Frank Clark McClelland.

Office training and standards online

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rriHE difference between work and play is simply the differ-
'- ence between your attitude toward work and your attitude
toward play. Office work can easily be turned into a fascinating
game, just by following the rules and keeping score.

''How can I keep score on work?" Just the same way you
keep score in a game. In a baseball game you count the hits,
the runs, the fouls, and so on. In business you can also count
the hits, the runs, and the fouls.

Every time you finish a task, you make a ''hit"; each mis-
take counts as a "foul"; every time you fail to finish a task,
you make a "strike"; and if you fail often enough, you "strike
out." On the other hand, work quickly done counts as a "ball"
and four balls give you your "base"; you score a home run
every time you receive advancement.

What are the rules? There are only three rules for success
in business; they are: learn the game, play the game, and stick
to it. Simple? Yes, but you will find that something just as
simple lies at the bottom of everything that's worth while.

This book will show you how to play the game. Here are
a few suggestions that will help you to get the most out of the
book : As you thumb over the pages, you will see illustrations of
various kinds — photographs, charts, diagrams, forms.

Study these illustrations carefully. They were not put in to
fill up the book, or to make it look nice. Each illustration was
selected with a purpose, and thousands of illustrations were
examined before the final selection was made.

If the illustration is a photograph, see how many different
objects in it you can pick out. Ask yourself what the purpose
of each object is and why it is shown.

You will find the charts are helpful, if they are used correctly.
The only justification for using a chart is to make a situation

\ nriOf^


clearer than is possible by a written description or by columns
of figures. A chart which is unintelligible is worse than none at
all; it takes up valuable time and space. As you examine each
chart try to analyze it just as you would a photograph. Try
to find a reason for everything on the chart.

The forms are not merely "something to fill out." If they
were, blank sheets of paper would be just as serviceable. A
properly designed form does not call for any useless information,
but it does call for all the information that is necessary.

Analyze carefully each form in the book and see if you can
give the reason for the form as it stands. Also try to improve
the form, if you can.

You will find some of the charts and tables well worth mem-
orizing. Do so. An easy way to memorize something is to read
it over once or twice, and be sure you get the meaning of it.
Close your eyes and try to recall how it looks. Read it once
more and then copy it on a sheet of paper.

After you have copied it, compare it with the original to make
sure it is an exact copy. Then put both original and copy out
of sight and try to make a copy from memory. Do not be dis-
appointed if you don't get it the first time. If it were possible
to jump from the bottom of a ladder to the top, the rungs would
never have been put in.

Every business has a purpose. That purpose is usually to
make a profit for the owner of the business, whether that owner
be one man, as in the case of a butcher shop, or several thou-
sand stockholders, as in the case of the United States Steel
Corporation or of a railroad.

Not only must the business make a profit, in order to succeed —
it must also render some service to the community. Every
business is successful just to the degree that it makes itself
serviceable to the community, and every new business is expected
to justify itself by rendering a new or superior service.

The constant study of every business organization and every
individual entitled to any position in the business world is or
should be how to improve the service rendered to the community.
But the basic reason for business, which in the last analysis is
simply the buying and selling of commodities or service, is to
make a profit.


For example, the butcher buys the Hve animal at a price, kills
it, cuts it up, and sells the various parts of the animal for more
than he paid for it. Not only must he get more than he paid
for it, but he must also see that the selling price pays for his own
labor, the labor of his men if he has any, the rent of his butcher
shop, his light, heat, equipment, and, if he has borrowed money,
interest on the borrowed money. He must also protect his shop
from fire, and the selling price must, therefore, include the
cost of the insurance.

Now if the butcher bought and sold only one animal a year
and paid all his bills once a year, he would need to include in the
selling price of the meat from that one animal all his costs for
that year. The result would, of course, be an absurdly high
price for the meat.

