In computer science, a data structure is a data organisation, management, and storage format that enables efficient access and modification. It also involves the collection, compilation, establishment of a relationship, its characteristics functions and operation of the data. The definition seems to be difficult to understand, analyse, and implement as such remember the Files before the computer systems, we call it Files management in simple terms.
At that time, I use to instruct my staff if you don’t know in which file the paper to be kept better don’t file and keep the same in filing folder we maintain because then eighter the same will, be properly filed by the staff who understand in which file the same should go or if filed wrongly then we have to search 450 files at least to search the document or said paper. As such Filing is supposed to be a very important task and given to the person who is in the office for longer time. So, to my mind, the Data structure is the same File Management with wider functions attached to the data than a paper at that time.
Remember the setup of Data Structure in the Office must be done by either the boss himself or a senior partner or person and after the initial set up, he then must guide the other office staff about the set up established.
I started Set up for my office, my own laptop first.
The First Primary Data Structure of File management consists of listing out the total work, assignments undertaken by our office. The primary folders set up on my laptop are,
- Income Tax
- GST/PT other Taxes.
- Exclusive client A
- Receipt & Payment
- Unknown Folder.
I instructed my staff to open all the above folders in their respective desktop or Laptop. And transfer all other folders to the last folder Unknown folder.
The secondary Data Structure will be with in the above Main Primary structure. The same should be as follows.
1. Bank: The various folders namely BOM, BOB, OBC, SBI with each bank name for which we are carrying our various assignments.
2. Govt: The folders namely Co Name say X Ltd, Trust.
3. Income Tax: This folder contains various folders namely Advance Tax, A.Y.19-20, AY,20-21, AY.21-22, All AY before three years.
4. GST/PT Folder have two folder GST and PT.
5. Empanelment folder contain separate folder of CAG, MEF, CON-Audit, Stock Audit, Other.
6. Exclusive Client A have folders regarding their TDS Returns, GST, Returns, Income Tax, MCA, Internal Audit, Statutory Audit.
7. Receipt and Payment Details: This folder has sub folders like Telephone, Electricity, Salary, for payment vouchers and GST Bills issued, Bank Folder.
8. Firm have folders like Bank Statements, Employee Record, Partnership records, Income Tax. Each Partner Folder.
9. Reference Folder contain separate folder of GST, Income Tax, Audit, Company Law, Allied Law, and each folder contain all details of seminars, reference material pertaining to the said topic.
10. Unknown Folder have no sub folders all the records /Data, Excel word files which are not understood has been kept in this folder. The clearance of this folder is the task to be complete in the next two days of the completed week.
The Third Data Structure will be as under
1. Bank: BOM have folders like Con-Current Audit, Other assignments, Communication, & correspondence. The fourth Data Structure will be in Other assignment you have folders like Stock Audit, Reviews, Inspection/Visit Reports, Compliance.
2. Govt Folder of X Co Ltd contain folder of Appointment & Acceptance, Details, Reports, Interim reports, Final reports with DSC. Trust has sub folders like Charity Commissioner, Register of Soc, Audit Reports.
3. Income Tax data can be again classified as Co, Returns, Individual Returns, Rectification u/s154, Belated Returns, Defective Returns and from this year E-Campion and SFF Details.
4. GST Folder can be classified in sub–Folder Client 1, Client 2 the fourth data structure within the Client 1 will be GSTR 3B, GSTR3A, Annual Return. For PT can be classified as PT RC and PT EC
5. Empanelment folder may have two years data for reference, so you have CAG 20-21, CAG 21-22, and Other details and scan copies folder.
6. Exclusive Client Folder may contain folders for information received Information /files mailed.
7. Receipt and Payment Details Folder contain Out standing Bills for Receipts, outstanding payments, Budget, Follow up with customers.
8. Firm folder of Bank statements can have folder containing data of bank. Online payments receipts, Monthly statements & Balance Certificates.
9. Reference Folder of law can have sub folders Income Tax folder contain sub folder of Capital Gains, Tax Audit, ICAI Guidance notes.
10. Unknown folder have sub folder containing Unknown of Bank, Unknown of Tax, Other unknown.
The meeting of the staff was called, they have already done the First Data Structure on their respective PC/laptop. The Data structure established is discussed with them, their suggestions are accommodated, and they have thereafter instructed to structure the data as per the structure decided by the firm in writing. Now the backups of the data on the server or on HD will be easy and have contain the identified folder of all PC/Laptop.
We have also to decide the specific file format of store. The communication files should be in word format. Calculation Sheets should be in Excel. Presentations in Power Point as so on. The prescribed formats which are provided by the auditee like xlx. must be store in the same formats.
The flow chart of the Data Structure of the office should have clear drafted plan of the Data Structure set up for the organisation.
This Data Structure help the office in many ways as
1. In case the staff is absent, and I need some information, I know where the location of the same in all the PCV/Laptop in the office. Access time is reduced.
2. Whenever any staff start working on new file or folder, he has aware where to open and operate. Well decided structure helps in proper storage.
3. Back up are in the same manner, the earlier data can be search in short time.
4. The backup are stored in PC/Name wise but the Structure remains same.
5. Lastly Search stress is reduced for both staff as well as boss.
The above structure may differ from office to office the folder may change but the File management will be the same. The File structure is displayed in predominant place so that a newcomer also does not do mistake.
To establish the best data structure for the office, the first and foremost importance be given to structure the data of the boss PC/Laptop by himself. Once he establishes the rest will follow.
To the old mind like me Data Structure is nothing but a File Management of our time.
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