What is Records Management | Best System for Record Management

October 6, 2019

A record is a document or content that an organization needs to keep as evidence for important transactions, activities, or business decisions for regulatory, compliance and governance purposes. Not all documents are records. Only a subset of documents that an organization needs to preserve as evidence are called records. What is Records Management? The ISO […]

A record is a document or content that an organization needs to keep as evidence for important transactions, activities, or business decisions for regulatory, compliance and governance purposes. Not all documents are records. Only a subset of documents that an organization needs to preserve as evidence are called records.

What is Records Management?

The ISO 15489-1: 2016 standard defines records management as "the field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use, and disposition of records, including the processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records"

What is a Records Retention Schedule?

A records retention schedule is a document that identifies and describes an organization’s records and the lengths of time that each type of record must be retained. To give an idea, the following section shows the general record-keeping requirements of Texas State for statutory purposes. Every organization can have its own set of record-keeping requirements and records retention schedules, which are dictated by industry and government compliance requirements.

Wage and hour laws (FLSA)

While some payroll records need to be kept for only two years, most must be kept for at least three years under federal law (FLSA); to be safe, retain all payroll records for at least three years after the date of the last payroll check.

Unemployment compensation

Keep all records relating to employees' wages and other compensation, as well as all unemployment tax records, for at least four years.

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

Keep all payroll, benefit, and leave-related documentation for at least three years after the conclusion of the leave event.

I-9 records

Keep all I-9 records for at least three years following the date of hire, or for one year following the employee's date of last work, whichever point is reached last.

New Hire reporting

Report all new hire information within 20 days of hire.

Hiring documentation

Under EEOC rules, all records relating to the hiring process must be kept for at least one year following the date the employee was hired for the position in question; if a claim or lawsuit is filed, the records must be kept while the action is pending.

Disability-related records (ADA)

Keep all ADA-related accommodation documentation for at least one year following the date the document was created or the personnel action was taken, whichever comes last.

Benefit-related information (ERISA and HIPAA)

Generally, keep ERISA- and HIPAA-related documents for at least six years following the creation of the documents.

Age-discrimination documentation (ADEA)

Keep payroll records for at least three years, and any other documents relating to personnel actions for at least one year, or during the pendency of a claim or lawsuit.

OSHA records

Keep OSHA-related records for at least five years.

Hazardous materials records

Keep these for at least thirty years following the date of an employee's separation from employment, due to the long latency period for some types of illnesses caused by exposure to hazardous materials.

State discrimination laws

Keep all personnel records for at least one year following an employee's last day of work.

IRS payroll tax-related records

Keep these records for at least four years following the period covered by the records.


In the financial industry, Registered broker-dealers are subject to a variety of record-keeping requirements enforced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and self-regulatory agencies such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). SEA Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4 specify minimum requirements with respect to the records that broker-dealers must make, how long those records and other documents relating to a broker-dealer’s business must be kept and in what format they may be kept. FileCloud's Financial Services Compliance white paper shows the retention periods of various records that Registered broker-dealers need to preserve as per FINRA rules.

How can FileCloud help you manage your enterprise records?

FileCloud offers powerful records management and governance features that allow organizations to create flexible retention and archival policies to meet any compliance requirements. The following screenshots show how one can create retention schedules for different types of records.

Retention Policies


Create Retention Policies

digital workspace

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is records management?

Record management is the management of records or information in a way that all your organization’s data becomes organized, centralized, and easy to access. The process of record management starts when information is either created or received and lasts till the time it can be disposed of or discarded.

What is the purpose of record management?

Record Management is mainly required for audit trail. Records management offers a variety of asset-management benefits: protection (e.g., of privacy, data ownership, intellectual property); monitoring (e.g., auditing, due diligence, compliance); maintenance (e.g., storage, preservation, retention according to policy); documenting (e.g., past decisions and actions).

What is a record in record management?

Records Management is the control of paper/digital assets that are used for backup and references. Records are a subset of Information management! A library can be considered as records management even though it provides information. Records are handled by relevant departments and are available only to that departments.

What is involved in records management?

The records management process consists of identifying, classifying, and storing records, as well as controlling access to records. The process can also implement policies and practices on how to create and approve records. Lastly, the records management process can manage enforcement of those policies and practices.

What are the two types of records?

The two major types of records are physical records and electronic records. Physical records indicate paper documents that can be touched and take up physical space. Electronic or digital records are generated with and used by information technology devices. They use up digital space in the form of bytes.

What are common records?

Common Records with respect to law mean all the records related to the business, such as the ownership of the Seller deed, the Purchased Assets, or the Liabilities, and it shall also include financial and tax records related to the business prior to the operation of the business.

What are examples of records?

Every business makes policies for records management. Records are protected by rules made by each company. Protected from competitors, from government agencies, from anyone who has no business getting their hands on private documents. In the e- business world this clarification is called "business confidential".

What is the difference between a form and a record?

A form is a document that asks for specific information, with options for answers or blank spaces that can be filled in. Forms do not need to be strictly controlled. A completed form on the other hand would be considered a record and should be protected against tampering.

At what point does a document become a record?

A record is a document created or received by an organization in connection with business transactions. It can also be used to comply with legal requirements. The medium or type of record does not impact the classification of a record. It can be on paper or even digital.

Where do records management obligations come from?

Records management obligations often come through government or industry requirements and processes, which reflect public safety, data sovereignty, or other concerns. Therefore, records management is an integral part of your information governance strategy. Monitoring the authenticity and availability of records within the IT architecture can help your organization stay secure.

What does records management mean in business terms?

Records management covers all moments between when data is available in the system until the time it is destroyed. In essence, the records management system follows the life cycle of data. It also includes replication of written materials, forms, filing records, microfilms, retention, and related services.

Do Sharepoint servers have records management features?

Sharepoint launched Unified Labels, which include records management features such as identifying document management roles, analyzing document usage, planning content types and workflows, and establishing policies. SharePoint Online can also be programmed to manage a complete information governance life cycle to meet business, legal, and regulatory rules.

Why is records management important for organizations?

Business records are operational and sometimes planned assets. They have economic, legal, fiscal, risk management, and competitive standards with which to comply. Records management systems also save time in when certain documents need to be located. Often governance and legislation require document management to be maintained at a specified standard.

By Team FileCloud