A Record Retention Schedule (RRS) outlines how and where historical records created by a business or organisation should be archived. It explains how long each type of record should be retained for and on what date certain records should be disposed of. Why are Record Retention Schedules so important?
1) Protection From Liability
Keeping important historic paperwork protected and accessible allows you to argue your side in the event of a dispute over liability. Being able to prove that you've done what you've said you'd do when it was scheduled to be done is a great advantage when validating health, safety and financial obligations.
Whether you're being audited to monitor performance or to ensure compliance, an archive of vital data makes it easier and faster for the auditors to paint an accurate picture of your organisation. If you lose track of historic performance and events through lost paperwork, the audit may not accurately reflect your improvement.
It is also a legal requirement to retain certain key documents (such as HMRC paperwork) for auditing.
3) Corporate Use
Managing a business requires the extensive use of historical performance data e.g. to predict sales, plan growth or determine stock requirements. You may struggle to build a picture of the long-term direction your business is heading in otherwise.
4) Legal Reasons
It is a statutory requirement to retain certain documents for a set number of years. Legal frameworks cover records as diverse as medical information, tax paperwork and acceptance letters.
You may face punitive measures if you fail to keep these documents safe, catalogued, and retrievable until their proscribed disposal dates. The EU-wide GDPR (2018) and UK-specific Data Protection Act (2018) govern storage requirements and legal penalties for non-compliance.
A well-organised business is an efficient one. By cataloguing, tracking, and monitoring your documents, you can keep your internal focus relevant and your data easily recoverable if it's needed at a later date.
6) Space Management & Planning
Office filing space is valuable. It can waste time, money, and working space to keep records in an active workplace beyond being needed for day-to-day use. Storing your records off-site with a third-party can provide greater security and accessibility than archiving all your records onsite.
Record Retention Schedules From CAS Ltd.
At Clarks Archive Storage (CAS), we can create and tweak any Record Retention Schedule that you need. We're adept at planning comprehensive document lifecycles for archived digital and physical paperwork used in UK industry, business and non-profit organisations. Call or email us today to find out more.
Image source: Unsplash