Implementing and maintaining a comprehensive records retention schedule requires a commitment from upper management and dedicated employees. Establishing a retention schedule can deliver a significant return on investment, including reducing costs, limiting liability, and making your overall records management program more efficient. Here are four major advantages:
1. Protect your company from liability
In the unfortunate event your records become the subject of litigation, a retention schedule can protect your company. Disposing of records following published retention guidelines would rarely, if ever, be questioned in legal proceedings or third-party review.
2. Demonstrate your compliance with legal requirements
Creating a retention policy requires each record series to be considered on its own, and a time frame to be created, indicating how long a particular record series should be maintained. A written policy demonstrates that your organization is following established, legal procedures when destroying and retiring documents.
3. Improve records management efficiency and consistency
Instituting a corporate-wide retention schedule requires the records manager to identify all the organization’s record series. This process will help identify and eliminate duplicated documentation and redundant records. It also will make the records management program more efficient and less costly.
4. More efficient use of expensive office space
A well-implemented record retention schedule can identify records that are eligible for destruction as well as any that can be sent to less expensive, offsite storage. The return on investment from destroying unneeded records and transferring semi-active and inactive records to offsite storage can produce immediate and significant cost savings.
A comprehensive record retention schedule will reduce costs and improve efficiency and may assist in avoiding legal liability. The reduced volume of records make identifying and retrieving important documents when they are needed easier. Be sure to have your legal counsel or corporate attorney review the schedule before it becomes official policy within your organization.