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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Lean Management Accounting:   Sometimes called Lean Accounting, it refers to the restructuring of management accounting and controls to accurately report the results of improvements that are continuously being made during a lean transformation. Because current accounting systems were mostly developed in the early 1900s to support large batch manufacturing, traditional accounting systems often send signals that encourage batch processing and silo decision-making.  Lean management accounting has these objectives:Provide accurate, timely, and understandable information to motivate the lean transformation throughout the organization, and for decision-making leading to increased customer value, growth, profitability, and cash flow.  Support the lean culture by providing information that is More »
Accounting and Finance - How Can We Help?
By: Mike De Luca | April 3, 2020
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. More »
Accounting for the Right Reasons
By: Jim Huntzinger | March 1, 2020
My first job after graduating from Purdue University was as a manufacturing engineer with the Japanese company, Aisin Seiki. Aisin U.  S.  A. was in the process of transplanting to North America to supply components to Toyota manufacturing operations in Fremont, California (NUMMI), Georgetown, Kentucky, and Cambridge, Ontario. The Georgetown assembly plant was not yet running production. More »
Accounting for the Lean Accounting Award
By: Chet Marchwinski | August 18, 2016
In this series, we talk to past winners of the Excellence in Lean Accounting Award to learn what impact the award and the scholarship it supports has had on the teaching and practice of accounting.    More »
How to Optimize the Use of Staff Skills and Time by Making Capacity Visible: An Example from Accounting
By: Mike De Luca | December 17, 2020
Learn how a Finance and Accounting team used lean thinking to make capacity visible, which, in turn, helped it better manage workload and deliverables, reduce individual work overburden, and improve the team’s ability to fully use their skills. More »
Lean Accounting is about Respect for People
By: Jerry Solomon | July 16, 2020
The author recalls his first experience in learning first-hand the importance of providing easily understandable information to the people who can and will make a difference; it was transformative. More »
An Accountant’s Guide to Understanding Lean Accounting
By: Nick Katko | May 12, 2020
I think one of the difficulties accountants face in understanding Lean Accounting is that we are trained to be “doers” of accounting. Our training and education is about how to perform accounting tasks and functions, from learning the basics of journal entries in Accounting 101 to how to close the month in the company we work at. We want to master how to execute, and the better we are at executing, the better accountants we are.  To understand Lean Accounting, accountants need to adjust their perspective from “doing” to “practicing.  ” And the first step to begin practicing Lean Accounting More »
By: Orry (Orest) Fiume | December 31, 2019
“Lean Accounting” has been around for about 30 years, yet its adoption has not been widespread. Is that true? More »
Lean Accounting Podcast from OSU MBOE
December 31, 2019
It's a common misconception that lean in accounting equates to merely a cost-cutting tool. In this podcast from the Ohio State University Master of Business Operational Excellence program (MBOE), LEI Chairman Jean Cunningham discusses a broader model of lean in accounting with Aravind Chandrasekaran, Academic Director of MBOE. Through improved decision-making and impact on the five different "levers" of financial outcomes, Cunningham discusses the impact of lean accounting on value creation. More »
WLEI: 23. Lean Accounting Panel Discussion with Art Byrne, Jean Cunningham, Jim Huntzinger, Nick Katko, and Mike DeLuca
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | November 18, 2019
Many lean thinkers find the traditional accounting reporting completely out of alignment with the new lean management system.   Part of PDCA is checking outcomes to help identify next steps, but if the financial language of business is not reliable to provide good information for evaluation and decision making, sustainment of good experiments is at risk.   Is there a better way? Yes, according to the five panelists on this week’s podcast.  Additional Articles:How lean accounting promotes lean in the organizationProfit and Cost At ToyotaCost Saving is Tired--Value Creation is Hot!Real Number bookThe Value Add Accountantbook More »
Lean Accounting Is Simpler, Faster, Cheaper, and More Accurate Than Traditional Management Accounting, so Why Don’t More Companies Use It?
July 31, 2019
Five thought leaders of the movement recently held a special conversation about what lean accounting is and isn’t, why it is vital to sustaining a culture of continuous improvement, how it relates to GAAP, and why it provides a truer picture of how your company is performing.   As long-time lean accounting practitioners, they also liberally share practical, real-world examples of how traditional accounting can mislead and misinform decision-makers. More »
Join us at the Lean Accounting & Management Summit
July 31, 2019
Increase your professional value while learning how lean accounting sustains a lean transformation. Register today for the Lean Accounting Summit, Sept 12-13, 2019. More »
How Accounting “Squirrels” Can Ferret Out Waste
By: Jean Cunningham | March 15, 2019
While other functions are busy as beavers looking for waste during a lean transformation, your accounting staff is like a squirrel with its head stuck in a yogurt cup. They only see the traditional work right in front of them instead of digging into data for buried “nuts” of waste, says Jean Cunningham, LEI’s new executive chairman. More »
How lean accounting promotes lean in the organization
By: Mike De Luca | January 31, 2018
Lean finance helps make upstream problems visible and provides consultative products and services to support the organization in increasing customer value.  In his book “Getting the Right Things Done,” Pascal Dennis writes, “When implementing strategy deployment , engage the Finance team early on. Too often this group is relegated to the lowly position of ‘bean counters,’ rather than its proper role: trusted advisor and business partner.  ” In my years of experience as a finance leader in a health-care organization, and more recently, as a lean consultant, I have seen firsthand how lean in the finance and accounting function can More »
Ask Art: What sets lean accounting apart from traditional accounting?
