Office Filing Procedure is a set of clearly defined and pan-organization followed practices in filing documents and important papers. In general, these are instructions to all the employees on what actions are to be taken in case of certain situations, likely or unlikely. Office Filing Procedures can include Employee Job Descriptions, Workplace Etiquette, as well as Certain Confidentiality Protocols.
The responsibility of writing office procedures and filing them properly lies often with the office managers or company owners. The following chapters are designed for those working professionals who have started working in document-dependent departments like accounts, general or office administration and human resources. They can learn how to file which document in what manner.
Depending upon the wide reachability or application of the procedure, some procedure filing can be done for the entire office, while others can be done for individuals or co-working departments within the same office.
Most often, a wrongly-designed document can spread massive miscommunication and discrepancies between the working departments in an organization. Sometimes, such situations arise for which there was no clear procedure mentioned. Often, there might not have been a set of instructions written on how to deal with an irate customer walking into an office and venting their anger on the manager. However, these scenarios are supposed to be documented later and a filing done on it.
For example, after dealing with a specific customer, the company owner, or the manager might file a protocol that includes informing the immediate supervisor, offering a grievance form, and asking the customer politely yet assertively to remain calm, so that the issue is resolved.
Many official documents follow a certain methodology to file documents that is considered as universal standard in information filing. In such cases, some special words are used that have a very specific meaning attached to them. Some of these words and their definitions are given below −
The term 'Appendix to Correspondence' refers to the lengthy enclosures to a written communication mentioned or referred to in the file. This part is normally added to the end of the document as a correspondence portion, so that it doesn’t come in the way of a smooth reading of the document.
The term 'Appendix to Notes' refers to the lengthy summarization of all the details of the information that is given in the document on different aspects of the question as discussed. Such details could trivialize the main point or make the main message unnecessarily lengthy.
The Department Manager (i.e., Assistant Manager holding equivalent rank) oversees the Department and in that capacity, he has the right to exercise his power and control regarding the dispatch of information and maintenance of business processes. Work comes to him from the departments under his charge.
A Case refers to the file that has all the important documents currently being considered or referred. It also mentions all the different papers and books that can be used as an accompaniment to the original document to be used as a complementary study, reading or reference.
A comeback case is used to define a document or report that needs further re-examination and drafting, as the original document was found to be either incomplete or faulty. It is also a summary of the current issue.
Correspondence is the comprehensive and detailed collection of all communications both sent from the organization and received from the different parties. Correspondence can be used to include all three styles of correspondence, i.e. Official Correspondence, Demi-official Correspondence and Unofficial Correspondence.
A current file is a file that is currently undergoing detail-entry or modification. It differs from a comeback case in that it is a newly-drafted document and not one that is being revised and reworked on.
A dealing hand can mean any official such as the Junior Clerk, Senior Clerk, Executive Assistant, etc., who can be given the responsibility of initially examining and noting of the cases.
A demi-official correspondence is the one that takes place between two managers or between an organization and the public, which doesn’t follow the usual communication protocols and is conducted to get an opinion from the public on a product or service.
A Divisional Manager is a person who can exercise the powers of the equivalent rank to a manager in his absence, and is responsible for smooth functioning of the Department under his charge.
Docketing is the action of making entries of serial numbers on the notes-taking area of a file. This is done so that the file can later be easily identified from the mark or the identification number.
A Draft means a rough copy of the document that is currently being prepared. The word 'Drafting', when used in a Company, usually means composing of official communications of all the notes or orders of the managers. These drafts are usually held for feedbacks and reviews.
A File means a collection of papers on a specific subject matter, which is recognized from a specific serial number, or a file number, and has many correspondence notes, and an Appendix to Correspondence.
Filing is the act of arranging some important documents in a readable and organized manner so that they can be referred to quickly and located in a short span of time without a lot of searching.
A Fresh Receipt refers to the new information that is added to a document currently undergoing review so that its value and comprehensive quotient may be increased.
The term 'Issue' signifies the various stages of action that a draft goes through after it is approved. Some of these stages could be filing it under “Confidential” or getting it authorized by the signature of the manager.
A Messenger Book refers to a book that is used to maintain a record of the different particulars of communication and marking the important ones with the responses they received.
Notes are used to keep a record of remarks made on a case once it was deposited to the body for a quick feedback. Notes include a set of the previous original documents, the questions raised on important parts of it, and the analysis of the changes needed and the final orders that were passed.
The Official Correspondence is the information shared with any public body or individual in accordance to the prescribed structure and mode of communication as per the company’s procedure.
The Paper Under Consideration (P.U.C.) is a receipt of the case that is currently being discussed, so that there can be suitable changes and modifications suggested on it.
Receipts are the records of all the communication that have taken on different levels, such as official, demi-official or unofficial received in the Company, or by any manager of the said company.
Recording of a file is the process of closing a file after all actions on it have been taken and the process of modification is complete. A record is the inclusion of all references, removals, and revisions made in the original document.
Referencing is the process of connecting with the other related records to gain precedents, rulings of different countries and organizations, or any other document that can have any connection to the case.
An Interdepartmental Correspondence is the one in which a file or a case is forwarded from one department of an organization to another department to get their opinions, suggestions, and remarks.