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Practical Lean Accounting: A Proven System for Measuring and Managing the Lean Enterprise Paperback – December 19, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1563272431 ISBN-10: 1563272431
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Productivity Press (December 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563272431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563272431
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I cannot recall ever seeing a guide to putting in a new control and measurement process of any kind that is as good as this one.
Although its title suggests that it is about accounting only, the authors deal almost as much with how to manage perceptions, progress and processes in establishing lean operations to create a lean enterprise. In addition, the book is designed to allow you to apply its wisdom regardless of where you are in putting in learn manufacturing or services. You simply turn to chapter 18 to run a diagnostic to determine what you should be working on first . . . and what follows.
The book is like a finished diamond . . . each chapter exposes the beauty of another facet of lean accounting. While this creates a little redundancy, its necessary if readers are to be able to use this book by beginning at whatever stage is appropriate for them.
The book is also enhanced by a CD with templates of the formats discussed in the book.
I was particularly impressed with the in-depth continuing example that covers all of the subjects in the book. It made the concepts much easier to understand.
The writing is clear, crisp, and practical.
I have seldom seen lean manufacturing proceed unless it had strong support and direction from the accounting and financial staffs. Yet most such staffs are not yet trained in how to play those roles. With this book, they can.
A key early problem is that traditional accounting will show a REDUCTION in profits when lean manufacturing is first begin. This is because inventories will be reduced, so burden on the reduced production will be higher. That's the opposite of the economic reality, where costs are actually being reduced while inventories become smaller.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Solomon on April 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is right on target for the emerging practice of Lean accounting. It gets into the brass tacks of what you really need to do to report results that really mean something to the folks that can take action to improve the business. The entire concept of Value Stream Costing makes so much sense it's a wonder we haven't been using it for decades.
We have asked manufacturing to change, change, change in order to improve results and compete in this global market yet we have ignored the need to provide the necessary support from the accounting area. This book shows, step by step, how accounting must partner with manufacturing as well as engineering to provide actionable information in a timely manner. The old conventions of standard costing and variance analysis lead to poor decisions and this book will explain why.
A must read if you are serious about Lean manufacturing!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Josef Horber on July 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Who's Counting" and "Practical Lean Accounting" are two great books on lean accounting. I wondered some time ago, which one to read and I am glad that I could not decide, so I bought and read them both. They complement each other extremely well and each one conveys the lessons of lean accounting from a different angle.

"Practical Lean Accounting" is a well structured textbook, approaching lean accounting in a systemized way. Starting from straight-forward shop-floor measurements, like the day-by-the-hour report, it gradually immerses the reader into more demanding topics, like value stream costing or lean performance measurement, culminating in the thorough description of the Sales, Operations and Financial Planning (SOFP) process, which is the way, how an entire lean enterprise is planned, controlled and measured. Lean practitioners looking for specific answers to particular questions will find it easy to navigate through the book. People with the luxury of time for reading it cover to cover will also like it, due to the gradual increase in the complexity of the topics and the many references to other chapters.

"Who's Counting" focuses more on the human side of turning the vision of lean accounting into reality. The novel format is the best way to illustrate, how strong the resistance against change will be and from how many corners of the organization it will attack back. Knowing what to do and knowing why is not enough, the issue is not capturing people's brains. The real challenge is conquering their hearts, while tearing down decades worth of wrong beliefs, bad trade-offs and political game-playing. Mike, the hero of the book teaches us through his own mistakes, that patience, tactfulness and respect for people is more helpful, then acting like a bull in a china shop.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ross Maynard on November 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Practical Lean Accounting" is the best management accounting book I've read in 20 years - maybe more. Well written and illustrated with plenty of examples and diagrams, it adds new tools to management accounting and restores the relevance of some older ones. As such I recommend it to all management accountants and students - whether or not you are involved in lean accounting itself.

The aim of the book is to "produce a roadmap for finance managers in companies seeking to transition their organisations into lean enterprises". Lean accounting is a new approach to managing a business and, as management accountants, we have a duty to be there. As the authors say "it's never too early to start dismantling the company's transaction driven control systems. They represent huge amounts of waste and cost to the organisation !".

Specifically, lean management seeks to radically restructure the organisation into Value Streams (rather than functional departments), and this requires new management accounting tools including Value Stream performance measures, Box Scores, new methods of planning and budgeting, target costing and a whole host of other tools. The book explores all these tools in detail. The introduction of "lean" tools also allows significant reduction in transactions in the company's accounting processes, including the elimination of full-absorption costing.

Lean accounting is, therefore, designed to replace "traditional" accounting techniques which encourage inefficient practices such as building inventory, and often lead to poor management decisions (using Standard costs). Traditional measures are also too complicated for operational employees to understand easily and are often too late to be useful in shopfloor decision making.
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