File purging should be an on-going task. Staff should be trained that each time a file is opened; it should be reviewed for possible purging of outdated or unnecessary information. Without this procedure in place, files can become huge and unwieldy, making them difficult to handle (pulling in and out of the file drawer). This also wastes time and adds frustration to who is unlucky enough to handle such a file.

Finally, setting up paperwork and mail handling procedures, writing them down in a procedures handbook and making them available to staff has the added benefit of allowing anyone in your office to operate the procedures. In the event of employee illness or turnover of staff, training on these procedures is effortless and provides a more efficient and more profitable practice.

David Lawrence has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services profession and is the current president of the Financial Planning Association of Tampa Bay.

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