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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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The following article is a primer for non-lawyers in your company on how to audit corporate records to evaluate the knowledge that they contain as one of the first steps in setting up, revising, and maintaining an effective records management program. Because business people in your company may be more conscious now about records management issues, such as retention and destruction policies and schedules, since Enron and Andersen and other recent news-making events, the article explains the importance of going way beyond the outer concerns of what media to use for storage and how long to keep various records. The article explains the importance of delving into the content of the records and asking the right questions about why the company would want or need to keep the records and how the company could use those records to prove its worth in ways perhaps previously not considered. The article also outlines the critical fundamentals of performing a corporate records audit and offers practical suggestions and materials for completing a records audit. The article is certainly not a substitute for personal advice from in-house counsel geared to the particular records at hand, but should help lay the groundwork for discussions.

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The information in any resource collected in this virtual library should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts and should not be considered representative of the views of its authors, its sponsors, and/or ACC. These resources are not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended to serve as a tool providing practical advice and references for the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.
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