulatory compliance, and reduced litigation risk. What to keep, where to keep it and for how long are the factors that determine whether information is available when you need it.

The first step in implementing a records management and retention program is the development and adoption of a record retention policy. There are many factors to consider when establishing a record retention policy, including IRS and individual states' statutes of limitations, and government agency regulations.

The next step is to determine what type of filing system your organization will use, including where and how to store your records. In addition, you should determine how you will index the records, to ensure that you have an organized list of the records that exist and of records that have been destroyed.

Once a records management and retention system is in place, someone in the company should be responsible for maintaining the system. Also, your files should periodically be purged according to your record retention policy.

We assist many of our clients, particularly in the telecommunications industry, in developing record retention policies, along with assisting them in purging and organizing their files. Our clients have found that our experience and expertise in the telecommunications area give us a distinct advantage in assisting them with their record management and retention projects as we are familiar with the records and documents that are unique to their industry. We have developed a records management system using Microsoft Access that allows each file or record to be entered, along with information about that file or record, including its location, retention period, and destruction date. Various reports can be printed, providing you with indexes of your records in various formats. File labels can also be printed from this system. In addition, we also assist clients with electronic image scanning of their documents using various other software programs.

Call us to discuss you record management and retention needs; we would be pleased to discuss how we can meet them and assist with other accounting and consulting services.