Basic functions are those functions of an office which need to be performed in all types of organisations. They are mainly related to receiving and giving information. These basic functions are as follows:
The office receives or collects information about various activities of the organisation. The information may be collected from internal or external sources. Internal sources may be employees and various departments of the organisation. The external sources are customers, suppliers and government departments etc. From internal sources, information may be received in the form of letters, circulars, reports etc., and external sources provide information through letters, orders, invoices, inquiries, reports, questionnaires etc. The executives of the organisation may also collect information while visiting other organisations.
The office keeps the record of information collected from various sources to make it readily available to the management. The information is kept in the form of correspondence, reports, statements, circulars, lists, charts, registers, books, etc. An office has also to maintain records as prescribed under law. For example, the registered office of a company is required to maintain Register of Members under the Companies Act, 1956.
Arranging, analysing and processing information: The information collected in an office is generally not in the form in which it may be used by the management. Therefore, facts and figures collected have to be arranged, processed, organised, presented and analysed to make them useful to the management. In this connection financial statements, statistical statements, charts, lists, reports, summaries are prepared.
The information is properly sorted out and preserved in the most economic and scientific manner. Various types of equipment, filing cabinets, etc. are used for preserving records. Unnecessary and out-dated records are destroyed to make space for new and valuable records.
All accumulated and processed information is useless unless it is communicated. The office serves as a two-way channel for communication. On the one hand, it supplies the collected, recorded and processed information to the management and, on the other, it provides the policy decisions, guidelines and instructions issued by the management to the departments are also routed through the office. The information may be supplied verbally or in writing.