Post Exchange Methods A manual for Exchange Stewards, Exchange Officers, Members of Exchange Councils Commanding Officers, being an exposition of a simple and efficient system of accounting which is applicable to large and to small Exchanges alike.
Post Exchange Methods
CAPTAIN PAUL D. BUNKER
UNITED STATES ARMY
A manual for Exchange Stewards, Exchange Officers,Members of Exchange Councils CommandingOfficers, being an exposition of a simpleand efficient system of accounting whichis applicable to large and to smallExchanges alike.
The Eagle Press Service Printers
The Eagle Press—Portland, Me.
All rights Reserved
Our Post Exchanges are usually in charge of officers withlittle or no experience in book-keeping, their assistants areusually enlisted men and not professional clerks and accountants,and there is, at present, no codified or standard systemprescribed for handling this business. Some parts of the PostExchange Regulations have become antiquated through thedevelopments of modern business methods such as the“Voucher Check System”.
In view of these facts it is felt that there is a real need ofthis book, and it is hoped that the methods herein set forthwill prove to be a step toward a uniform system that will beadopted in all Exchanges, one that will reduce overheadcharges, eliminate unnecessary labor and improve unsatisfactoryprofits.
The writer intended discussing several other importantpoints, such as Journal Entries, Mail Order Business, Consignment,Adding Machines, Loose-leaf and Card IndexFiling, etc., but circumstances over which he had no controlprevent, at present, any addition to these pages.
It is desired to give credit to Captain Henry M. Dichmann24th Infantry, who by his work in connection with thePost Exchange at Fort Slocum, N. Y., was the inspiration forthis work, and to Mr. James Parker, Cashier of the same Exchange,for valuable assistance rendered.
PAUL D. BUNKER,
Captain, Coast Artillery Corps.
Fort Hancock, N. J.,June 7, 1915.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS.
|Post Exchange Methods||1|
|General—Method of Making—Daily Check Summary—Recording—Consolidating Credit Transactions—Settling Dead and Live Records.|
|General—Kinds of Coupons—Frauds—Regulations—Issuing—Pay Table Procedure—Coupon Sales.|
|General—Inventories—Merchandise Purchased—Transfers Between Departments—Consolidating Transactions—Checking Stock and Sales.|
|General—Purchase Orders—Purchase Record—Payments—Voucher Check System—Cash Disbursements.|
|General—Make-up—Ledger Accounts—Posting the Ledger—Balancing.|
|General—General Balance Sheet—Surplus and Adjustments—Statement of Income and Profit and Loss.|
|Figuring Selling Prices||89|
|General—Bills Receivable—Piece Work—Damage Report—Claims—Inventories—Pay Rolls—Miscellaneous Books.|
|General Duties Auditor’s Statement.|
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POST EXCHANGE METHODS.
The general methods of conducting a Post Exchange are laid downin official orders and considering the categorical nature of these ordersit would seem that the systems in all Exchanges should be almost identical.Such, however, is far from the truth, as there are almost as manysystems as there are Exchanges, and a person in charge of one Exchangemight have to learn considerable new matter before he would be ableto administer the affairs of another Exchange. This variety of systemsalso causes trouble to auditing officers, exchange councils and to inspectorswhen they have occasion to go over the books. Some of thesystems are unsound in minor particulars, and most of them are poorlydesigned. All trouble of this nature could be avoided by devising a standardsystem and installing it in all Exchanges. The advantages of sucha proceeding would be manifold and there would be no important disadvantages.In this essay an attempt has been made to evolve such asystem, one applicable to any Exchange, representing the best points ofmany Exchanges and including at all possible points the labor savingresults of modern methods. The system here described is not the embodimentof theory alone, but has been through the test of actual trialand has given thorough satisfaction.
In devising any such scheme we must presuppose certain desiderata:—
1. The Exchange Officer can spend but a small portion of his timein the Exchange, and yet he must have accurate knowledge of what thebusiness is doing. It is therefore essential that our records shall showaccurately and concisely all the data that are necessary to a full understandingof the condition and operations of the business.
2. It is not enough to have a system which will enable us to rendera clear statement at the end of the month, we should be able to close ourbooks at any time and get out our financial statement in the minimum time.
3. Our system should be such as to minimize the possibilities ofpeculation. It is often said that there is no system which cannot be beaten,but there are systems which cannot be defeated for any great length oftime. Therefore, our system must reduce to a minimum the time duringwhich graft or theft can work undisturbed.
4. The system must be so simple that it will not require exceptionalability at any point in order that its provisions may properly be carriedout. This makes it easy to break in new clerks, and enables them to performtheir duties in a more satisfactory manner.
5. The system must not be so cumbersome that it will delay themaking of sales. This is highly important. Every reader of this willundoubtedly have vivid recollections of his experiences in departmentstores, “waiting for change.” It is better to lose a dollar than to disgustour customers and drive them elsewhere.
The above requirements cannot but cause our system to be somewhatmore expensive than that used in a “one-man store”. In the latterinstance, as a proprietor will not cheat himself, the third requirement has,in general, no effect. The other requirements, however, will still hold,and even gain in importance. How many merchants have we seen whothought they knew all about their business, but who in reality knew verylittle. They did not even realize that slipshod methods curtail credit andbeget losses of various sorts.
In describing this system we shall take up the various features in theorder in which they will be found easiest to install. For instance, chargesales are discussed first because, regardless of the system of handlingthese sales that may be in use by any Exchange, it will be found that tochange to the system here described, before changing any other part ofthe system, will cause no confusion in the other books. In other words,if your system be changed according to the order in which the differentparts are discussed herein, you will find that you have gradually installeda system which may be entirely different, yet you have caused no confusionin your books by the transition.
This item includes the sale of merchandise to