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Real Numbers
Real Numbers
by Jean E. Cunningham and Orest J. Fiume
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Management Accounting in a Lean Organization
Are you getting a true picture of your company’s performance?

The disturbing answer, for most senior managers and CFOs today, is no. The culprit? Current management accounting practices produce financial statements that are unnecessarily complex and confusing. As a result, most companies are run by executives who do not fully understand their own financial information.

This explosive issue and its implications are fully explored in Real Numbers. The authors, each a chief financial executive, describe how management accounting evolved to this point and how simplicity and clarity can be restored – particularly in a lean organization.

Companies throughout the world are using lean principles to dramatically change the competitive landscape while generating new profitability and market share. As these companies transform, however, financial executives are usually not prepared for how lean principles affect finance and do not know how to streamline accounting. The management accounting model illustrated in Real Numbers points the way to unlocking the true profit potential of lean.

The authors, both leaders in their companies' lean transformations, guide the reader through the necessary changes in finance that will allow accountants to become valued business partners instead of bean counters. You will also learn the simple rules of an accounting system that replaces the outdated approach focused on inventory value.

This title is also available as an e-book from Amazon.

ISBN-10:  0-9728099-0-2
Publication Date:  May 5, 2003
Number of Pages:  179
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Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham is widely recognized for her pioneering work in Lean Accounting, IT, HR and other non-production functions (Lean Business Management, The Lean Office). She is the co-author of Real Numbers (Lean Accounting) and Easier, Simpler, Faster (Lean IT), which won the 2004 and 2008 Shingo Prize for Research respectively. Jean is principle of Jean Cunningham Consulting, which provides lean business management services including workshops, kaizen events, and strategic coaching. She speaks at lean conferences and teaches Lean Accounting for the Ohio State University Master of Business Operational Excellence program. Jean was previously the CFO at Lantech Inc and Marshfield Door Systems and the voluntary CFO for the Association of Manufacturing Excellence. She has a BS in Accounting from Indiana University and an MBA from Northeastern University’s Executive Program.

Orest (Orry) Fiume Orry was vice president of Finance and Administration and a Director of The Wiremold Company, West Hartford, CT, which gained international recognition as a leader in lean business management in "Lean Thinking", by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones. Orry led Wiremold’s conversion to lean accounting in 1991 and developed alternate management accounting systems that supported the company’s entire lean business efforts. Orry has studied lean production in both the U.S. and Japan and has been a guest speaker at conferences around the world. He has taught workshops on management accounting in a lean business and given workshops on lean leadership to senior executives. Orry is the co-author of the 2004 Shingo Prize winning book Real Numbers: Management Accounting in a Lean Organization. He was also inducted as a Life Member of the Shingo Prize Academy.
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