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

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10–2. Improve the Mailroom Interface

The proportion of all incoming mail going to the accounting department is usually well over half the total. Given this volume, the accounting manager has considerable interest in ensuring that the mail is properly routed to the accounting department. A wide variety of efficiencies can apply here, including the outright elimination of incoming mail, electronic forms, and the digitization and electronic distribution of received mail. At a more basic level of incremental efficiency, you can even copy Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), which speeds mail opening and reduces torn letters by opening mail with a belt sander (!). Here are some possibilities to consider:

  • Reroute the mail. This means sending checks to a lockbox. Rather than run the risk of having the mailroom mishandle a check, just have customers send them straight to a lockbox.

  • Use electronic forms. If you want customers to complete and send in forms, such as credit applications or W-9 forms, consider putting an electronic form on your Web site that allows them to send information straight into your computer system and bypass the mailroom.

  • Mailroom opens all mail. Don’t just let the mailroom forward envelopes to employees without first opening them (unless they are marked “confidential”), since some customers like to send payments to the salesperson assigned to them—and that person might not open his mail for some time, thereby impeding cash flow.

  • Digitize all incoming mail. The mailroom ...

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