Our top 5 – Why recordkeeping is awesome! June 8, 2012

June 9 is International Archives Day and together with our blog sisters at Archives Outside, Future Proof is celebrating! Go and check out Archives Outside’s Archives are Awesome post while here at Future Proof we are celebrating all things recordkeeping.

Here are our top 5 reasons why we think recordkeeping is awesome.

Number 1: Good recordkeeping promotes efficiency

My dear, never confuse efficiency with a liver complaint. (George Banks to Mrs Banks, Mary Poppins, 1964)

The financial crisis means that everyone is scrambling to do business more efficiently. Good recordkeeping can promote efficiency by reducing the time you take to search for and access information you need.

It also means your organisation doesn’t have to waste precious resources and time managing information it doesn’t need.


Number 2: Good recordkeeping supports better decision making and reuse of information

The most valuable commodity I know of is information. (Gordon Gekko, Wall Street, 1987)

Having the right information means that you can make informed decisions and, in the end, conduct better business.

It is true when they say ‘knowledge is power’. You could also argue ‘knowledge is money.’

If you are able to access the right information when you need it or to reuse existing corporate information in new and innovative ways, you can have a competitive edge. Remember Google’s and Apple’s business models are based on the better management, use and distribution of information. And look what they’ve achieved!



Number 3: Good recordkeeping supports accountability

All these documents are yours. The people’s property, you pay for it! (JFK, 1991)

Good recordkeeping protects you and your organisation

In the course of your work you make decisions and take actions all the time. If you document these the records become your proof that you have done the right thing, and your protection if you are questioned or challenged.

If there are good recordkeeping systems in place, records can not only protect staff but also to support your organisation in legal or other challenges. They also protect the rights of your clients and ensure they have what they are entitled to.

Good recordkeeping can also help you to comply with a range of legislation and prevent legal challenges in the first place!



Number 4: Good recordkeeping adds value to your business

Sean Parker: You don’t even know what the thing is yet. How big it can get, how far it can go. This is no time to take your chips down. A million dollars isn’t cool, you know what’s cool?

Eduardo Saverin: [Sarcastically] You?

Eduardo Saverin: [the scene shifts back to the deposition room] A billion dollars. (The Social Network, 2010)

Good recordkeeping can add value to your business. The key is to not think of recordkeeping as a back end process. In this rapidly evolving digital world, it is a front end tool.

By deploying recordkeeping knowledge, records managers can help resolve data management challenges and plan up front how your organisation should use, store and manage information. Their skills can also help to build recordkeeping into business systems so your organisation has the evidence and information it needs and does not waste resources on information it no longer needs.




Number 5: Good recordkeeping mitigates risks to your organisation

Homer Simpson: ‘It’s everybody’s fault but mine!’

Records are a core business asset and you need them for business now and in the future. If they are not useable and accessible for as long as you need them, you could be putting your organisation at considerable risk. Take, for example, the difficulty of managing the maintenance or a bridge or road over time if the records of construction are not maintained.

Now records are not only pieces of paper, but wikis, web pages, spatial information, 3D engineering drawings, databases, business applications, apps, stuff in the cloud etc etc etc there are new challenges to their management, and a new level of risk for organisations. Good recordkeeping is essential to mitigate these risks.


Do you have some ideas of your own about why recordkeeping is awesome? Please tell us!

And happy International Archives Day!!


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