Strategic Planning

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

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

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

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There is minimal inventory because product is only produced if there is demand, and work-­in-­process is not moved in large batches waiting to be processed. There is a noticeable “pulse” to production, often referred to as takt time—the production time required for each process to meet customer demand. Parts inventory is supplied only as needed through 32 ◾ Accounting in the Lean Enterprise: Providing Simple, Practical, and Decision-Relevant Information a well-­designed kanban system. To be helpful in this environment, accountants should be supportive of the kanbans, with information that is visible, timely, and easy to understand.

Until its philosophy and methodology become more widely disseminated, it will continue Principles of Lean Accounting ◾ 39 to be received with skepticism. It needs to be clearly defined with available case studies (Kennedy and Widener, 2008) and empirical evidence (Fullerton, Kennedy, and Widener, 2013) of its potential contribution to lean adopters for more widespread implementation. Most people will agree that the traditional internal reporting system that continues to be used by the majority of firms is inadequate, but they are still resistant to making major changes to their own accounting systems.

On the other hand, managerial and cost accounting information is designed to meet the needs of internal users, and in a lean environment, provides information by value stream as both a feedback mechanism and a planning tool for value stream teams. A properly designed value stream costing system is cost-­effective, reduces wasteful transactions, and is able to serve both functions in a lean organization—external GAAP-­compliant financial reporting at the enterprise level and internal management reporting at a value stream level.

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