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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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4–2. Add Carrier Route Codes to Billing Addresses

For those organizations that issue large quantities of small-dollar invoices, the cost of mailing is a substantial portion of the total cost of doing business. For these organizations, a lower-cost approach to mailing an invoice must be found. One alternative is to include a carrier route code in the address field for each customer. This information is used by the postal service to more easily sort incoming mail pieces by carrier route. In exchange for this information, the postal service allows a small reduction in the cost of each item mailed. At the time of this writing, the difference between the standard price for an automated letter-size mailing and one that includes the carrier route code is about three cents (for the most recent rates, go to www.usps.com). This difference is sufficiently large that a billing manager who processes thousands of invoices per year should certainly consider it as a potential way to save costs.

To implement this best practice, one must obtain the route codes from the postal service on either a monthly or bimonthly basis. They are available on tape, CD-ROM, cartridge, or hard copy. The company’s customer address files must be updated with the latest carrier route information, as specified in the postal service’s Domestic Mail Manual. To determine the exact format of the file, one can download a sample file from the postal service’s Web site. These steps obviously require some effort on a continuing ...

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