But the butcher sells more than one animal a year, He may
not sell the bones until he has a pile that may have come from
twenty or thirty cattle. This pile of bones may have accumu-
lated in five days, or it may have taken five weeks. In any
case that pile of bones has cost something, and the butcher must
get that cost back, with a profit.

How the butcher gets his cost back, what that cost is, how
he determines what profit to add, how he determines when to
buy cattle and when to sell, when to keep on accumulating bones
and when to dispose of them, where to keep his meat and to
whom to sell it, whether to buy and sell for cash or have the
goods charged, whether to carry groceries in addition to meats,
whether, in short, to do or not to do the thousand and one things
that come up continually, day after day — all of these are deter-
mined by what are called business policies.

The pohcy of a business house determines very largely where
that house is headed, and what it is doing. "Honesty is the best
pohcy" is a fundamental, and in that fundamental and the extent
to which it is practiced in all business, lies largely the success
of the business.

But this is only one policy. There must be hundreds, and
sometimes thousands, of other policies. Policies are the guide
posts which direct the course of the business, and like guide
posts, all the poHcies of the business must lead in the same
direction, to get to the desired point, which is usually profits.


The head of the business sets the guide posts, or poHcies.
His assistants follow the guide posts he has set. This is called
"carrying out the poUcies." In carrying out the pohcies, more
help is needed with some poUcies than with others. Take letter
writing for example: common courtesy requires that all letters
requiring answers shall be answered within a reasonable time.
Some letters will be answered one way, some another. A letter
of complaint would, of course, be handled differently from a
letter ordering goods. Here there are two policies in force, easily
determined. The first pohcy requires that all complaint letters
shall be handled tactfully, so as to satisfy the customer, and still
keep his trade. The second policy requires that the order shall
be shipped to the customer just as soon as possible, and in the
way the customer requested.

In carrying out these policies, other minor policies or guide-
posts may be required, just as the country roads have signs
pointing the way to the main highway, which in turn has guide-
posts pointing to the big city, the ultimate goal. The main
highway represents the road over which the business is travehng
to the goal of profits. The side roads may represent the different
departments which contribute their share to the main highway.
And there may be still smaller roads leading into the side roads.
Some of these smaller roads may be only foot paths. But,
whether the way be a footpath, a side road, or the main high-
way, the guide-posts which we call pohcies are necessary to
guide our steps every foot of the way.

It is evident that at some steps many assistants will be
required. It is also evident that every assistant, whether he be
the assistant manager or the office boy, whether he be a book-
keeper or a stock clerk, has a definite part in every business, has
certain definite policies to carry out, certain definite guide-posts
to follow, and just to the extent that those guide-posts are fol-
lowed, from the office boy up to the president, just to that extent
will the business prosper. And just as the neglect of the president
to follow the instructions on the guide-posts of the main highway
may lead to the desert of loss instead of the city of profit, just
so may the neglect of the assistants on the footpaths and side
roads to follow their guide-posts lead them into the woods instead
of out into the main highway which leads into the city of profit.


Do not think, however, that the president's and the man-
ager's jobs are the only well-paid ones in the office. They aren't.
While we should all try to qualify ourselves for the manager's
job, we must not forget that there are other well-paid positions
in every office.

The demand for expert stenographers has never been satisfied.
From a stenographic position to the work of a private secretary
is but a step. There is probably no quicker way to learn a
concern's business methods than through its correspondence.
The secretary is always handling the intimate details of his
employer's work, and gets invaluable training first hand.

More and more each year stenographers are entering court
and pubhc work. Court stenographers command high pay,
although the strain is very severe and the pace terrific. Many
pubhc stenographers have their own offices and staffs, and the
calhng is dignified as well as remunerative.

Over one hundred miUion dollars in sales are made each
year by mail by one house alone — that is a specific example of
the possibihties of letter writing. That is also one reason why
the man or woman who can write good business letters is always
in demand. The work of the correspondent is pleasant and
agreeable, and the position is well paid.

