Lean accounting is not just for manufacturers. It is for every accounting department in every business, industry, non-profit or government.

It is a tool that every CPA should have in his or her toolbox, and it incorporates all of the four roles of the CFO of the future. (See my earlier post on the four roles of the CFO.) It also involves all of the major concepts that represent the state of the art in financial reporting — transparency, visual financial presentation, performance management, continuous improvement (Kaizen), and integration of accounting and operations.

Principles_of_lean_accountingThe principles of lean accounting offer the compelling reasons every CFO should be thinking about this emerging discipline of accounting. According to lean accounting guru Brian Maskell and Bruce Baggaley in their article, “Lean  Accounting: What’s It All About,” the principles of lean accounting are:

  1. lean and simple business accounting
  2. accounting processes that support business transformation,
  3. clear and timely communication of information,
  4. planning from a “lean” perspective, and
  5. a strengthening of internal accounting control.

We think it is so important that we have arranged for another lean accounting guru and award-winning author, Jean Cunningham, to do a webcast on Aug. 27, 2007 from noon to 1:40 p.m. titled, “Real Numbers Through Lean Accounting: The Evolution of Accounting in Support of Lean Operations.” Visit the MACPA Web site for details and updates.

I will also be presenting some tools that we believe fit into the “lean accounting”  toolbox at the Lean Accounting Summit in a special half-day, pre-conference session with my colleagues, Jahn Ballard and Doc Hall  and during the conference. Stop by and see us or visit us at our BLI and MACPA booths. Stay tuned as I post some more thoughts about this and blog from the Lean Accounting Summit.

What do you think: Is it time to get lean?

Resources:

Loading