What Is UFS in Letter Writing? (Explained for Beginners)

When sending or receiving a letter, you might come across the acronym, “UFS.”

What is UFS in letter writing?

When reading or writing a letter, UFS stands for “under first signature.” This means that the letter and any attachments have been checked and verified by a third party listed under the first signature. Usually, this person is different than the person who sent or received the letter.

In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about UFS in letter writing.

Where Is UFS in Letter Writing? (Placement on a Letter)

In order to understand what UFS in letter writing entails, it’s important to first understand the different parts of a letter.

The body of the letter is the main text that discusses the topic at hand. The heading includes the date. It also gives the name and address of both the sender and recipient. The closing (or salutation) is used to sign off on the letter.

It is in this signature section that you might see UFS.

Attachments can include anything from a copy of the letter itself to documents or photos. They are typically listed underneath signatures, and it’s important to verify that all attachments have been properly checked before sending the letter.

UFS in letter writing refers specifically to the verification of the information and of the attachments.

This means that someone other than the sender or recipient has checked everything before the recipient physically receives the letter.

UFS in Letter Writing Example

One of the best ways to understand the acronym, UFS, is to see an example.

Check out this graphic of a formal letter with the UFS section highlighted:

Where to find UFS in Letter Writing
Graphic by the author via CanvaWhat Is UFS in Letter Writing?

What Is UFS in Letter Writing? (Purpose)

UFS in letter writing is important because it ensures that all information in the letter is accurate and that any attachments are verified. This is especially critical when it comes to sensitive information, as it helps to prevent any potential mistakes or misunderstandings.

Having UFS in letter writing also allows for an extra level of security, as it guarantees that the letter has been checked by a third party.

This can be helpful if the contents of the letter are confidential or contain private information such as medical, financial, or legal data.

UFS in letter writing is a common practice that helps to ensure the correct details are communicated between multiple parties.

By understanding what it is and where it appears on a letter, you’ll be better equipped to write and receive letters.

What Is UFS in Letter Writing? (Timeline and Process)

It’s also important to understand the timeline of UFS in letter writing.

The person who wrote or sent the letter first completes the letter. Then, they will give it to the person listed on the first signature to double-check it.

During the verification process, the UFS person checks for:

  • The accuracy of the letter’s content
  • Correct spelling and grammar
  • Correct numbers, dates, and calculations
  • Accurate spelling of names
  • The validity of any attachments

After verifying that the letter is factual, the UFS person will sign off on it and give it back to the sender.

Then, the sender will finally be able to mail or email the letter.

When Will You See UFS in Letter Writing?

You will typically see UFS in business or other professional settings. The UFS abbreviation is reserved almost exclusively for these formal environments.

For example, you might see it on a letter from your boss, or in an email from a client.

You might also see UFS in communication from attorneys or between legal departments.

Personally, I’ve never seen UFS in smaller offices.

The larger your company, the more likely you will encounter UFS in your actual work-life.

UFS is not typically seen in personal letters, as the level of formality is usually much lower. However, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to UFS.

How Do You Write UFS in a Letter?

You write UFS in a letter by adding a signature line to the bottom of the letter and/or to the cover page of a letter or document.

Within the cover page or letter, you might mention the abbreviation, “UFS.”

You might also write out the full phrase, “under first signature.”

Either way, including UFS in a letter or memo is a method for quality control of your communications.

Is UFS Still Used in Letter Writing?

The term UFS and the associated approach is still used in some civil service, legal, and other formal spaces.

However, it is mostly an archaic term in today’s business world.

That doesn’t mean businesses no longer perform due diligence accuracy checks. They certainly do. Bussiness simply use other terms and abbreviations.

It could be quality assurance (QA), cross-checking, or vetting a document.

For example, when I worked for a small non-profit, we called it “putting two eyes on everything.”

Every email, letter, or training document went through multiple rounds of review.

UFS in Letter Writing: FAQs

Let’s quickly go over some common questions related to a UFS in letter writing.

By reading the answers, hopefully, you’ll gain more clarity and understanding.

Who Typically Uses UFS in Letter Writing?

Bosses, managers, CEOs, and department heads typically use UFS in letter writing. It is a way to ensure correct and secure communication between two people or multiple parties.

Basically, anyone in a leadership position will use UFS.

It’s less likely for someone lower on the business “totem pole” to use UFS.

Attorneys and Human Resource representatives might also use UFS in their memos.

Can You Refuse To Sign a Letter That Lists You As the UFS?

You can refuse to sign a letter where you are listed as the UFS.

However, there are likely to be some consequences in your work-life. Your boss may want you to sign off on the document.

If you do not think that the information in the letter is accurate, do not sign.

Instead, bring the matter up with the person who sent (or generated) the letter. Express your concerns or questions in a polite but clear manner.

The best-case scenario is that they will agree and change the letter or memo.

Once the document meets your expectations and standards, you can sign off on it.

Is There Another Way To Write UFS on Letters or Memos?

You can also just list yourself as a reviewer of the letter, memo, or document.

You may not want to use UFS if you are not sure everyone involved in the communication stream will understand the acronym.

Is It Good To Use UFS in Letter Writing?

You are not mandated to use UFS when writing and sending letters.

If your company rules include UFS in their policies and procedures, then I would use it. Otherwise, it is neither good nor bad to put UFS in your communication.

On the other hand, it is always a good idea to double-check your writing.

Final Thoughts: What Is UFS in Letter Writing?

The bottom line is that process behind UFS is more important than the actual term.

You’ll run into many abbreviations in letter writing.

I hope this article has helped you sort out one of the most baffling.

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