Many a successful man today looks back to the time when
he first studied bookkeeping. Indeed, without bookkeeping,
modern business would be a mystery. Whether you ever become
a bookkeeper or not, you'll probably never regret the time spent
in acquiring a knowledge of the subject.

From bookkeeping to accounting the transition is easily
made. Accountants today hold important positions in big
concerns. The abihty to tell whether a business is going ahead
or falling behind is worth a lot in these days of intense competi-
tion. The positions of auditor ajnd controller carry high salaries.

Among the other good positions available to the ambitious
worker are those of purchasing agent, traffic, employment,
advertising, and sales managers, assistant department heads,
and supervisors of many kinds of work.

This book is for every office worker, regardless of his or her
position, as well as for those who are not yet engaged in but
are looking forward to office work.


If you are or expect to be a stenographer, a private secretary,
a correspondent, this book wall show you how to become more
efficient in your work, a more capable assistant, an indispensable
aid to your employer.

If you're a bookkeeper or expecting to become one, yoa can
learn how to gain a deeper insight into the intricacies of account-
ing and office work, through this book.

A file clerk can not only improve his or her filing, but can
also make the files really live, something more than dry masses
of papers and records — make them the vitals of the business.

The stock clerk, the typist, the copyist, the dictating-machine
operator, the bill clerk, the operator of office machines, the order
clerk, the cashier, the wrapper, the addresser, the supervisor and
the inspector, the messenger boy and girl the checker — in fact,
every clerk and assistant in the office will find in this book an
opportunity for which they have longed, a chance to look beyond
their job and prepare for the job ahead.

If you are working for the purchasing agent or the traffic
manager, the auditor or the sales manager, the controller or the
advertising manager — in whatever part of the office you are work-
ing or expect to work, you will find this book your best friend.

If you will master its pages, you will not only have a better
knowledge and idea of your own job and its meaning but you
will be ready for advancement far ahead of others who may be
wasting their opportunities.

Every hour you spend in mastering this book will return to
you, ten, twenty, fifty, or even a hundred times its present worth,
in real money. The policies and methods here given will guide
you to more effective work, show you where you are going, and
enable you to use your strength and knowledge and ability
where it will count the most for you in dollars and cents and for
the business into which you may go.

The guide-posts which are pointed out to you in this book
have been tried and tested, proved and found effective. The
wealth of material placed at the author's disposal by the pub-
lishers, has enabled him to pick and choose from the experiences
hterally of thousands of business houses.

All the resources of the A. W. Shaw Company, its editors,
its traveling and resident investigators, and its immense and


well-digested masses of commercial data— accurate, broad, and
down to the minute— have been freely drawn upon, even to the
charts, photographs and diagrams which make it so easy to
understand business methods.

In addition to the publishers, the author is also indebted to
the following concerns, from whose experiences it has been his
privilege to draw: Western Union Telegraph Company; R. G.
Dun & Company; Ford Motor Company; Curtis Publishing
Company; Chicago Telephone Company; Yawman & Erbe;
Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company; Chicago
City Directory Company; Chicago Clearing House Association.

The author wishes to express his thanks to Mr. Sherwin Cody
for the use of some material, as well as to the publishers of the
American Magazine for the privilege of reprinting some material
in the chapter on Personality in Business.

To Mr. W. H. Leffingwell the author is indebted for some
valuable expert suggestions on scientific office management and
for permission to use some material from Mr. Leffiingwell's
splendid report on that subject; to Samuel B. King, Esquire,
of the Chicago bar, who certified to the correctness of the legal
matter in the text; to Mr. L. L. Jones of the Cleveland High
School of Commerce, and to Mrs. Margaret Herbert of the
Springfield (Missouri) High School, for reading the manuscript
and for their suggestions for improving the text ; to Mr. WilHam
Bachrach, District Supervisor of the Commercial Schools of
Chicago, for reading the manuscript and for his helpful sugges-
tions; to Miss Esther Jane Helfrich of the editorial stafT of the
A. W. Shaw Company, whose help in putting the book on a high
standard of composition has been welcome; and to the managing
editor of the text-book department of the A. W. Shaw Company,
Mr. Edwdn M. Robinson, who assisted in the preparation of the
material and whose encouragement throughout has been a source

of help and inspiration.

