Streamlining Your Operations

Jul 15, 2015

In almost any organization, operations can be reviewed and streamlined. This was especially true in the case of an organization I met with the other day. Their controller of 30 years left and resulted in the discovery of numerous inefficiencies that had developed over a period of time. Fortunately, this organization recognizes this as an opportunity for improvements.

Some of the organization’s significant weaknesses involved the overuse of Excel spreadsheets and the under use of the software system. While this was not the worst I had ever encountered, the over utilization of Excel spreadsheets was evident. Information was keyed into an Excel spreadsheet and then key it into the software system. Not only did this waste time, but also provided the opportunity for error. Anytime you are keying information into Excel, your organization is at risk of missing a formula or keying in the information inaccurately. Clearly, this system was in dire need of greater efficiency.

Eliminating the extra steps freed up time for the new controller so he could truly be in more of an oversight and analytical role rather than data entry. We have discussed implementing automated processes which would still have an oversight step, but without the unnecessary data input. This would also create real-time data accessible to management.

streamline system

Did you know 86% of all Excel spreadsheets have errors in them? This in itself should be a deterrent for incorporating such in your system. Second, more often than not,  multiple versions exist – none of which may be the most recent version.  Not everyone can view the same information concurrently unless the data is printed and as stated, who knows if the correct version is being examined.

Believe it or not, I am a huge advocate of Excel. However, I only believe in its implementation when error proofing type techniques are in place.

Next time you are going through your processes, think about all of the steps involved and ask yourself if it makes sense. Are you duplicating efforts? What have you done to make your system better?

Categories: Cost Accounting