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Meaning, Definition, Principles, Benefits, Limitations - Office Systems and Procedures | 11th Office Management and Secretaryship : Chapter 7 : Office Systems and Procedures

Chapter: 11th Office Management and Secretaryship : Chapter 7 : Office Systems and Procedures

Office Systems and Procedures

An office has its own system to do office work.

Office Systems and Procedures:


Meaning of Office Systems:


Business undertakings have certain well –defined objectives. These objectives can be attained only when it is approached in a systematic way. Business itself is a system comprising of several sub-systems.


Marvin R.Gore remarked that business is a system that has its output goals and objectives and the business can be divided into small systems that vary according to the organization of the business.


George R.Terry says that each business has a number of sub-systems like production control system, marketing system, office system and so on. Thus, office system itself is a sub-system of the whole business.


Office systems are a continuation of several procedures integrated together in such a way as to attain the needed objectives. It is defined as a network of routines, which are designed and integrated to carry out office work. In other words Systems comprises of various interconnected routines.


Definition of System:


According to Miltion Reitzfeld “Success in business, government and non-profit venture is determined by the maximum utilization of people, information and resources. Such utilities can be achieved only through the development, installation and supervision of appropriate systems and procedure”


According to Terry,” A system is a network of procedures which are integrated and designed to carry out the major activity”.


According to Littlefield, A system may be defined as,” a ground of interrelated and interdependent parts operating in sequence according to a predetermined plan in order to achieve a goal or a series of goals”


Principles of Office Systems:

Every office has its own systems. The systems are not identical in all offices. They vary with the type and size of business. However, whatever system is evolved, it should ensure maximum efficiency. Following are some of the important principles of office systems.


1.           Good flow of work without bottlenecks should be ensured.


2.           Unnecessary duplication of work and records should be avoided.


3.           Movement of staff should be kept to a minimum.


4.           Unnecessary writing would be avoided.


5.           Best use of specialization should be made.


6.           The amount of paper work should be the absolute minimum.


7.           The principle of management by exception should be used.


8.           Only a few exceptions to the functional procedure should be allowed.


9.           Unnecessary checking should be avoided.


10.      Possibilities to make best use of machines should be provided.


11.      The system should be simple and easy to understand.


Meaning of Procedure:


The term procedure denotes a planned sequence of operations for handling recurring business transactions uniformly and consistently. Procedure is a routine, which has been planned in advance in order to handle recurring business operations uniformly step by step. It is a guide to management as to who should do, what, how, and when.


Some Organizations have a written record of systems and procedures; it may be in book form or loose-leaf form.




According to Charles O. Liberty “Office procedures are a series of clerical acts organized under supervision to accomplish the purpose of the office”


Zane K. Quible has given the following definitions of system, procedure and method.


System: Interrelated procedure necessary to achieve a well defined goal.


Procedure: Related method necessary to complete a work process.


Method: Specific clerical or mechanical operations or activities.

To illustrate the system concept, a system designed for purchasing office supplies (purchasing system) is presented as:


Procedure 1: Select Sources of Supply:


A. Fill out quotation form.

B. Send forms to prospective vendors

C. Obtain quotations from vendors.

D. catalogue respective quotations


Procedure 2: Order Supplies:


A. Fill out purchase order

B. Send purchase order to vendor


Procedure: 3. Receive Supplies:


A. Check order to verify quantity and acceptability

B. Deliver supplies to appropriate departments.

C. Notify accounts payable.


Importance of Systems and Procedures:


1.           In the system concept a uniform procedure is followed for similar transaction, so it helps to reduce errors and waste motion of machine operations.


2.           The cost of performing routine office work is reduced.


3.           Responsibility can be easily fixed.


4.           Good office system and procedure helps in smooth running of office and help to reduce delay in work.


5.           It helps for speedy despatch of work.


6.           Systems & Procedure include internal checking; they assist in the prevention of fraud and have control on work.


7.           Good system helps to maintain better Co-ordination between departments.


8.           Helps the management to train the staff.


9.           A good system will reduce the chance of error and improve the efficiency of the organization.


10.      A good system will give instructions to employees what has to be done, when and where and gives information on the organization supporting various systems.



Benefits and Limitations of Systems and Procedures:


Benefits of Systems and Procedures:


Following are the benefits which may be obtained if suitable systems and procedure are derived in an office:


1.           Errors in the smooth flow of office work can be easily eliminated.


2.           Uniformity can be achieved and the duplication of various routines can be avoided.


3.           Systems and routines help in training office personnel in the efficient performance of their work without supervisors.

4.           Responsibility can be fixed for each employee.


5.           Unnecessary operations are eliminated and so wastage of any nature can be controlled.


6.           Office personnel can perform their jobs independently and with confidence.


7.           Systems ensure better control of work. The possibility of fraud is eliminated.


8.           Work efficiency in the office increases and unnecessary forms are eliminated. It reduces the cost of office operations.


9.           Better co-ordination is possible through the introduction of a system.


Limitations of Systems and Procedures:


An office system does not work by itself. There are some limitations to its applications:


1.           The efficiency of the system depends on planning. If the planning is not done properly the whole systems would fail.


2.           Strict adherence to a system makes it inflexible and it may not work smoothly.


3.           The system may not be useful when changes take place.


4.           The efficiency of the system should be evaluated and decided by making a cost-benefit analysis of it. If the cost is more we cannot use that system.


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