Strategic Planning

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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How do you motivate workers to make improvements that may result in personal job losses? How can employees become committed to a culture and environment that so cavalierly views them as expendable? Traditional costing has so many trappings that work against lean concepts that it is no wonder most of the operations people tend to ignore the accountants and accounting reports. There continues to be a rift between the shop floor and the “ivory tower,” with minimal communication as management accountants seldom have a good understanding of their customer—those working on the products and trying to make decisions on improving those products and satisfying their customers.

While we recognize that every environment is different and there is no “one size fits all” model for everyone, there are certain principles that can be explained and followed in attempting to build a measurement system that provides more relevant and timely information to users of that information in lean environments. We will refer to this relatively new system as lean accounting (LA) for simplicity purposes. This term is somewhat confusing, since it is difficult to determine whether it is referring to the use of lean tools in the accounting department or the application of a different management accounting measurement system.

14). In that mantra, it emphasizes a mutual trust and respect among all levels of employees. It is dedicated to maximizing both individual and team performance and challenging workers to perform at their best. Thus, Toyota is very careful in its hiring practices, and expects loyalty and responsibility from its employees in return. When associates on the shop floor have the power to stop production without recrimination upon identifying errors or defects, a sense of community and pride in their own personal growth and in their organization is established.

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