Written office procedures help business run smoothly and more efficiently. Basic procedures outline the front-office practices: the procedures, who performs them and what is done. Offices have guidelines for personnel management, cash deposits, incoming and outgoing mail, correspondence and reimbursements.

Handling the Daily Mail (Receptionist)

The incoming mail is opened and contents are date-stamped. Checks are placed in the "To Deposit" bin. Mail is sorted by recipient and placed in the person's mail bin.

He prepares the bank deposit and makes copies of the checks received. Attachments are stapled to the check copies. He delivers the checks and deposit slip copies and attachments to accounts receivable.

Outgoing mail is postmarked and taken to the post office each evening.

Phone Procedures

Answer the phone by the third ring. The standard greeting is "Good morning, ABC Company, John speaking. How can I help you?" Respond "Just a moment" and place the caller on hold.

Check the office calendar for absent employees. If absent, tell the caller, and ask whether someone else can help. If the person is in, announce the caller and forward the call. If the line is busy, tell the caller, and offer voice mail or a written message.

Messages include the caller's name, time and date, reason for the call, and call-back number. Put the message into the recipient's mail slot.

Managing Office Supplies (Secretary)

Standard supplies are inventoried and ordered monthly. The office calendar is checked for scheduled mailings and any supplies needed. She prepares the office supply order form and the office manager authorizes it before it is placed.

For nonstandard supplies, complete a supplies request form and submit to the secretary.

Maintaining the Office Calendar (Secretary)

She has responsibility for the office calendar. When scheduling a meeting, check the calendar for conflicts, and send the request to the secretary.

Monthly mailings for customers, marketing and promotion are entered on the office calendar. Employees responsible for these can email the dates to the secretary.

Email travel dates, employee absences and vacations to the secretary.

Travel Reimbursements, Check Requests and Credit Cards

Travel reimbursements are processed weekly. Use the approved travel form. Enter the expense date, type of expense and reason for the expense. Attach readable receipts for the expenses. No amounts are reimbursed without a receipt.

Use the approved check request form for irregular checks. Complete the payee information, the date needed, check amount and the reason sections. Obtain approval from a manager or the accountant.

Credit cards are processed monthly. A receipt is needed for each purchase. Enter your name, the reason for the expense and other identifying information on the receipt. Any charges without receipts, and personal charges, are deducted from the employee's pay.

Customer payments and invoices

Completed customer orders are delivered twice daily to A/R by the shipping clerk and invoiced by the end of the business day.

The daily deposits received by A/R are applied by the end of the business day.