A bank teller is a senior clerk who deals with the bank's customers - chiefly depositors - in daily transactions across the counter. In very small banks one man will act both as receiving teller and paying teller, as well as note teller and collection teller; and while he is the teller, he may also be an official. In many large banks, particularly in the West, an arbitrary alphabetical division is made of the accounts of the bank and each group is treated as a separate unit. Under this plan, it is as if there were several small banks operating under one roof. Each teller acts as both paying and receiving teller for his own group, to which bookkeepers are also assigned. This plan has several advantages. The depositors are not often held up in a single long line on busy days; the teller is not put to the strain of knowing the faces and signatures of all the depositors; the money can be handled more easily, and if differences should occur they are confined within limits. Whether the bank employs a separate receiving teller or not, there are certain duties and responsibilities peculiar to the position. The principal business of the receiving teller is to receive, receipt for, prove and distribute the contents of deposits. Responsibility of no mean order rests upon the teller, because he acts as the agent of the bank in the relation established between the depositor and the institution. He must be on his guard at all times. His first care is to assure himself that the deposit is intended for his bank. Many people have two or more bank accounts and sometimes confuse the pass-books. The amount of deposit is entered in the pass-book as a receipt. In a savings bank the pass-book is more than a receipt - it is a voucher or evidence of contract between the bank and the depositor. If the bank is one that deals with a large number of depositors who make deposits of any size or quantity of checks, the teller will merely satisfy himself that the checks are indorsed by the bank's customer, enter the amount in the pass-book and examine or prove the ticket later, although it is always customary to count the cash deposited before the depositor leaves the window. This prevents a long line of depositors from becoming impatient of delay. If errors are found they are reported by telephone, and since the bank will have been careful in the first place as to whom it accepts as depositors, there is but slight risk that an error may not be satisfactorily adjusted at the end of the day, without loss to the bank. But whether it is done first or last, by the teller himself or by his assistants, each deposit is subjected to the same process of proving. When the cash is counted, care is taken that there are no counterfeit bills or coins included. The checks are examined to see that they are properly listed and indorsed. In cities where the banks charge their customers exchange on out-of-town checks, the receiving teller, or more properly the transit department, sees to it that proper amount of exchange is recorded. As for checks on his own bank that may be deposited, the receiving teller is governed by the same rules that apply to the paying teller; that is, he must know the signature and also be certain that the check is "good." Finally, he proves or tests the addition of the ticket. The total is listed on his blotter or scratcher and the ticket is then given to the bookkeeper. The various items that make up the deposit are then ready for distribution. The checks on the bank itself go to the bookkeepers; checks on other banks in the same town go either to the clerks making up the exchanges for the clearing house or to the runners' or messengers' department for presentation. All this work of proving and distribution is usually done by the batch or block (sometimes called "split-proof" or "run") system.