Frank C. McClelland



The Development of the Office 1

What it takes to make an office. Facilitating the transaction of
business. The one-man oflBce. What a functional office is. Where
the thinking is done. How details are handled. Why letter
writing is important. Why records must be kept. How the
results are shown. The relation of the office to the rest of the
organization. Production. Distribution. Administration. The
management and the employee. A spur to ambition.


Handling Correspondence 9

How the incoming mail is handled. How the mail is opened.
Why letters must be inspected. What to do with enclosures.
How to classify the mail. Handling the cash mail. Addressing.
How to fold a business letter. Window envelops. Sealing and
stamping envelops. Mailing and mailing machines. Insurance,
registration, and special delivery. The work of the correspon-
dence department.


Stenographic Work and Standards 21

How letters are written. Analyzing the letters. Methods that
save time in answering letters. Taking dictation. How the dic-
tating machine works. Transcribing, Labor-saving devices.
Several ways of making copies. The stencil duphcator. Getting
letters ready to sign. How to verify enclosures and remittances.
Dictation machine standards. Some standards for stenographers
and typists. Taking dictation. How to say what you mean.
The choice of words. Watching your English when dictating.
What one stenographer discovered about her work. Errors to
avoid in transcribing correspondence, A test of stenographic
ability. What a typist should be able to do. How to increase
speed and accuracy. The technique of business correspondence.
Some suggestions that may help.



Office Reference Books and How to Use Them ... 43
Various kinds of reference books. The three most useful books.
The city directory and how to use it. How to use the telephone
directory. Classified directories. What you can do with syn-
onyms. Some special directories. Sources of mailing lists. How
to use a code book. Credit rating books. Atlases and gazetteers.
The railroad pathfinder. The U. S. postal guide. Special bulle-
tins and guides Trade periodicals and business magazines.


Using the Telephone and Telegraph to Best Advantage 59
When to use the telephone and when the telegraph. The proper
way to telephone. How to call a number. How to answer the
telephone. Answering calls for your employer. Handling inter-
house calls. One way of getting confidential information. How
the telegraph facilitates business. What it costs to telegraph.
How to write a telegram. How one manager handles telegrams.
How to use cipher and code words. How to make your message
clear. Three ways to save money in telegraphing. How to deter-
mine which kind of message to use. Long distance messages.
Cable messages and addresses. Wireless addresses. How to
transfer money on short notice. Allowing for differences in time
when telegraphing.


What the Files are for 79

The essentials of a good filing system. Equipment, Flat files,
vertical files and card indexes. How the files are indexed. How
to make filing easy. The alphabetical system. The geographical
system. Filing by number. Filing by date. Finding letters in
the follow up. How to file carbons. What topical filing is.
Alphabetical-numerical filing. The advantages and disadvan-
tages of different methods. The right way to get letters from
the files. How long should letters be kept in the files? The tech-
nique of filing.


The Purchasing Department 99

The object of the purchasing department. Requisitions. How
the purchasing agent watches the market. Getting classified
information for the buyer. Some sources of information. How to


get estimates. Why are purchase orders necessary? How one
buyer follows up his orders. The stockroom. Guarding against
fire and theft. How to know how much stock you have on hand.
How to take an inventory of stock. What the perpetual inventory
is. Values and prices. Points of law.

The Sales Department 115

What the salesmen are supposed to do. Doing business by mail.
Advertising as a source of sales. What the sales manager wants
to know. Reports the salesmen make. The daily sales report.
Handling sales letters. The use of mailing lists. Recording the
results of advertising. How to check advertisements. Filing
advertising material. A word about contracts. Some legal points.

