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#152: Engagement Record Keeping

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, October 13, 2009
You talked about creating a consulting engagement playbook to help fast track and align future projects. Does this mean you shouldn't keep engagement records?

On the contrary, you should keep engagement records, for several reasons. First, even after your current engagement ends, there may be a need to retrieve specific records of the project. These may be records from your client or your own interim or final work papers. Second, you may be called back to repeat, continue or expand this engagement, for which you can use these documents. Third, you may be required to retain records by your client. Alternatively, the terms of your engagement may require you to return or destroy certain documents, proprietary or otherwise. Your engagement documentation should also include your own notes on the engagement, as well as client comments/testimonials on your performance.

Tip: It is incumbent on professional service providers to retain records for legal reasons. If you are a defendant in a lawsuit (hopefully not by your client) or if you are a plaintiff related to the engagement, you may be requested to produce your records as evidence. This means both hard copy as well as electronic versions of documents spreadsheets, presentations and emails. For an introduction to some of the issues surrounding a lawyer's perspective on electronic discovery, see a recent article E-Discovery and Record Retention: When Two Worlds Collide.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  practice management  recordkeeping 

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