An efficient filing system should have the following essentials:

1. Simplicity:

It must be simple in operations, so that every staff of the office can easily understand the filing system. The filing system should not be over elaborated or complicated. But it should not be sacrificed for sake of simplicity.

2. Suitability:


The filing system should be completely applicable to the firm concerned, and suit the nature and requirements of the business for which it is introduced.

3. Adaptability:

The system must be adaptable to the changes that occur in business. For example, a book dealer, in course of time, starts publishing books. In such a case the original filing system cannot be overthrown to adopt a new system. The existing system must have room for expansion in its newer form; otherwise it will be a waste.

Modern tendency of business is that it grows from time to time and accepts a new and complex form by carrying many transactions or opening new branches or creating new departments. Therefore an easy system is to be adapted to the needs of a growing trade.


4. Economy:

Cheap system of filing is to be adopted. The cost incurred by the system must be proportionate to the results obtained. The desired result must be obtained by using minimum finance, time, clerks, etc.

5. Protection (Safety):

The filed documents must be available to the person, who needs them. They are easily available when they are filed properly and securely. Documents should not be damaged by dust, insects, thefts, mishandling, fire, rain etc. Certain documents have to be kept for a longer time or for the life-time of the concern. They must be housed in suitable equipment.


6. Less Space:

Economy of space is of great importance in all concerns, because of high rent. So it is necessary to see that the system requires minimum floor space. For this, dead papers can be removed; older files which are not at all needed should also be removed. A regular removal of such documents and files can save space.

7. Accessibility:

The files should be so arranged that the required letter or document for reference be picked up without loss of time. Of course it is possible through a good index system.


8. Cross Reference:

When the same letter is to be kept in more than one file, a cross reference should be filed in other file. It enables the filing clerk to know that the cross reference letter is in a certain file. That is the most relevant file housing the letter and a cross reference in sheet or card is placed in the appropriate place in others files (unimportant files).

9. Co-ordination and Control:

A good practicable system of filing cannot be separated from the whole problem of an organisation. Different departments may be there under an organisation. A good system of filing must permit constant co-ordination among all departments and to have an effective control over the organisation.


10. The Guide:

Whenever a file or document is taken out, an indicator should be placed at the same place, if possible with the signature of the recipient, to show the file or document has been removed. When it is returned, the indicator will be removed.

11. Flexibility:

If there is any expansion of work in the business concern, then the filing system can be expanded. So it must be flexible.