Key leaders at Lean Accounting Summit

Lean Accounting

What is Lean Accounting?

Lean Accounting, simply put, is the application of Lean Thinking to Accounting and Finance: improve customer value by first understanding what creates value and then driving out the waste that gets in the way. This challenges us in the Accounting and Finance team to understand who our customers are, and how what we do enables them to create value for the organization’s end customers.

Why is Lean Accounting important?

Lean Accounting enables, focuses and accelerates the Lean organization’s progress in improving customer value. The Lean Accounting and Finance team creates capacity through continuous process improvement so that we can dedicate our skills and capabilities to informing value-creating decisions. Value-added activities range from informing understanding of the drivers of financial outcomes through Lean operations, to informing decisions that improve profitability, to advancing the capability of strategy deployment by making the right things visible: measuring the right things in the clearest, most effective way.

Learn more about how to introduce or advance Lean Thinking in your Accounting and Finance team by exploring this website and contacting us.

Join the Community of Lean Accounting Learning and Practice

Latest in Lean Accounting from our Knowledge Center

An Accountant's Guide to Understanding Lean Accounting

One of the difficulties accountants face in understanding Lean Accounting is that we are trained to be “doers” of accounting. But to understand Lean Accounting, accountants need to adjust their perspective from “doing” to “practicing.” And the first step to begin practicing Lean Accounting is to change the way we think as accountants.

May 12, 2020

Accounting and Finance – How Can We Help?

“I've been thinking about what we as Lean Finance and Accounting practitioners can be doing during this time of ‘business-as-unusual’ and wanted to offer a few ideas that I hope will generate thoughtful discussion, sharing and co-learning as a community.”

April 3, 2020


Read More

Connect with the Lean Accounting Community


Upcoming Workshops, Summits, Webinars

Lean Accounting Community Chat

The Lean Accounting Community Chat is a free, weekly Lean Accounting discussion forum hosted by Nick Katko and Mike De Luca. This weekly event provides an opportunity for lean accounting and finance practitioners to gather to discuss what’s on their mind, ask questions, learn, share, and most of all to make connections and friendships with fellow practitioners.

Tuesdays, 11 AM Eastern time

Lean Accounting Knowledge Certification

Lean Thinking is well established in manufacturing, healthcare, and service industries. Too often there is a disconnect between a lean strategy and traditional accounting practices. If you are in accounting and struggle to understand and better support operations as they apply lean throughout the organization, this course is for you.

Online, self-paced

Lean Accounting Summit – Virtual

The Lean Accounting Summit has long served the accounting community by exploring accounting’s role in measuring and motivating the lean enterprise. The goal of this Summit has been to better align Accounting with Operations inside of an organization. We’ve taken this one step further by intentionally bringing in a mix of Management-related topics that are outside of accounting directly, but closely connected to accounting.

Fall 2020, TBD


8 Wastes: Finance examples

Waste Internal External
Defects Filed with incorrect name Wrong account number on invoice
Over Production Creating reports that have information not read Raw materials requiring an obsolescence reserve
Waiting Review cost entries monthly Timesheet not submitted
Neglect of Human Talent Don’t know how a report is used by a recipient Users don’t know meaning of account names
Transportation Split costs between departments Sending hard copy to accounting
Inventory Processing employee expense reports weekly WIP transactions that sit more than one day
Motion Going to file cabinet to get hardcopy documents Bringing invoices to accounting
Excess Processing Sorting invoices by vendor name Keeping a spreadsheet of invoices sent to accounting

Suggested Reading

Real Numbers (eBook)

By Jean Cunningham

Real Numbers

By Jean E. Cunningham and Orest J. Fiume

The Value Add Accountant

By Jean Cunningham

Easier, Simpler, Faster

By Jean Cunningham and Duane Jones