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April 26, 2011 / Frank J. Albi

Spring Cleaning for Your Business

Just as the fresh air and warmer temperatures of spring inspire us to give our homes a thorough cleaning, I think it’s also the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning in the office, too.

I’m not talking about dust bunnies under your desk or leftovers in the office fridge (but by all means, take care of those, too!) I’m talking about spring cleaning your records to ensure you save only what you need and safely dispose of the rest.

A good spring clean will reduce your risk and liability. Start by understanding the business records retention schedule regulations for your business records–personnel files and other HR records in particular. Once you know what you’re required to keep, you can create policies and procedures to be sure records are purged as soon as the applicable disposal period has been satisfied. Timely records purges not only reduce the cost of maintaining inactive files, they also keep possibly damaging records from being used by plaintiff’s attorneys.

Get organized and store the “keepers” to save time and maintain good records. How much time does it take for a file retrieval from your records storage area? Do you have a list of everything you have in file storage? Can you quickly find what documents you need? Time is money, but unlike money, once spent time can never be replaced. Every document you deposit at our Cincinnati document storage facility is barcoded and tracked by business records management software so that you won’t waste time when you need to retrieve records. You can also use tracking to tell you when it’s time to dispose of records so that you can painlessly purge your expired files to achieve compliance with your business records retention schedule. It’s like an automatic cleaning crew for your records.

Safely get rid of records you no longer need. After you fill all those bins with unwanted files (both printed and digital), what are you going to do with them? You can’t simply put them out with the garbage like household trash. Make sure you securely shred the paper and destroy the electronic data. Once the excess clutter is out of your office, you can really enjoy all the extra space and efficiency that comes from a good spring cleaning.

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