Filing is a form of record keeping in files for future reference. It provides a means of preservation of business records for reference at a future date. The processes of arranging and storing records so that they can be located when required. The routine which helps in smooth handling of files is called filing routine. Thus, the systematic arrangement made for handling of file is termed as filing routine. A filing routine consists of receiving paper and documents and placing them in files and issuing files for use and future reference.
Steps of routine
Filing routine which is primarily meant to receive letters, put them in files and issue files for future reference consists of the following steps. These are-the steps involved in storing and use of files.
(a) Order to file—Responsible officer issues necessary order to file records. On the receipt of such order the filing clerk is authorized to perform necessary work on filing.
(b) Classification and grouping—The papers and documents received by filing section are classified on the basis of the system adopted by the organization. The heading of the file should be clear to avoid confusion. The function of classification should be done by a trained filing clerk to avoid misfiling.
(c) Indexing—A code mark on the paper is given to indicate a particular heading which is helpful for preparing an index of records. Proper index to file is attached for easy location of letters at the time of reference.
(d) Cross reference-Certain documents are required by more than one file and in such a case a cross-reference card is attached on the file indicating that it has been transferred to some other file. Instead of this, a number of copies of such records are kept in different files.
(e) Attaching a tickler—The documents which require further processing are called follow-up-actions. A follow up file b maintained to facilitate follow-up action on these letters. To facilitate follow-up action a tickler or follow-up slips are used.
(f) Sorting in files — After the above steps are maintained papers are filed hi chronological order to facilitate easy indexing of letters.
(g) Issue of files—When a file is needed by an officer he sends a requisition note. The filing clerk prepare out guide card which indicates the where about the file. The file is issued to the concerned office after preparation of out guide cards by the’ filing clerk.
(h) Disposal of dead files—The existence of dead or obsolete files are no longer required by the firm and these are destroyed. The officer should give instruction for destruction and he should be present at the time of destruction of records.
(i) Microfilming—Some vital records are retained for a great long time. These are retained by microfilming the documents.