The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 5 (November 2, 1931)
A Comprehensive Service
A Comprehensive Service.
The gross annual revenue of the New Zealand Railways amounts in normal times to over eight £ millions, expenditure to over six £ millions, and capital expenditure to from one to two £ millions. A considerable volume of work for other Government Departments and private parties is also undertaken. The accounting for all this is controlled in the Chief Accountant's Office of the Department.
During the past few years probably no branch of the Railway. Service has been called on to meet a greater number of variations in, and departures from, long established practice than the Finance and Accounts Branch, usually known as the Chief Accountant's Office. The manner in which all difficulties have been surmounted speaks volumes for the soundness and adaptability of the organisation and the esprit de corps that has always characterised the Branch.
At first glance the work of auditing accounts and compiling accounting, statistical and financial data, may appear to be totally lacking in any news value. In actual practice, however, it is found that most people find much that is of interest, if it be only the manner in which order is produced out of the mass of diversified documents which provide the raw materials for the activities of the office. The common expressions, “tons” or “stacks” of work can be applied quite literally to the quantities of freight waybills, pay-sheets, collected tickets, accounting statements, cash abstracts, bank drafts and vouchers, which flow into the office daily from all over the Dominion.
One feature of special interest is the mechanical equipment. Wherever it is possible to do so, electrically driven accounting machines, most of which are operated by girls who have acquired a high degree of skill and accuracy, are utilized for the pur-pose of eliminating mental and physical drudgery. They are maintained in a high state of efficiency by a staff of mechanicians who, because of their skill with such apparatus, are called on from time to time to deal with appliances varying from clocks to typewriters and ticket nippers. Adding, calculating, printing, duplicating, addressing, binding, punching and sorting machines and appliances are in daily use, and a great part of the results produced would be impossible of attainment without them.
Railway Accounting in New Zealand
(Rly. Publicity photos.)
Operations of the Chief Accountant's Branch at Railway Headquarters, Wellington.—(1) Statistical staff: (2) Powers puncing machines; (3) freight revenue audit staff; (4) Mr. W. Bishop (Asst. Chief Accountant—Expenditure); (5) Mr. H. Valentine (Chief Accountant); (6) Mr. R. P. Gillies (Asst. Chief Accountant—Revenue); (7) revenue audit staff; (8) main office penditure accounts, superannuation and sick benefit fund accounts, and transportation statistics; (9) ticket sorting and pas-senger audit; (10) goods revenue balancing staff; (11) Powers tabulating and sorting machines (good condition); (12) addressograph, calculating and adding machines (goods section); (13) passenger audit staff.