Records management is a modern business program that embraces filing and is supplemented by the design and review of business forms and records. It is that area of office administration which is concerned with creation, presentation, and use and disposal of records.
According to Jane K Cruible “Records management refers to me activities designed to control the lifecycle of a record from its creation to its ultimate disposition. The functions of records management under these stages are discussed below.
1. Creation of Records: New forms and records should be developed only when their need is fully satisfied. The design of the forms should be given careful attention. Data should be recorded in the documents accurately and completely.
2. Storage of Records: The storage is concerned with the classification of records and then filing in the suitable filing equipment which is in the easily accessible location. Arrangement should also be made to protect the records against disaster or unauthorized use.
3. Retrieval of record: The records are store for further use. An efficient procedure must be established so that records may be retrieved and delivered in time. The utilization of records is greatly influenced by the mode of their creation.
4. Disposal of records: The last stage in the record cycle is the disposal stage which is concerned with preserving valuable documents and disposing the expired documents. A record retention schedule classifies records based on the time period and the requirement of the same.
The basic objective of records management as given by Leffingwell and Robinson are as follows:
1. To keep an Orderly Account of Progress: The purpose of writing down and preserving memoranda of transactions, (financial and other kinds) various documents, papers, correspondent etc, are to record the progress of the business. This may be referred to as historical function of records.
2. To Facilitate Comparison: Records facilitate comparison between one period of time and another, between different product lines and between firms operating in different lines of business. This analytical function of records play a vital role in today’s business.
3. To Detect Errors and Wastes: Errors and wastes can be known and controlled only with the help of proper records and management. Records management is a control function which facilitates the evolution of techniques for the elimination of errors and waste.
4. Legal Formalities: Certain records are to be kept for a specified period of time under the provisions of the various Acts. For instance, sales records have to be kept for several years under the sales Tax Act, receipts and payment vouchers and accounts books have to be kept for several years under the Income Tax Act and so on.
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