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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/152

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Letters From A Railway Official.

matter to stop every train and determine the exact location of every freight car, at home or earning per diem, at any particular moment of time. We can, however, approximate sufficiently closely to the conditions to serve all practical purposes.

Tremble not at my coming, Clarice; I would not push the auditor off the pier. Rather would I put him on the band wagon and let him blow a bigger horn. Is not accounting one of several components of operation of which collection and disbursment are yet others? Why not frankly admit that a railway is too unlike a department store to put all the cashiers and bookkeepers on a single floor? Why not interweave accounting with operation? Why not make such operating units self-contained, as experience may prove wise and practicable? Some of the best roads in the country now have division accounting bureaus in order that the superintendent may keep his operating expenses in hand. The next step must be a division disbursing officer. A pay-roll and certain kinds of vouchers, including some for claims, must become cash without the worthless certification of the general office.