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THE BUSINESS OFFICE

Definition of an office
An office is a place, a room or a building where clerical activities of the business are carried out so as to provide control, direction and management of an enterprise.
IMPORTANCE OF THE BUSINESS OFFICE FOR MODERN COMMERCE
  1. Office is the concrete proof of the instance of a commercial enterprise.Commercial office and its branches are identified with the business they transact. In case of banking and insurance enterprises, office is the only visible embodiment of the business which is carried on”.

2.It is a place where plans for the business are prepared and policies are formed.A trading concern has to plan ahead its purchases, sales
campaigns, financial resources, etc keeping in mind the trends and tendencies in the markets. Specialized personnel are appointed to work out
the plans they prepare appropriate plans for the guidance of executive authorities in the office. On the basis of plans,the policies are framed by
the administrative heads of the office. These activities of the office are fundamental to the prosperity of the business.

3.It is through office that the administrative policies of the business are executed. Different departments are se up to put into effect the policies
decided earlier office is constituted by the operative group of executive personnel whose function is to implement the business plans and
policies laid down by the higher administrative authorities. Progress and prosperity of a business enterprise is preconditioned by effective
managerial control. This managerial control is exercised through office organization.

4.Correspondence which is a constructive force in modern business is one of the main functions of business office.Incoming letters are handled
through the medium of office. Incoming letters are forwarded to the concerned departments for prompt and suitable replies. Business office act
like the clearing house of correspondence.
5.Business office is storehouse of record.Incoming letters are filed for future reference. Similarly copies of outgoing letters are for the purpose of
records. Trading returns, financial materials are also filed for ready reference. Business office thus preserves records intact and makes them
available as and when required. Thus a modern office is the fountain- head of planning, control , co-ordination,communication and records.
BASIC FUNCTIONS OF AN OFFICE
The following are the basic functions of an office
  1. It receives information from internal and external sources.
The office informations are obtained by ways of letters, telephone orders invoices and reports of various activities of the firm from various sources.

2.Recording information.
The office keeps information in relevant records eg files, registers books and references required by law. Required information is essential for
management to make decisions when required.

3.Preparing and arranging information.
Preparing such information as invoices, statistical statements, balance sheet, reports and visual and aids like graphs, pie chart etc.Information is
arranged in such a way it is useful to the management.

4.Protecting records.
The office through different departments should keep and protecting its records for benefit of the firm or an organization. Information is secured
for confidential purposes eg from competitors.

5.Communication.
The information received or prepared in the office is communicated to the relevant parties concerned verbally or in writing to such matters as
orders for materials to suppliers, estimates to customers and instructions to departments issued on behalf of the management.
Large organizations are divided into various departments such as office, production, purchase, sales, finance, personnel etc. It is the office which is concerned with receiving, recording, arranging, analyzing and giving of information. All the departments depend upon the office for various information needs. The office serves as the co-coordinating link in any organization. For coordinating the activities of different departments in an organization, office has to keep relations with each and every department E.g. orders for raw materials, sales complaints, appointments e.t.c are passed through office only office needs information of many kinds from different functional departments for framing general policies office supplies information needed in performing the functions of production, sales, personnel etc and collects information from these departments for general policy framing and co-ordination.
EcoleBooks | COMMERCE A LEVEL(FORM SIX) NOTES - THE BUSINESS OFFICE
Office manager aims at getting the work done in the office at the lowest possible cost through proper selection and training cost through proper selection and raining of staff. Office staff work efficiently if they are properly accommodated. Employees have to spend long hours in the office. Bad and insuf
ficient accommodation can course boredom, monotony and frustration among them which will affect their efficiency among them which will affect their efficiency adversely. Suitable accommodation, modern adversely. Suitable accommodation, modern equipment and proper working conditions are important factors in improving efficiency and reducing costs. The office people can work well when there is a good and pleasing atmosphere in the office, because the clerks who are engaged in the office, use their mind and brain in the work. Concentration of mind is an essential point. Therefore the important factor of office management is to provide proper and adequate office facilities to the staff so as to get maximum results.
EcoleBooks | COMMERCE A LEVEL(FORM SIX) NOTES - THE BUSINESS OFFICE


The office should be quite airy fresh air will reduce fatigue and remove the irritable feelings of the clerks. Low height of the office, small or few windows, opening to a narrow courtyard etc, obstruct the flow of air through the office. If the office has no fee flow of air, particularly in summer, workers get tired and in rainy season they feel drowsy. These will lead to low efficiency of the clerks. Artificial circulation of too cool or hot air will also cause irritation of the workers adequate, clean and fresh air at the required temperature can help the clerks to do their work smoothly. Air conditioner can be used but it is expensive to install and maintain them. If natural and fresh air is not freely moving “fans, exhaust fans, filters e.t.c may be used to draw natural ir duly filtered. This is less expensive.
Interior decorations means pleasant coloring of doors, windows and walls. The main aim of interior decoration is to make stimulates better performance on the part of staff and creates a better impression on the minds of visitors. The colour used on the walls must be of pleasing nature walls of the office should be in light colour dark colours includes design of furnishings, floor coverings etc. pleasant colouring and good furnishings will create cheerfulness in the minds of workers. Furnishings ( curtains, chairs, table and sofa covers and floor mattresses etc) should also be of pleasing colour. They have a protective as well as decorative value. For example, curtains not only decorate a door or window but also prevent glare and sunshine coming into a room directly on the table of the office worker.
EcoleBooks | COMMERCE A LEVEL(FORM SIX) NOTES - THE BUSINESS OFFICE
It is a combination of the alphabetical system and numerical system. In this system and numerical system. In this system each letter or
sub-letter is given its own number and an index card is placed behind the guide card for each alphabetical section.The names and numbers of all
the folders are mentioned in a numerical order behind each card. The coloured guide cards are used to sub-divide for folders into groups to
facilitate their speedy location. The names and numbers of all the folders are mentioned in a numerical order h=behind each card. The coloured
guide cards are used to sub-divide for folders into groups to facilitate their speedy location for instance, all files are arranged alphabetically and
the first group is Aa- Ag. The folder of ABC firm, Agra book stores are first and second in order within this group; the first folder will bear the
number A/1 and the second folder will bear the number A/2
and so on.
4.Card index
This is another method of preparing index. The index is prepared in cards, each card is allotted for one information e.g. customers, firms, etc.
the details of the reference are shown on cards. Cards of equal and uniform size are used. The cards may be of different colours of getting a
good appearance or for distinguishing one group of cards from another. The card bears the number of file and the names of references along
with particulars. The cards are placed in drawers, which are specially made for them. The cards are arranged in the dictionary order. E.g. if the
file of Rama medical is to be taken of, first we have to look for the card, in the index drawer under Ra section indicated by the guide card, Ra.
After a look at the index, the file number of Rama medicals can be known. Then find out the file from the filing cabinet.The cards are kept in
drawers. A rod is put through them to hold the cards. So the chance of misplacement is reduced. The cards may be placed clerically or
horizontally.

In office the filing department should transfer the inactive files into the central room but when the paper has become dead, it should be
destroyed according to the instructions of the officer responsible for retention of records.


EcoleBooks | COMMERCE A LEVEL(FORM SIX) NOTES - THE BUSINESS OFFICE

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