Everything you need to know about Outward Correspondence in an Office

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All the typewritten matters are sent to the superintendent or head-clerk that compares the typewritten script with the draft. After the verification or comparison is done, the head- clerk or the superintendent puts initials in the letter to indicate that the letter is ready for dispatch or the contents are correct.

The officer concerned makes his signature in the letter. It is the responsibility of the superintendent or the head-clerk to see that the letter is complete before he puts his initials. Otherwise the incomplete letters which go out will earn a bad- name for the organization.

Letters are also of many types according to the importance of the contents. Ordinary letters, acknowledgement letters, form letters, price lists, etc., are signed by the superintendent/head-clerk. The letters containing important messages or information should be signed by the executive or manager or secretary. The letters are signed according to the office procedure laid down in each organisation.

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After the signature, just below it, the designation of the person signing it must be indicated. In some cases, after the signature, name and designation of the person are indicated. If any power of attorney has been issued in favor of any executive, then, after the signature, but before the name of the firm “per pro”, or PP., will be mentioned.

Signature should be affixed in ink or with a ball-pen. At least two copies of the letter should be taken. The original is to be sent to the addressee and the other (carbon copy) to be retained in the office. The office copy must be initialed by the person who signs the original. It is the responsibility of the superintendent or head-clerk to do corrections, if any, in both the copies.

If corrections are done in the original, but not in the office copy, it may create complications in future. For circulars the facsimile or the signature of the executive with rubber stamp need be affixed.

In order to distinguish different letters that are dispatched generally numbers are assigned to each letter. When the recipient sends the reply against a letter, it will be easy to find out the copy of the letter sent to him.

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Now all the letters are received by the mailing department that in turn, does the following jobs.

(A) All outgoing letters are to be recorded in the mailing section, as shown below:

By maintaining such a register, it is possible:

(a) To find out the exact number of letters sent out, on daily record basis.

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(b) To keep a proper account of the stamps used.

(c) To have an evidence of outgoing letters.

(d) To maintain daily balancing of stamp account.

The stamp account is maintained as in the petty cash-book. If it is difficult to maintain such a register, then a stamp book/postage book is maintained, mainly to record the stamps consumed. This work depends upon the volume of outward mail of an organisation.

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(B) After assigning the serial Number (Dispatch Number) to the letters, they are placed local letters, which are to be sent through the messenger should be marked on the envelope as ‘By Hand’.

Then such local letters are again recorded in a delivery book or local letter book and handed over to the peon, who delivers them to the addressees and obtains their signatures. The form is as follows.

The out station letters, along with the enclosures are properly folded and inserted in the envelopes. If the letter is not folded properly, it will have a bad appearance. Letters must be folded according to the size of the envelope. The folded letter must fit in the cover to have a nice appearance.

The address of the letter and the address on the cover must tally. If there are enclosures in any letter a red flag (1″ 2 or 3) may be pinned to attract the attention of the dispatch clerk. When the letter is placed in the cover, the dispatch clerk must remove the flag.

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The address need not be typed on the envelope, if window envelope is used. This saves time. The comparison of the address is also not required. But care should be taken to fold the letters in such a way that the address is shown through the window. Certain types of messages are printed in such a way that they look like envelopes when folded. Such letters need be stapled.

(C) The dispatch clerk has to weigh the letters so as to know the value of postage stamps required for each letter. If the dispatch clerk is careless, it is likely that the stamps affixed are more than or less than the required value. There is the possibility of letter being posted without any postage stamp at all.

By all these, the firm earns a bad name. Addressees of letters without postage stamps as well as those that do not have stamp to the required value will have to pay a penalty of double the deficiency in cash to the postman who delivers them. The addressee has the right to refuse to accept such letters.

If the addressee has to pay penalty, he may stop further contact. Returning of important, but unstamped or under- stamped letters will cause loss to the organisation. So care should be taken to fix postage stamps according to the weight. It will be safe to keep up to date circulars of the postal rates and other rules with the dispatch clerk.

(D) When the letter is placed in the cover, it is sealed properly. After sealing, it is weighed. Then required stamps will be indicated with pencil on the cover (where stamps are to be fixed). After that the required stamps are affixed. There may be rubber stamps- “REGISTERED”, “BOOK-POST”, “V.P.P.”, “PRINTED MATTER”, etc.

According to the nature of the letter, the stamps are affixed, on covers. If there are many letters, the postage stamps are affixed by the means of a franking machine or stamping machine (see Office Machines- Chapter 8).

(E) After all the above jobs are over, the letters are handed over to the peon, who will carry them in a bag and post them. If the letters are to be registered, receipts are obtained and pasted in the Dispatch Register. If there is a decentralized system of correspondence, then one peon goes to all the departments, collects the letters at a fixed time and gives them to the Mailing department.

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