Filing System Part 3

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As a primary source of information, all office records need to be preserved for future reference. Filing serves the purpose of preserving records in all offices. Documents and papers are filed and made available on requirement. Filing is the process of organising the correspondence and records in a proper sequence so that they can be easily located. The term filing may be defined as the process of arranging and storing original records or copies of them, so that they can be readily located when required. It involves placing of documents and papers in acceptable containers according to some predetermined arrangement so that any document may be located quickly and conveniently when required.

Objectives of Filing

The major objectives of filing process are to ensure proper arrangement, careful storing and easy availability of records. An efficient filing system is expected to have the following objectives:

Objectives of Filing

Objectives of Filing

Objectives of Filing

Functions of Filing System

The functions of a filing system are as follows:

  • Classification of documents on a pre-determined basis.

  • Filing of letters and other documents after action taken in cardboard file covers or folders.

  • Preservation of file covers or folders in cabinets fitted with drawers.

  • Issue of files on requisition by any department.

  • Transfer of papers no longer in current use from the existing files to separate folders or box files at regular intervals for possible future use.

  • Disposal of old papers and records when these are no longer useful.

Classification of Filing

Classification of documents is necessary to ensure prompt availability of records. Classification is the process of selecting headings under which records and documents are grouped on the basis of common characteristics before filing. For example, letters may be classified on the basis of the subject of correspondence. The main systems of classification of files in an office are:

Classification of Filing

Classification of Filing

Classification of Filing

Alphabetical Classification

According to alphabetical classification, letters from different parties or relating to various subjects are arranged and put in different file covers on the basis of the first alphabet with which the name of the party or subject begins. The first alphabet of the name or surname or the subject is the preliminary guide to the position of the file. For example, all papers pertaining to Atma Ram & Sons may be filed in a folder marked ‘A’ or ‘At’. Within each file, papers are arranged date-wise.

Numerical Classification

Under this system, files are arranged numerically, each correspondence or subject being allotted a number. The files are placed in a numerical order in the drawers. For example, a customer, D.K. Sharma, may be allotted No.25 so that all papers relating to him may be found in folder no. 25.

Geographical Classification

In the geographical classification method, correspondence is classified according to geographical areas, regions or states. Files may be marked zone-wise i.e. North, South, East or West, or State-wise, or city wise. All correspondence relating to a particular area are kept in one file. These files may then be arranged alphabetically like Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa etc.

Subject Classification

Under this system, papers are grouped according to the subject. The subjects are filed in alphabetical order e.g., Accounts, Audit, Bills, Bonus etc. This method is particularly suitable when the subject is of greater importance than the name or location of the correspondent.