Everything Is A Process

Jan. 14, 2005

As the name implies, lean accounting extends the push to eliminate waste within companies that have embraced lean manufacturing. Just as there can be excessive transactions on the plant floor, there are unnecessary transactions, reports and sign-offs within accounting processes. In fact, as part of the transformation to a lean enterprise, the same techniques need to be applied to administrative functions to free people to work on process-improvement activities, proponents argue. This may begin with cutting the number of vendors and identifying key suppliers that can reliably deliver material and components under blanket purchase orders, thereby decreasing the overall volume of transactions. The application of lean tools to administrative functions mirrors the transition on the plant floor where batch-processing methods are replaced by multi-functional workcells that speed the flow of paper and information and reduce the amount of queue time between value-adding activities.

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