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Streamline Your Business with a Record Retention Schedule

Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

record storage

Record retention can be a tedious task for many business owners, but it’s essential for the smooth operation of your company. The right record retention schedule ensures that your organization stays compliant with the law while maintaining a streamlined work environment. Knowing which records to keep and how long to keep them can be complicated, but a well-designed record retention schedule can help make the process more manageable. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can create a record retention schedule that will not only comply with the law but also reduce your stress levels.

Determine What Types of Records You Need to Keep

The first step to creating a record retention schedule is to determine which records you need to keep. This will depend on your business type and the legal requirements specific to your industry. For example, businesses that handle sensitive information like healthcare or financial institutions may have unique retention requirements. Additionally, consider organizational records like contracts, employee records, and tax-related files. Consult with your legal advisors or review guidelines online to ensure you understand which records require retention.

Define How Long You Need to Keep Each Record Type

After identifying which records to keep, you need to determine how long you need to keep each one. Not all records have the same retention period, so ensure that you understand the laws or requirements relevant to each type. For example, tax-related files must be kept for at least seven years while personnel records may only require three to seven years. Create an inventory of each record type and its given retention period to simplify the process.

Create a Record Retention Schedule

Now that you have identified the record types and their retention periods, it’s time to create a record retention schedule. This schedule should include details like the record type, retention period, and the steps you’ll take once the retention period has ended. In some cases, the record may need to be destroyed or transferred elsewhere, and your schedule should include these instructions. Ensure that you keep a copy of this schedule in an easy-to-access location to ensure it is adhered to.

Review and Update It Regularly

Record retention schedules are not a one-time fix. Ensure that these schedules are reviewed periodically, and updated as laws or your business needs change. Regular reviews help prevent document omissions or the creation of multiple schedules, which can lead to confusion. It’s essential to ensure that all employees understand which records require retention and their given retention periods to comply with the law.

In every business, maintaining the right records is essential, be it financial or legal documents, customer data, or employee records. Suppose your business fails to maintain proper records or adheres to defined retention schedules, it may lead to penalties or litigation issues. With the steps mentioned in this blog post, you can create an effective record retention schedule specifically tailored to your business needs. Ensuring that your business maintains an organized record-keeping system will not only keep you compliant, but it will also give you peace of mind. Take the first step today and create your record retention schedule to streamline your business processes.

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If you need help with the destruction of documents and hard drives, give us a call. We specialize in the shredding of documents and are dedicated to your privacy. Give us a call at 806.372.7722.