Lean thinking changes the way a company approaches work on a daily basis, from developing and implementing strategy to producing products and delivering services to customers. This change in thinking centers on a relentless commitment to continuous improvement, so that customers benefit from products and services that are high quality and easy to acquire, employees are set up to be successful in delivering these products and services, and the company enjoys sustained strong growth and financial performance.

At the core of lean thinking is the continuous improvement cycle – Plan, Do, Check, Adjust. Employees at all levels learn to incorporate this as a habit into their daily work. Organizations often introduce this continuous improvement thinking and the practices and tools that support it in their customer-facing operations, but adopting it in Accounting and Finance is critical in ensuring that the foundational business processes that the company relies on are effective, efficient and scalable. This is one of the many reasons that Lean Accounting is an essential part of a lean transformation.

When the accounting and finance teams strive on a daily basis to ensure that receivables, payables, payroll, financial planning, regulatory reporting, treasury and all other key functions and processes are functioning optimally, they build confidence in business processes and remove distractions for the company and its customers that allow the company to focus on profitable growth, and employees to free up capacity to make the best use of their skills and capabilities in supporting improved results.

NWIRC will offer a one-hour virtual classroom-style interactive webinar on November 4 at 11:00am, Introduction to Lean Improvement in Accounting, to teach the basic application of lean continuous improvement in accounting processes. The session will explore case studies that illustrate practical examples and begin to develop your own lean improvement plan for your accounting and finance teams.

A follow-up session is scheduled on December 2 at 11:00am, Introduction to Lean Management AccountingLean changes the way an organization thinks about making money. The financial impact of a lean strategy is well known – all we need to do is look at the many companies that have been successful in their transformations. We know that focusing an organization on customer value will result in revenue growth, and that the deployment of lean tools and techniques that create flow and eliminate waste will result in improved cost management. These are the economics of lean. But before any of that appears, a fundamental shift must occur in what and how an organization measures itself operationally and financially. Financial management must be aligned with the economics of lean, and that’s what lean accounting is all about.

Lean accounting is an essential part of a lean transformation. Besides developing the relevant and reliable information for managers, lean accounting also aligns a company’s accounting function with its lean strategy by focusing on improving accounting processes to better serve accounting’s customers. To achieve success, a lean organization must develop an effective and efficient management accounting function that complements its financial accounting system to provide a knowledge base for effectively making decisions about the future (this is critical because the focus of financial accounting is on past activity). Lean accounting makes relevant information available to decision makers on a timely basis. The Lean Management Accounting session focuses on the principles of lean accounting, economics of lean, lean management accounting overview, and essential practices for a lean accounting transformation

Presenters for the sessions are Nick Katko and Mike DeLuca of BMA. Mr. Katko is President and Owner of BMA, a lean accounting training and consulting firm. Since 2002, he has leveraged his lean accounting experience and philosophy in assisting BMA clients in developing, leading and coaching them in their Lean Accounting transformations. Mr. DeLuca is a Lean Coach with BMA, focusing on Lean Accounting and Finance. He has over 20 years of leadership experience in the corporate environment as well as over 15 years of experience bringing Lean principles to life in department and organizational processes and culture.

Find both sessions at www.nwirc.org/events.