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Records Retention: A New Year's Resolution

2 min read

Jerry Rozek

A record retention schedule helps businesses stay organized

With the turn of the calendar comes the time when most of us make some sort of New Year’s resolution, and a records retention resolution can make all of the difference for your business in 2021. A common resolution for both individuals and companies is simply getting organized. While this can help open up valuable space in your home’s basement or garage, it is even more important for your business—and that's where your approach to records retention comes in.

The importance of a records retention schedule for business

Many businesses store their paper documents without any type of end date in mind, or maybe even the “we’ll just keep it 10 years” approach. The key to having a records library that is well managed, and also compliant is establishing and following a records retention policy.

How to establish records retention protocol for your organization

How long you need to keep something can vary greatly depending upon what it is, where your business is located, and how your business is regulated. Knowing where to start can be a challenge, and there really is no margin for error.

At EO Johnson Business Technologies, our Scanning Division specializes in helping clients make sense of the clutter. As an added bonus, when an organization determines how long they need to keep items on file, they can also realize cost savings by reducing their document scanning needs. It's a win-win.

When a customer asks me, “how long do I need to keep this?” I typically recommend the three following steps:

  • Speak to your company’s legal counsel. Minimizing exposure to risk is something most attorneys can really appreciate.
  • Reach out to any organization or association that your business may be part of. One of their primary goals is helping their customers (like you) operate with sound business practices. When you look good, they look good. Often times they can be a resource and provide some type of general guide to retention for some of your more common record types.
  • If you partner with businesses similar to yours, and collaborate within the bounds of a non-competitive relationship, inquire if they have a retention policy and what resources were used to develop or enhance it.
A records retention policy can help you get organized in 2021

Establishing, implementing, and maintaining a retention policy enables your business to purge records when they are eligible. It is a natural instinct to want to keep something longer or indefinitely “just in case.” You may be fearful that what you do not have may come back to harm you, but what you do have can be equally detrimental.

A New Year’s resolution only works if you establish it and then follow it. The same applies to a resolution to implement sound and compliant records management. The experts in our Scanning Division can help your company get organized, while streamlining your record keeping process. Contact us to learn more about our document scanning services.



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