What is a Knowledge File?
Well there are many types of knowledge files and a number of them will probably be mentioned at various times on the blog, but today I am talking about ‘on the job knowledge’ and things that you learn from research, industry news and more experienced members of staff.
I have built up shelves of knowledge files which I have categorised based on the type of work I am doing (particularly if it is not something I do day to day and might need to refer back to in the future).
So if this is a long term practice – what prompted this post?
Last week I spent half an hour on the phone to HMRC being passed from department to department from helpline to helpline. I am not a tax expert or a tax advisor. I am not even great with numbers. However, understanding tax is ancillary yet important to my job and while most of it is standard I keep a file of handy information that I might need to refer to in the future, particularly if I might need to double check the wording or requirements of a particular tax relief for example. Last week I reorganised my tax file.
An example using my Tax File:
My tax file (which is of course an ongoing project) is currently set up in a lever arch file with the following sections:
- Contact Details (Helplines and Addresses)
- Standard Procedures (Guide for dummies)
- HMRC Guidance Printouts (which are then split into sub-categories)
- HMRC Forms and Checklists including worked examples
- Training Materials (and other advice)
- Copies of Research (for more complex points)
- News and Updates including online articles (to keep up to date)
- Company Procedures
- Legislation and other guidance (from other sources not HMRC)
- Historic Material (outdated updates)
The file provides easy reference when my boss or a client asks for more information and when I need to explore a tax point further in my day to day job. This file works for now, but I anticipate that I will need to expand so that I have different sections for different types of tax.
So yes, this type of file is specific to my job and what I do – but it makes a great and more importantly unique resource which makes my job so much easier as I don’t waste time checking the same point – and my boss knows he can ask.
Prompt: create knowledge files for your job.
Hopefully the prompt and the above example will be enough to get you started but if you love the idea of doing this properly why no check out our Knowledge File Action Plan which is available as part of our premium plan.