By McVay, Gloria; Kennedy, Frances; Fullerton, Rosemary
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Additional resources for Accounting in the Lean Enterprise : Providing Simple, Practical, and Decision-Relevant Information
Remember that lean companies generally have minimal inventories, and the direct costing focus of lean accounting should actually result in a more accurate inventory valuation than the traditional costing system of estimated overhead allocations, with which most auditors are comfortable. Another management concern is the potential loss of trends and comparison data from tracking budgets and standard costs. This may be an issue initially, but one that should be dismissed when management understands that the new information will be more informative, more accurate, simpler to calculate, and easier to understand.
The real rewards from value stream mapping begin when the future state is developed—the place you would like to move to in your value stream to improve flow and eliminate waste. Before the future state value stream map can be drawn, intense brainstorming should occur among team members to discuss improvement ideas. Some of the questions you may want to consider include the following: ◾◾ What do the customers need that they are not currently receiving? ◾◾ Which current state steps create value and which ones are wasteful?
Cost distortion, particularly incremental direct labor and allocated manufacturing overhead, can impair decision making by adversely affecting management’s ability to correctly analyze costs. Decision frameworks better suited to lean environments are discussed in Chapter 7. In a lean accounting system, costs are more direct and understandable, relying on fewer estimates and allocations, and providing real-time decision-making data. As we examine the creation of value stream income statements and the valuation of inventory, it is important to note that the same accounting system used to 41 42 ◾ Accounting in the Lean Enterprise: Providing Simple, Practical, and Decision-Relevant Information produce internal information can also be used for financial statement creation.