Records Management and Effective Filing System in the Office

Records are the memory of any business organization in the form of documents and an effective filing is an important process in the office.

Records are the memory of any business organization in the form of documents to preserve knowledge of acts,events,facts, or ideas.  It maybe a written or graphic material related to the business activities either in active use or in storage for future reference such as administrative files, personnel files,supply files, operational and fiscal files.  Records can be classified as general or confidential filed in a methodical manner for preservation and ready reference.

With the availability of technological systems, digital archiving is already  being done in some offices.  But in most cases, traditional records management and filing are still being practiced.  Filing is the process of classifying and arranging records in a systematic and orderly way so they will not only be safe but also serve for quick retrieval.

Importance of an Effective Filing Management

  • Establishing and managing an effective system of  the records in the office will save time, effort, and promote operational efficiency in the office.  For sales and customer related business, prompt finding of records is  a must in order to give excellent service to customers.  In filing, the emphasis is more upon the easy finding and it will only achieve by having an effective paper-work management.
  • Purpose of filing are to put together all related documents in one place so that the history of the transaction or dealings with a particular subject can be easily accessible, provide a safe place for records of business information and transaction when not in use, and to make records available when they are needed.
  • A lost or misplaced document can cause problems and delays in the office depending on the importance of the document.  Contracts, sales invoices, official receipts, and other legal documents are most important documents in the office.
  • Filing is also one way of sorting,decluttering, and proper disposal of  office documents and papers. Records are usually kept in one year and often destroyed after they have served the purpose. 

Kinds of Filing System

In choosing a file system, it should be a tailor-made to fit the condition or situations prevailing in a particular office or organization. A good system should serve the needs of the office, it has the simplest identification of file contents, minimum indexes and codes, and free from errors.

  • Alphabetic Name Filing - by name of individual or organization
  • Alphabetic Subject Filing - by subject
  • Alphabetic Location Filing - by geographic location
  • Numerical Filing - by the number assigned to record
  • Chronological Filing - by the date of records

Steps in Filing

  • Inspecting a document if it is still an active file or has been released for filing.
  • Indexing the name on which it is going to be filed.
  • Cross-referencing the file is when there are two possible indexing name for the file.  Know which of the two is important and cross-reference it under the other name.
  • Coding the file or marking it to indicate how it is being indexed either by encircling or underlining the caption.
  • Filing or storing the file in the proper folders and cabinets.

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