The functions of a modern office can be divided into two. They are basic functions and administrative management functions. These functions are common to every business unit whatever may be the nature of business. This article discusses some of the basic functions of modern office briefly.
Basic Functions of a Modern office
Basic functions are differed from administrative management functions. Basic functions may be termed as primary functions. Here, the primary or basic functions are presented below.
1. Receiving Information: The information may be received from within the organization or outside the organization. If information is received from various departments and executives of the organization, it is termed as information received within organization.
If information is received from outsiders say customers, government departments, share holders, suppliers, they are termed as information received from the outside organization.
2. Collecting Information: Collecting information is differing from receiving information. If an office gets information voluntarily, it is receiving information. If an office gets information after an enquiry or demands, it is collecting information. Enquiry or demands may be made through letters and/or telephone calls.
Managers or departmental executives can visit other offices to collect information. Information may be received or collected if it helps the management in taking decisions.
3. Recording Information: Both received and collected information should be properly recorded in suitable form. An office determines the form, number and nature of records to be maintained according to the needs. Some forms are specified in the respective statutes.
For example, Indian Companies Act requires the companies to maintain books and registers in a specified way.
4. Creating Records: The information should be converted into according to the needs and prepare financial and cost accounts, production details, sales particulars, man hours worked, price list and the like. These records are used as a reference library of the management.
5. Processing or Arranging Information: The received and collected information have to be arranged in a systematic way. If not so, there is no use of such received and collected information. Financial statements and statistical statements are examples of arranged information.
According to J.C. Denyer,
The basic functions of an office can be said to be receiving, recording, arranging (and analyzing) and the giving of information
6. Computation and Statistical Work: Calculations have to the made for preparing statistical charts and / or diagrams. Cost Sheet, Production Budget, Sales Budget, Purchase Budget, Master Budget, Fund Flow Statement and Cash Flow Statements are also prepared.
7. Analyzing Information: One has to analyze the information to find a truth. The hidden fact has to be highlighted through proper analysis. Reports are also drawn up out of analysis. Market analysis, Production Report, Financial Report and Employees Report are also prepared.
8. Maintenance of Records: Created records should be maintained in a proper way. The future reference will be very easy through proper maintenance of records.
9. Retention of Records: Records may be classified into two types i.e. necessary records and outdated records. The necessary records should be preserved under the control and supervision of office manager. The outdated records can be destroyed.
10. Communication of Information: The office supplies information from its records as and when required by management for taking decisions. The information may be supplied verbally or in writing. Normally, the urgent information is supplied verbally.
The validity of the information depends upon the promptness with which the office supplies information. The giving information should be precious, specific, accurate and complete. Irrelevant information should not be supplied to anybody.
According to Mills and Standing Ford,
The purpose of the office has been defined as the providing of a service of communication and record.