According to Neuner and Keeling, “Filing is the systematic arrangement and keeping of business correspondence and records so that they may be found and delivered when needed for future reference.” According to Zone K Quible filing is “One of the activities in the records management programme which involves systematically classifying, coding, arranging and placing of records in storage.” It is a form of record keeping.
It is the process of arranging and storing records so that they can be easily available when required. It is also the systematic arrangement and preservation of business correspondence in such a way that they can be found and used quickly whenever required for future reference. Proper filing is essential to handle a large number of papers and documents systematically.
In the words of George R. Terry, “Filing is the placing of documents and papers in acceptable containers according to some predetermined arrangement so that any of these when required, may be located quickly and conveniently.”
Importance of Filing: In the modern organisation the importance of filing has increased because of growing correspondence and documents. These cannot be preserved without proper arrangement. Previous letters and documents are necessary for reference. So a systematic preservation of various types of records is possible only by a good filing system.
Functions of Filing
Functions of filing system can be classified into:
1. Information function:
Records are protected and maintained to supply information.
2. Administrative function:
Files help the executive in framing business policies. For this previous records are maintained.
3. Library function:
The records are stored for future reference. Thus it performs the library function.
4. Historical function:
Files preserve important records of the progress of the business in a systematic manner. Thus it performs the historical function.
Proper arrangement of filing is necessary for a large number of papers and documents. In an office filing is an important activity. Records are maintained by the management for future planning. Records of correspondence with the suppliers and customers are necessary for reference in the future.
It provides documentary evidence in the event of any dispute. Good filing system is the preservation of various types of information for various purposes. Systematic filing system helps in taking prompt action and increases the efficiency of the organization. Correspondence can be handled carefully and quickly. Thus it increases the goodwill of the firm.
Advantages of Filing
An efficient filing system claims the following advantages:
1. Often customers refer to their past letters or orders by writing only the date and in such cases filing serves the purpose of ready reference.
2. When past records are maintained through a good filing system, they save time and also increase efficiency.
3. A proper filing system safeguards the documents against loss.
4. Old or past records serve as a reliable basis for future planning and action.
5. Past records are good evidence in case of disputes.
6. Certain documents have to be kept in order to fulfill legal obligations.
7. A proper control is facilitated. According to the importance of letters, they can be disposed of quickly.
Objects of Filing
1. It keeps the records, protects letters and documents.
2. It makes past records easily accessible.
3. It provides suitable storage function.
4. Proper filing leads to economy in space.
5. It improves the appearance of the office considerably.
6. It is less expensive and consumes less time to take out the records.