It is easier to perform office work with the help of safely and systematically preserved letters and documents. However, there is no one best system for filing which is appropriate to all types of office. A good filing system should possess som important qualities which have been explained below:
Compactness: The filing system should be compact. It should not occupy unnecessary space because it will help to minimize the expenditure for rent of the office.
Accessibility is fundamental to filing. In a good filing system, required letters and documents must be available in minimum labour and efforts. It should be available at the right time and place whenever needed.
Economy: In terms of cost of files and folders, tools, and equipment, a good filing system must be economical.It must be less expensive.
Simplicity: Filing must be simple to understand and easy to apply for all the employees. It must be easily understood and operated even by unskilled human resources.
Safety: A good filing system must ensure the safety and security of letters and documents from dust, insects, fire, moisture etc. . The preserved documents should be available in the original form a long period.
Flexibility: Filing should be flexible. It must have the capacity to expand with the needs of time.
Cross-reference: A good filing must provide for the cross-reference of records. When a record relates to two or more file heads, a cross-reference is given so that required record can be located quickly and easily.
Classification: A good filing system must have a proper system of classifying letters and documents. Files and documents should be arranged in proper classification ie. numerical, alphabetical, geographical, chronological methods etc. It should be classified on the basis of nature and volume of activities of the business.
Out-guides: A good filing system should use out guide cards which indicate the position from where and by whom the files have been taken out These out-guides clearly indicate which letter has been withdrawn and by whom.
Filing is an important function of an office. Following are the importance of filing:
Preservation of records:
The aim of filing is to preserve letters, documents, reports, vouchers, and written documents to preserve from damage or loss. Papers may be damaged by dust, insects, moisture, fire and mishandling . So, filing helps to preserve the documents from all possible damages.
Facility of ready reference:
Filing preserves the document for future reference which can be used easily whenever required. Those references will help to deal with firm and individual. It helps to obtain the information without loss of time in future.
Rapidity in performing office works:
An efficient office system can outshine its competitors when rapidly performs its works. It helps to perform te actions quickly. Thus, filing helps to perform office work smoothly.
To facilitate in planning and policy making:
Past records are important for future forecasting. And filing provides information which helps to formulate future plans and policies. Hence, filing facilitate in planning and policy effectively.
Filing provides proof of evidence to settle the misunderstanding and dispute among different persons and parties. It protects the documents and record which can be used as proof. Therefore, filing is important to provide such evidence.
Maintaining goodwill and building image:
Filing preserve the documents and record which can be located quickly when required helps to perform office work smoothly and provide better services to the customers, visitors and employees. Hence, filing system is essential to maintain such goodwill and image.
Following up: Filing encourage effective follow up with the parties like customers, visitors, debtors, bankers, share brokers, etc. The filing provides the ready reference of the past dealing and correspondence which creates an effective follow-up.