How Orders are Handled . • 135

Writing the order. How orders are registered. Putting the order
through. Analyzing the order. Why orders must be analyzed.
How many copies must be made? Three ways of copying orders.
The routine of the order department. Following an order through
a factory office.


What You Ought to Know about Shipping 141

The duties of the shipping department. How orders are shipped.
Why proper packing is important. Handling freight shipments.
How to make express shipments. What it costs to ship goods.
Tracers and claims. Parcel post, express, and freight shipments.
Points of law.

The Accounting Department 149

What the accounting department does. The difference between
bookkeeping and accounting. Why the ledger is important.
The essentials of double-entry bookkeeping. How to take a
trial balance. Just what "posting" is. Credit and collection
records. Statements. Making up the payroll. Cost account-
ing. How accounting machines are used. Some uses of the
typewriter in the accounting department. Statistical machines.
Billing machines. Looseleaf and card-index devices. Reports
for the executive.



The Treasurer's Office 169

The functions of the treasurer's office. What are "funds"? The
meaning of finance. How capital is provided. Borrowing money
at the bank. How to make payments by check. What is meant
by "notes receivable"? How to watch collections. How the
surplus funds are invested. The yield on the investment. Elemen-
tary principles of finance. What you can do with checks. The
essential differences between partnerships and corporations.
Life, property, and accident insurance. Some questions the treas-
surer has to answer.


The Manager's Job 195

How do you work? One very important problem. Dealing with
human nature. The office manager as an engineer. Planning the
office for effective work. The" straight line "principle. Suiting the
desk to the work. The inside of the desk. Muffling office noises.
The greatest problem of all. Hiring, placing, and training em-
ployees. Standard practice instructions. Keeping the workers
contented. Ways to stimulate ambition. Making a game out
of work. The office from the manager's desk. Office appliances
and labor-saving devices. Some problems in office efficiency
that the manager has to solve.


Opportunities for Employment 213

Taking an inventory of yourself. Picking out your weak points.
What employers are looking for. A few of the possibilities. Why
it is worth while to plan for your life work. How to select your
employer. Tests which measure your ability. Where personality
counts most. Suggestions that may help you in getting a bond
and in getting a job.


Personality in Business 229

How to play the game. What others have done. How a railroad
president started. From a dollar a day to a million a year. A big
man's secret of success. What happened to a clock gazer. What
initiative means. Business maxims that have helped others.
Your chances for getting ahead.




Standards and Tests for Measuring Your Personal

Efficiency 239

One kind of standard. What standard methods are. How to set
a standard. Standard practice instructions. Standards of accom-
plishment. How standards can increase your efficiency. What
you can do with words. When errors may be costly. How to
make figures. A test in billing. A simple mathematical test. An
easy way to figure interest. A test in mental arithmetic. A test
of mental alertness. How to test your ability.

Preface ^

Bibliography 263

Index 277


Accounting 161 to 168

Analyzing 257

Banking 175 to 178, 184 to 186, 189 to 194

Billing 167,247,248

Cablegrams 73, 76 to 78

Checks and their uses 176 to 178, 185, 186, 190

Copying 39, 40

Correspondence and dictation 18 to 20, 33 to 42

Credits and collections 163, 165, 168

Directories 55 to 57

Employment 207, 208, 211, 223 to 228, 254

Filing 95 to 98

Financial 175 to 194

General review 258 to 260

Getting abond 224 to 226, 228

Historical *>^

Insurance 182, 183, 188, 192, 193

Investments 180,181,187,191,194

Interest .


Knowledge 54 to 58, 258 to 260

Legal points 113, 114, 128 to 134, 148

Mailing 18 to 20


Mental alertness 257, 258

Mental arithmetic 251, 252

Office appliances 163, 165, 209, 210

Office efficiency 206 to 212

Online LibraryFrank Clark McClellandOffice training and standards → online text (page 1 of 25)