Records management risk is always present in an organization because it has the power to create chaos and put a company out of business. Records are not just documents that are stored in filing cabinets or file servers, they are anything that is recorded electronically or on paper. This means that all types of information such as emails, digital photos, video footage, voice recordings, and much more fall under this category.
Some of the top poor records management risks include lack of documentation, lack of storage space, high cost of storage space, limited information retrieval, failure to comply to rules and regulations, lack of visibility, limited information retrieval, and accidental deletion of records.
Poor record keeping is associated with challenges which aren’t planned for. It can lead to loss of data which is never good for any business. It also leads to higher costs, because the company will have to spend more on data recovery and backup.
The risk of poor records management is one that needs to be addressed in order to ensure the safety and continuity of data. Even though, there are no federal records management regulations, applying best practices related to records management can help decrease these risks.
Records management risk is the result of many different factors, the most important being inappropriate storage methods and poor record keeping. Records management policy can help an organization become more prepared for how they handle its information. Some companies use the Federal Records Act to help their records management risk.
The Act requires that organizations take specifically designated precautions to ensure the proper management of federal records over time. Specifically, if a document is to be kept, it must be housed in an approved file storage system and should be arranged in a specific order with each item clearly referenced. Furthermore, the document should be stored for at least six months. In addition, when a record is not required, no records must be kept, including email correspondence and other electronic communications.
What is the greatest risk of poor records management?
Poor records management or record keeping can result to a number of problems in the workplace including:
- The inability to find information when needed
- Complexity managing records lifecycle
- The inability to comply with regulations and laws
- Inability to have an efficient workflow
- The inability for employees to be productive
- Inability to follow the latest RM trends
Top 8 Records Management Risks
Records management is a complicated process that involves many stakeholders, such as legal, IT, HR, and finance departments. The risks of managing records are numerous, but it is important to be aware of the symptoms in order to avoid any potential issues and overcome related consequences.
Poor record management can lead to significant consequences. It can happen when records are not properly categorized, stored, or disposed of. Effective records management can lead to enormous benefits that organizations are in need to have.
There are many risks that come with poor records management. When records are not properly stored, they can get lost or destroyed, which will lead to the loss of important information and data. Poorly managed records also make it difficult for companies to comply with regulatory requirements and other legal obligations.
The top 8 records management risks are:
1- Lack of documentation
A lack of documentation can lead to gaps in information or a misinterpretation by the next person who has to work on the file. Documentation ensures that all relevant information about a document is available for future users. It also helps people who might be unfamiliar with the file find what they need more quickly.
Records management goals and objectives are used to improve documentation so that employees can complete tasks faster and overcome these symptoms.
2- Lack of storage space
Storage space is limited and expensive so companies often have to choose between which files to store. If a company has to choose between an important electronic file and a paper document, they will likely opt for the electronic file because it is easier to retrieve.
3- Lack of visibility
For those tasked with searching for records or who need them in the future, it can become difficult when large numbers of records are spread across various locations. This can be frustrating and is a concern for many businesses
Creating a records management policy should be able to increase records classification and visibility to better serve your customers and employees.
4- Lack of security
One of the most pivotal areas of the company that is often overlooked is the issue of security. If a company does not have a way to keep its data safe and secure, it will be forced to spend more money on shredding and deleting files that are no longer being utilized.
5- High cost of storage space
The high cost of storage space can be a major concern. If a company is not able to keep records secure and is not able to shred and delete files that are no longer in use, the costs will spiral out of control quickly.
6- Limited information retrieval
The risk of not being able to find records when they are needed can be catastrophic. It can lead to the failure of the organization and the inability to comply with a legal mandate.
When a company is unable to organize or find the information it needs, this can lead to inefficient work and wasted time.
7- Failure to comply with rules and regulations
One of the most critical records management risks and symptoms is compliance with regulations such as HIPAA or SOX. Poor record keeping will result in a breach of these regulations which could be disastrous for the company and its employees. The best way to avoid these risks is by following best practices when it comes to records management.
8- Accidental Deletion
Ensuring that records are not deleted accidentally or even on purpose. This can be done by automating the process of deleting records to make sure it doesn’t happen by accident.
To overcome this, proper records retention plans should be well defined and followed.
How to Prevent Poor Record Keeping from Happening in Your Organization?
Poor records management practices can lead to lost or corrupted records, which in turn can lead to a lot of serious issues. These symptoms can include identity theft, financial loss, and data breaches. And the effects of such risks are often not felt until much later on.
Here are some steps that you can take to prevent poor records management from happening in your organization:
1- Create a records retention schedule
2- Designate an individual as the records manager
3- Implement a file naming convention
5- Document all data storage devices
6- Develop a process of file destruction
7- Follow records management best practices
8- Understand records management challenges and plan to overcome them.
9- Create a clear RM implementation plan.
Conclusion: Making Good Record Keeping Habits Stick for Your Organization
Organizations today are facing a lot of challenges in terms of maintaining or lacking good record keeping habits. They are not able to maintain good records because it is time-consuming and tedious. This leads to a lot of problems and errors which can lead to serious consequences for the organization.
In order to make good record keeping habits stick for your organization, you need to start with the basics – a paperless office. You need to invest in new software that will help you automate your processes and reduce the time spent on paperwork. You should also invest in an online storage system that will help you store your records securely and access them easily when needed.
Remember, Poor record keeping and poor file system can destroy your company.