Today, organizations are squeezing their finance and accounting functions like never before. Expectations are at an all-time high, yet resources are increasingly scarce. The most common solutions to these challenges are to cut managers, invest in automation, or simply ask people to do more and hope for the best.
Sometimes finance leadership is correct in knowing that waste exists in their department, but they may wrongfully assume that cutting staff or piling on more responsibilities will force their staff to stop doing the inefficient activities. It’s become increasingly clear that traditional approaches fail because they don’t improve the work processes.
Lean is an alternative approach that changes the way the work is performed. At its heart, Lean is an operating philosophy focused on creating customer value—in simple terms Lean is about doing more of the right tasks with less wasted effort. Lean also provides a toolkit for achieving and sustaining process excellence. When applied in the back office, Lean helps identify the value provided to internal and external customers, focus effort on the tasks that deliver value and eliminate effort spent on wasteful activities wherever they exist.