THIS WEEK I will look at a very important part of any organisation. Yes, the accounts office.

The accounts office in any organisation is very important as it records all purchases and sales, and the receipt and payment of money. Accounts are therefore kept for the following reasons:

· To ascertain whether a profit (or loss) has been made.

  • To record the value of assets and liabilities.
  • To provide information to others about the finances of the business.
  • To control the finances.
  • To maintain accurate records of all transactions.

Some of the functions of the accounts office will, therefore, include the maintenance of:

  • accounts payable
  • accounts receivable
  • credit control
  • payroll
  • petty cash.


Wages are the rewards paid to employees for the labour/services they have supplied to an organisation. There are other terms used for the rewards of services rendered depending on the nature of the work and the period for which payment is made.

· Salaries – Paid monthly to administration workers.

· Wages – This is paid weekly to production or factory workers.

· Piece work – Workers are paid for each piece of work completed. For example, an assistant dressmaker may be paid $100 for every piece of garment upon completion regardless of how long it takes.

· Flat rate – All employees are equally rewarded; whether or not they perform well.

· Hourly rate – Workers are paid for each hour they work. They are sometimes provided with a time card and are expected to clock in and out. When workers arrive for work, they select their clock card from the rack and insert it in the clock which prints their card with the arrival time.

· Bonus rate ­ A system where additional money is paid for extra output of work completed in less time than is specified.

· Overtime – Payment for work performed outside of the specified working hours. If the normal working hours are 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and the employee works from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. on any week day, he/she will be paid overtime.

· Double time – Payment for time spent in work after a normal working week, or on public holidays.


In addition to the rate at which the employees are paid, it is important to note that the amount earned and the actual amount received is different because certain deductions have to be made. These can be statutory or voluntary.

A statutory deduction is a compulsory deduction in an individual’s pay without any consent from the individual. Voluntary deductions are deductions requested by the employee from salary (wages). In Jamaica, Income Tax, National Insurance Scheme and Housing Trust are statutory deductions. Next week I will continue this topic.

As promised, I will now give you some possible answers to five questions and next week I’ll complete the answers to the case study you did last week.

1. Benefits to employees:

  • having access to all skill areas
  • greater opportunity for promotion
  • will be able to determine the area in which they perform better.

Benefits to employers:

  • employees can be easily replaced
  • easy to assign employees to any area.

2. Some tasks employees can perform:

  • packaging office equipment
  • labelling office equipment
  • assembling the parts.

3. Four tasks the accounts clerk may perform:

  • writing cheques
  • preparing statement of accounts
  • bank reconciliation
  • writing receipts.

4. Skills that may be useful to a junior accounts clerk:

  • accounting skills
  • ability to use a computer
  • to communicate with public.

5. Appropriate filing system:


alphabetical, numerical


alphabetical, numerical

office furniture

alphabetical, subject


alphabetical, numerical


numerical, subject


subject, alphabetica


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