Implementing and maintaining a robust records retention schedule is more than just a paperwork exercise; it’s a strategic move that can offer substantial benefits for businesses. By garnering support from top-level management and dedicated staff, establishing a retention schedule can yield a host of advantages, paving the way for cost reduction, mitigating liability risks, and optimizing overall records management efficiency. Here are four key advantages:
1. Shield your company from legal liabilities
Should your records become the subject of litigation, a well-crafted retention schedule serves as a protective shield. Adhering to published retention guidelines minimizes the potential for legal disputes or scrutiny during legal proceedings. Proper disposal following established retention periods bolsters your company’s defensibility.
2. Exhibit compliance with legal standards
Crafting a retention policy involves carefully assessing each record series and determining a suitable timeframe for retention. This written policy serves as concrete evidence of your organization’s commitment to following prescribed legal procedures when retiring and destroying documents, showcasing compliance with regulatory standards.
3. Enhance records management efficiency and consistency
Implementing a company-wide retention schedule compels records managers to scrutinize all record series within the organization. This process not only uncovers and eliminates duplicate or redundant documentation but also streamlines the records management program, making it more efficient and cost-effective.
4. Optimize utilization of office space
A well-structured records retention schedule helps identify records eligible for destruction or relocation to cost-effective offsite storage facilities. By promptly disposing of unnecessary records and relocating semi-active or inactive records, significant cost savings can be realized, optimizing the utilization of expensive office space.
Embracing a comprehensive records retention schedule brings about cost reduction and operational efficiency, thereby minimizing legal liabilities. The streamlined volume of records simplifies the process of identifying and retrieving essential documents when needed. Before solidifying the schedule as official policy, it’s crucial to seek input and review from legal counsel or corporate attorneys to ensure alignment with legal mandates.
Establishing a robust records retention strategy isn’t just about compliance; it’s a proactive approach to fortify your organization’s operations, financial health, and legal resilience.