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This guide deals with record keeping about people and things. The temptation is to refer to these as "non-financial" records, but they do relate to financial considerations either directly or indirectly.
There are many reasons to maintain accurate, reliable personnel records. Of obvious importance is the maintenance of payroll-related records to use in computation of employees' pay and withholding and employer obligations (when required), and various income tax and other withholding deductions. Personnel records are also needed for potential workers' compensation or unemployment claims; employee appraisal, promotion, or dismissal actions; and insurance information.
Personnel records can be classified in four ways: present, recent past, past, and future. Categories commonly used for personnel records are: pay related, performance related, developmental, other personnel actions, and non-confidential medical records.
There are several ways that personnel files can be maintained and stored, but the simplest is in individual employee records which are divided by the five main categories and kept in alphabetical order by employees' names. All present employees' files would be stored in a present section and past employees' files in a recent past section. This allows easy access for answering questions which often arise during the first several months following termination of employment. A past file would be maintained in storage in order to provide information that may be needed less frequently. A future section can be maintained in one of two ways: 1) a separate section in the rear of each current employee's file, or 2) a separate file for each employee for future required action.
Personnel record policies must be established and administered fairly and in compliance with the law. Check with an attorney to be sure that your policies are in compliance with all regulations.
It is important to note that when personnel records are maintained correctly, the chances of becoming involved in legal actions relating to hiring, supervision, or dismissal of employees decrease. Employee management decisions can be made based on accurate information that reduces both conflict and costs.
As a small business grows and the need for additional employees becomes evident, the first step in the personnel process is the development of a job description. A job description clarifies the duties and responsibilities of the person employed in a particular position and aids in identifying the skills an individual needs to perform the job, serves as a basis for evaluation of an employee's performance, and clarifies organizational interaction by specifying reporting relationships. Here is a sample job description:
Function of Job
Under general supervision of a designated supervisor, but with some independence, to perform duties as an accounts receivable bookkeeper.
1. Responsible for all cash receipts and deposits:
a. Prepare bank deposits daily.
b. Maintain cash receipts ledger.
2. Responsible for the maintenance of records on all memberships:
a. Issue billings and notices to members.
b. Post all receipts to permanent membership records.
c. Inform membership office of payments and balance membership records to cash receipts monthly.
3. Reconcile all bank account