Every business has vital records and documents that must be filed and stored for a period of time, depending on the use of the record and laws pertaining to the type of record. Businesses should have procedures in place for storage of their vital documents.
Procedures for storing documents allows businesses to centralize the storage of their vital documents between what is being used currently, and those which are archived. The procedures outline the method by which the documents are stored and organized, which allows for easier filing and retrieval.
Organizations should look at the types of documents they create, and the length of time each type should be kept. Consider the format in which the documents should be stored. If the documents are electronic files, determine where they are maintained. This could be on a backup server or CDs in storage. Paper documents must also be considered. Current documents should have a different storage procedure than archived documents. Current documents should be accessible, while archived documents may be stored off-site.
Establishing a procedure for the storage of documents is vital to every organization in case of an emergency. The procedure for storage should include the plan for removing the documents in the case of fire, flood, or other disaster. These procedures should be written, and each employee responsible for records should be well aware of the procedures.