Records Retention

You need record retention guidelines – from organizing personnel files and electronic records retention policies to control document management and more.

Business Management Daily provides personnel records retention guidelines, helping you to improve your hard-copy and electronic record retention.

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Are work documents taking over your office? If your desk is covered, your filing cabinets are full and your email archive goes back for years, it may be time to ask yourself if holding on is hurting more than it’s helping.
Q. We are moving to another office and want to take this opportunity to purge outdated or unnecessary documents. How long do we have to keep our personnel files?
Q. Is there any reason to keep old medical files on past employees? Usually the info in the medical files is whether they’ve had a TB test, typical paperwork on physicals, or return-to-work information after pregnancies or injuries.
Is the paper piling up in your office and in need of a big spring cleaning? Before managers start tossing documents in the circular file, they need to know which employee-related paperwork must be saved—and for how long.

It’s easy to get buried by the paperwork involved with managing your personal finances. Luckily professional organizer Regina Leeds and Book­­keeping Express CEO Greg Jones have some simple advice on how long you need to save different types of paperwork.

Retaining financial records protects your company against litigation and ensures that you stay in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

Each year, new employment laws go on the books and courts write thousands upon thousands of decisions interpreting old laws. Yet, year after year, many HR professionals reach up onto a dusty shelf to hand new employees the same old employee handbook someone wrote years ago—too often without a second of consideration whether the contents still pass legal muster.

Most employees go after records or attack your record-keeping practices when they initiate lawsuits.  Most lawsuits in this area center on poor references by managers, the collection of inappropriate records, or the release of sensitive information to an unauthorized person.

Nowadays, IRS auditors ask for your electronic accounting records. But software files often contain data beyond the audit years, and software programs routinely create metadata for every data file created. So how do you keep the IRS from snooping around the personal and confidential business informations contained in those files?

In the name of organization, HR professionals and managers alike have been known to accidentally discard a document, whether paper or electronic, that they shouldn't have. Therefore, in your quest to clean out overflowing file cabinets or e-mail inboxes, take your time.

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