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Records Survey and Inventory Analysis
The purpose of the records inventory is to develop and maintain an Information Management Policy for the Records Management Program. The data captured from the survey and inventory help identify records and non-records, document the location of records, and aid in categorizing and managing the records life cycle. Surveys and an onsite physical inventory were performed to gather basic information regarding the quantity, physical form, document type, location, storage facilities, rate of accumulation, uses and similar metadata about the records of Decker, Hubbard and Brown.
The objectives of a records survey include:
Determine the source of content types, metadata, and purpose. Organize content for easy access and use in document management software. Clean up network file shares and free storage space. Identify records ready for disposal.
Identify important records that need to be retained. Determine the procedures, costs and requirements for improving the records program. Decker, Hubbard and Brown would like to improve the accessibility and management of the corporate records program for the entire organization. For the purposes of this analysis and report, a physical inventory and survey of the Accounting documents was performed for paper and electronic documents.
The financial records of Decker, Hubbard and Brown make up the largest volume of documents within the organization and have the most audit and regulatory restrictions. A pre-inventory survey was sent to the Business Unit Manager and followed up with a physical inventory of the identified document repositories. The accounting department governs the company's day-by-day fiscal functions and activities. The majority of the records generated in Finance are accounting records, such as invoices, purchase orders and supporting documentation.
Financial records that should be considered for retention and life cycle management include policy and spending guidelines, accounts payable, accounts receivable, audit reports, finical statements, and the documents that are the records of activities or transactions of the business.
The attached Exhibit A - Records Inventory Worksheet for the detailed data of the Accounting Department volume and activities. Electronic Documents Stored in a Digital Format.
Forecast Storage Estimates
From the storage estimates, the following conversion table was used:
Description Measurement Volume Unit Linear Foot One foot (loose) 1760 Paper Linear Inch One inch (tight) 180 Paper Banker Box 10" tall x 12" wide x 15" long 2200 Paper Vertical File Cabinet Drawer One 24" drawer 3520 Paper Lateral file cabinet Drawer One 36" drawer 5280 Paper Scan Image (300 DPI) 50k 1 Bi-tonal Image. Decker, Hubbard and Brown's accounting department has approximately 1,587,520 pages of paper documents stored in boxes, file cabinets, and on shelves. There are also an estimated 340,900 electronic files in network shares and existing application software. From the inventory, it can be noted that approximately 45% of the electronic documents were duplicates or working documents with no value to maintain.
The volume and access of electronic documents are growing at a faster rate than the physical documents, and it should be anticipated that the electronic documents for the Accounting Department may increase at a rate of 35% to 40% a year.
Assessment of Records Management Governance
The location of paper and electronic documents are decentralized and there are multiple document stores throughout the organization. Decker, Hubbard and Brown does not formally assign responsibilities for managing records or provide training programs for management and users. Decker, Hubbard and Brown has a records and information management policy but it is outdated and needs to be reviewed and enforced, or embraced by the business unit or community overall.
Access and Security
Access and security are managed through password accounts in active directories and there are both unrestricted and limited access to shared drives. Access to paper documents is controlled through locked cabinets and rooms.
Business units and access to content should be grouped as:
Users with restricted view who can only access specified content types of documents. Users who can view and edit content types. Users with full control, ownership, and creation or authoring capabilities.
Document Sets, Content Types, and Metadata. The classification of categories and metadata associated with records should be automatically captured or inherited in a standardized method. The following is an example of a plan for financial management. See Exhibit B Metadata Model.
Salary records Record Activities / Content Type. Identify Vital Records and Management. Records categories or content types that need to be records managed for archival and disposition purposes will be noted in the File Plan document. Metadata such as Cutoff Date and records categories will identify the retention of a specific series of records and provide the trigger for records management events to manage the records lifecycle.
From the data gathered in the inventory and survey, the key functions and processes that result in the creation of records come from the Finance and Accounting department. This department also has high risk records for litigation and regulations, and therefore is a candidate for moving forward with a pilot project for the first phase of the records management program. Policies and procedures will need to be updated and a committee formed to oversee the governance and change management moving forward.