Accounting in the Lean Enterprise : Providing Simple, by McVay, Gloria; Kennedy, Frances; Fullerton, Rosemary

By McVay, Gloria; Kennedy, Frances; Fullerton, Rosemary

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Additional resources for Accounting in the Lean Enterprise : Providing Simple, Practical, and Decision-Relevant Information

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As accountants are trained in lean principles and participate in kaizen events throughout the plant, they will gain a clearer understanding of the lean culture, Principles of Lean Accounting ◾ 27 be more willing to adopt it in their own activities, and more easily recognize areas for improvement. They will also have more time available to participate in critical thinking and strategic planning activities as they eliminate waste from their normal routines and free up capacity. Doing so will make them valued members of the strategic management team by engaging in more meaningful cost management activities, rather than spending the majority of their time on mundane issues of cost accounting and variance analysis.

If your company builds large, custom-­made products that take extended periods to build, it is inevitable to have work-­in-­process inventory. One method for easy determination of work-­in-­process is to use Yamazumi boards on the shop floor that show the percentage of completion of each product. It is likely that the total cost to build the product has been predetermined, so an observation of the Yamazumi boards at the end of the reporting period can provide a simple and quick calculation of in-­process inventory.

Most importantly, these metrics must be visible and updated frequently. A “box score” format for tracking key operational, capacity, and financial measures is used by many lean companies. The box scores, which are generally updated weekly with actual results, also maintain a column showing the future desired state. Many firms use nonfinancial metrics to evaluate operations along with their traditional financial measures, but very few understand and measure their capacity. Lean firms understand that improvements made from lean initiatives often relate to increased capacity—and unless capacity is used to grow business in some manner, capacity improvements do not contribute to profitability.

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