As a busy auditor you are more likely to receive emails from clients, colleagues and spammers. The time spent in getting rid of unwanted emails is sometimes more than the time spent in working on emails that matter. Further, unsolicited emails come with a risk of dealing with malicious attachments. Despite the evolution of anti-spam software, the negative effects of spam are still being faced by individuals and business alike. Spam accounts for 14.5 billion messages per day. In other words, they make up 45% of all emails. According to a study by the Radicati Research Group Inc., spam costs businesses $20.5 billion annually in decreased productivity as well as in technical expenses. As per Nucleus Research, the average loss per employee annually because of spam is approximately $1934.

With the advent of cloud technology, more and more CPA and auditing firms are using Office 365 and especially Outlook 2016. Outlook 2016 comes with a handy feature called “Clutter” to manage and organise your Inbox. Clutter helps you focus on the most important message in your Inbox. Clutter uses Office Graph and learns from a series of signals to determine whether a message is clutter. So as an auditor as you work with your inbox items, clutter starts learning whether a particular message is relevant for you. These signals could be the type of content, who sent the message and their organizational relationship with you, your prior actions on similar messages and even how you are addressed in the message. It moves less relevant messages to a clutter folder, thus “de-cluttering” your inbox. Clutter is different from Junk Mail folder in a way that Clutter uses machine learning to determine if a particular message is important for you. Further if you feel that clutter isn’t working the way you would like it to work, you can disable it and it will stop interfering.


Pathik works as a senior auditor in a CPA firm. Every day he receives lots of emails from clients, colleagues and unknown parties.

Let’s have a look at Pathik’s inbox.

As you can see, some of the messages in Pathik’s inbox have no business relevance (Facebook, Quora Digest etc.,). It takes considerable amount of time for Pathik to manually sort through this messages and separate them from the ones that require his urgent attention.

This is where Clutter for Office 365 comes handy for Pathik. With Cluttter enabled, less relevant messages moves to the clutter folder, leaving his Inbox cleaner and saving him lots of time.

Messages that go to Clutter aren’t gone; they are simply moved to another location. So whenever Pathik finds time, he can look at those messages and see what’s there and quickly get back to important messages.


Let’s have a look at Pathik’s Clutter folder:

This clearly shows Clutter deems messages in this folder to be less relevant to the kind of auditing or accounting work that Pathik does.

Clutter learns from your actions, your daily activities. It does not work by just following a set of simple rules or filters. However, one can explicitly train Clutter by marking Inbox items as clutter or removing items from the Clutter folder. You may review and respond to relevant messages in the Clutter folder and delete unwanted messages one by one or by selecting multiple messages.

Let’s see how to mark an Inbox message as clutter:

Once you hit move to Clutter, the current message (Facebook in the picture) is moved to the Clutter folder.

As an auditor, Pathik loves this feature because he has complete control over Clutter. It’s an opt-in feature and it makes him more productive. Clutter isn’t an anti-spam solution but it helps you keep eyes on messages that are important by moving less important messages to Clutter folder.

Know more about Office 365 here: