10 Retention Schedule Tips for Startups
Better Records Management for Startups.
Startups have to comply with the same laws and regulations governing records and information as most other large companies. This places an additional administrative burden on new companies who are just starting out and trying to expand.
To help you make that burden a little lighter we’ve put together this list of retention schedule tips.
Retention Schedule Tip #1 – Use a Retention Schedule
Any retention schedule is better than none. A retention schedule allows you to keep track of all your records that must be kept by law. It will also inform you how long each record type must be kept. Your schedule will thus allow you to securely dispose of records at the right time and maintain compliance with legislation.
Retention Schedule Tip #2 – Make use of an overall retention schedule
A central retention schedule will make keeping track of records much easier for management. Each division or department you add to your Startup should still have its own section within your RT but a single document with a consistent process will make managing your records easier.
Retention Schedule Tip # 3 – Classify each record type
Record classifications can vary from one company to another however, every company must still create some form of records classification. One way to start classifying your records is to look at them in terms of the following:
- Record Function
- Record Class
- Record Type
Retention Schedule Tip #4 – Research
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to research retention periods. This is because different organisations have different record types and thus applicable laws and regulations may or may not apply. Still, doing your research or hiring a records management specialist or corporate legal practice to assist you is a smart idea.
Retention Schedule Tip # 5 – ‘Active’ vs ‘Inactive’ Records
Once a record becomes inactive the retention period for that record must come into play to allow it to be disposed of at the right time. This means you will need to determine for each record when the transition from active to inactive takes place.
Retention Schedule Tip #6 – Identify ‘Mission Critical’ Records
Some records are more valuable than others. Make sure you identify these so that they are given extra consideration.
Retention Schedule Tip # 7 – Official Records vs Convenience Copies
Official records are governed by your retention schedule. Copies are not. It is, however, worthwhile to include in your retention schedule the procedure to be followed when dealing with copies.
Retention Schedule Tip # 8 – Awareness & Education
A Retention Schedule is only as useful as it is applied. If you have taken the time to create one then make sure you use it. Regular education and awareness campaigns should be used to keep those who need to follow the schedule in the loop.
Retention Schedule Tip # 9 – Review Your Retention Schedule Often
A Retention Schedule is a living breathing document. As laws and regulations change and are updated so to should you retention schedule be updated. This way compliance will be easier and the chances of non-compliance risks will be reduced and you can have greater peace of mind.
Retention Schedule Tip #10 – Partner with a Records Management Specialist
Choosing the right records management partner will help ensure the smooth destruction of your outdated records as well as compliance with legislation. Choose a partner with a proven track record.
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