Filing system

Use this forum to discuss issues that are not found in any of the other clerk and stake technology specialist forums.
mjunk1
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Location: Sherrills Ford, NC, USA

Filing system

Postby mjunk1 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:28 am

Hi all, new to the site. Looks like a great resource.

We are trying to figure out what to do with the drawers of files we have inherited in our Ward. Seems like they have just grown organically over the years and now we are faced with a bunch of files and tabs that have no real logic or order to them at all.

Is there a consistent filing system that can be implemented and passed effectively from Bishopric to Bishopric? I would think the Church has some sort of template for how to set up your Ward files, but I haven't been able to find it yet.

Thanks for any suggestions.

nutterb
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Location: Shaker Heights, OH, USA

Postby nutterb » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:41 am

I use a lot of these folders. I keep a separate one each year for financial transaction reports, reconciliations, and expenses (actually, I keep one per half year with expenses). At the end of the year, I put these away with the old records in a bundle.

For tithing, I use a business envelope. I fold the batch reports into thirds, with the donation slips, deposit bag tear off, and the bank slip inside the reports. I then write the date, total amount, deposit bag number, and the names of those who processed the donation on the upper right corner of the envelope. I bundle them together with a rubber band by half year (for ease with the audit).

For membership records, the only thing I print out are the ordinance record forms. I usually look at what's coming up every month or so and print a form for any ordinance I anticipate has a remote chance of happening. I then put these forms of unperformed ordinances in a red folder in my filing cabinet. Then, when the bishop asks for it, I have it ready and waiting for his signatures. Completed forms I keep in a green folder. At the end of the year, I pull out anything that's more than a year old and shred anything that has been recorded. I have yet to find anything that wasn't recorded as I don't move anything out of the red folder into the green folder until I have confirmation that CHQ has recorded it.

mjunk1
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:22 am
Location: Sherrills Ford, NC, USA

Postby mjunk1 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:51 am

Thanks - I'll look into those folders. We do ok with the financial stuff, it is all the other stuff that I was looking for help with but wasn't very clear. Like disciplinary, food orders, letters from Salt Lake, mission plans, youth forms, etc, etc, etc. We have 2 drawers with files from different auxiliaries, from Bishop stuff, from pamphlets and old records, it just goes on and on. Seems like there would be a system to all this rather than just stuff.

nutterb
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Postby nutterb » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:44 am

mjunk1 wrote:Thanks - I'll look into those folders. We do ok with the financial stuff, it is all the other stuff that I was looking for help with but wasn't very clear. Like disciplinary, food orders, letters from Salt Lake, mission plans, youth forms, etc, etc, etc. We have 2 drawers with files from different auxiliaries, from Bishop stuff, from pamphlets and old records, it just goes on and on. Seems like there would be a system to all this rather than just stuff.


these are just my suggestions, and someone can offer more sage advice. I would welcome it as well.

  • disciplinary -- Check with CHQ and see if they have all of these records on file. If so, shred them.
  • food orders -- I treat them like financial records. I put them in a folder by year, and hide the old ones with the old financial records. Shred them when you shred that year's records.
  • letters from Salt Lake -- Scan them to pdfs, and store them on a flash drive. Shred the originals. In reality, you shouldn't need very many of these now that there's a new edition of the handbooks.
  • mission plans -- put them in your annual history this year. Keep a copy of your annual histories on your hard drive or a flash drive.
  • youth forms -- I'm not sure what forms these would be. Certificates? Permission slips? What are these exactly?
  • files from auxiliaries -- Give them to the auxiliaries and ask them to decide what to do with them.
  • Bishop stuff -- give it to the bishop and ask what he needs and what can be thrown out.
  • pamphlets -- go through the appendices in the new handbooks. Keep copies of anything that's referenced in the books, and dispose of anything else. If it isn't still available from store.lds.org, you won't miss it.
  • old records -- if Salt Lake has record of any membership record transactions, you don't really need the paper form any more. Request a full unit data refresh in MLS, compare any old records for people that are still in your unit, and make updates as necessary. Dispose of any records more than a year old. Keep the more recent ones in case something doesn't get transmitted from MLS to SLC. But once SLC has had it for a year, it's usually pretty safe.
My goal when I was called was to reduce the required filing cabinet space to just one cabinet. In reality, I could get away with three out of my four drawers. I use all four just to make it easier to find things.

As a general rule, I only keep what I'm required to by law, and what I can't afford to lose. But the clerk's office is not a library and not an archive.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:27 am

This was also discussed previously in this thread. You may want to read the suggestions given there as well.

A lot of the items may be old and could therefore be destroyed. See the retention policy posted here. Also, a thread discussing membership retention is here.

idjeeper2
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Postby idjeeper2 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:10 am

At the risk of sounding like Alan :D, the Wiki has a good article on records filing:

https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/Record_retention

In the second thread Crislapi suggested, it ended with you saying that you would try to find a Ward version of the retention guidelines. Did you ever find one? I know I have one in the clerk's office but not at hand now. If I can get the FM guys to fix the lock so I can open the door again, I'd be happy to scan and post it.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:32 am

Please do. I have not come across one.

From the Wiki article on the subject, it would appear all units should be receiving an updated version of this document with their orders.
The Church regularly updates the document titled Use and Retention of Records and Reports to reflect the latest retention guidelines. This document is shipped automatically with the annual curriculum order.

idjeeper2
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Postby idjeeper2 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:28 am

crislapi wrote:Please do. I have not come across one.


Done. Hope that helps someone out. I know when I inherited a file cabinet with 6+ years of files, it really helped weed out the junk. The shredder may never be the same. :)

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:10 am

idjeeper wrote:Done. Hope that helps someone out. I know when I inherited a file cabinet with 6+ years of files, it really helped weed out the junk. The shredder may never be the same. :)


Thanks for posting (it's on the Locating retention of records (Stake and Ward) form thread, for those who are interested). I'm going to try to see if we can get more up-to-date and official-looking copies posted on the wiki, but these are a helpful resource in the meantime.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.


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