By: Art Byrne | November 15, 2016
"You can’t really become a lean enterprise without making the shift from traditional standard-cost accounting to lean (i.  e. plain English) accounting," writes Art Byrne. Read more to learn why a lean accounting department is crucial to a complete organizational transformation. More »
Lean Accounting’s Acceptance Makes Slow, Steady Headway in Academia
By: Marchwinski, Chet | September 6, 2013
Professor Gerald DeBusk, PhD, winner of an Excellence in Lean Accounting Award from the Lean Enterprise Institute, reflects on the progress -- or lack of it -- of lean concepts in academia. More »
Creating the Course and Tools for a Lean Accounting System
By: Chet Marchwinski | June 25, 2003
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Value-Stream Maps
A unit of Parker Hannifin used a financial kaizen and other lean accounting techniques to bridge the gaps between shop-floor improvements and traditional financial statements. More »
Lean Accounting
To sustain a lean transformation, top executive and financial managers must know how to transform routine accounting practices to a new system that not only is lean itself but also supports lean practices. More »
Debunking the 'Time Drives Costs' Myth with Lean Financial Thinking
By: Nick Katko | November 19, 2020
Learn why you must stop allocating costs based on time--and how lean financial thinking and practice gives you a more accurate way to understand and track this important metric. More »
What Finance Teams Can Learn from the Lean Practice of ‘Go See, Ask Why, Show Respect’ - Part 1
By: Mike De Luca | October 15, 2020
Join a "lean accounting" coach as he recounts several gemba walks with Finance and Accounting leaders and shares their "ah-ha" reaction. More »
How a Lean Quoting Process Helps You Capture High-Value Opportunities, Part 3
By: Ed Grinde | August 11, 2020
Setting up a Daily Opportunity Review Board helps your company strategically respond to high-value customer inquiries. More »
Creating a Lean Quoting Process to Support Your Lean Transformation, Part 2
By: Ed Grinde | July 9, 2020
When you view your lean transformation as a growth strategy, you’ll want to develop a lean quoting process that responds to customer inquiries faster than the competition and allows you to focus on high-value opportunities. Here’s a process that’s designed to quickly complete 95+% of all quotes, which frees up your value stream quoting team to spend time on the handful of large and/or special quotes that will truly increase your company’s profits. More »
Why a Lean Transformation Requires a New Quoting Process, Part 1
By: Ed Grinde | June 11, 2020
How to ensure your lean transformation leads to improved profitability. More »
My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality?
By: Michael Ballé | February 10, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality? More »
Light Students’ Fire for Learning Through Teaching Lean
By: Laurie Burney | February 1, 2020
One of the greatest motivations for teaching for me is when I have a tangible impact on students’ thinking and learning. While traditional management accounting fits mass production processes, to add value in a lean organization, management accountants need to “buy in” to how our roles must adjust to be part of the decision-making team where we can transition beyond the bean counter or gatekeeper characterization.    More »
Dealing with Standard Costing in Lean Organizations
By: Nick Katko | January 15, 2020
If you are in the accounting department in a lean manufacturing company, and your company uses a standard costing system, it is inevitable that the you will be faced with dealing how your standard costing system is being used. More »
The Value Add Accountant Book Club Questions
September 19, 2019
In The Value Add Accountant, you will learn how adopting this new role can enable accounting and finance to proactively support business decision making and impact improved outcomes. This expanded role has both accounting operations and company-wide elements. It is initiated by applying Lean principles and tools to everyday processes to minimize mind-numbing transaction work and other waste from accounting processes. Those improvements increase available accounting capacity. This capacity is then applied to impacting the future with more time spent on internal customer-based, value adding activities for the organization.  LEI makes it easy to learn together, download our free book More »
Made-to-Order Lean Book Club Questions
July 25, 2019
Made-to-Order Lean focuses on operational process improvement, but also dedicates 3 chapters to improving indirect (transactional) processes, which are a more intricate portion in these organizations and account for significant cost & lead time in high mix environments.  LEI makes it easy to learn together, download our free book club questions below. More »
Profit and Cost At Toyota
By: Jean Cunningham | July 12, 2019
Fresh off a tour of Japan where she observed how Toyota talks about costs and profit on the shop floor, LEI Chairperson Jean Cunningham shares thoughts and urges others to learn the language of financial outcomes. "Let’s learn the language of financial outcomes. Let’s conserve energy and benefit from the environmental improvements that lean offers by reducing waste of all kinds.  " More »
Cost Saving is Tired--Value Creation is Hot!
By: Jean Cunningham | June 5, 2019
Lean affects financial outcomes--dramatically so in firms that incorporate widespread lean thinking over the long term, says LEI Chair Jean Cunningham. And yet she counsels you not to fixate on cost reduction or product cost. Look instead at the real numbers. More »
Real Numbers Book Club Questions
April 12, 2019
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 More »
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