This chapter covers the best practices that can be used to create a more efficient filing system for an accounting department. Though this may seem like such an easy topic that it does not warrant its own chapter, there are actually many steps that a progressive accounting staff can take to greatly enhance the efficiency of its filing work.
This chapter does not focus on doing a better job of filing documents. On the contrary, filing is a totally nonvalue-added activity, so the focus here is on finding ways to completely avoid filing. This can be done through a variety of approaches, including an increased use of electronic documents, standard procedures for destroying old documents, and keeping paper from being used in the first place. All of these document prevention techniques are designed to keep paper from ever reaching the filing staff, thereby allowing a company to reduce the clerical work associated with filing, while also reducing the amount of space needed to store documents. These major benefits deserve a separate chapter, no matter how minor the subject matter may at first appear to be.