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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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Types of Best Practices

This section describes the two main types of best practices, each one requiring considerably different implementation approaches.

The first type of best practice is an incremental one. This usually involves either a small modification to an existing procedure or a replacement of a procedure that is so minor in effect that it has only a minimal impact on the organization, or indeed on the person who performs the procedure. The increased level of efficiency contributed by a single best practice of this type is moderate at best, but this type is also the easiest to install, since there is little resistance from the organization. An example of this type of best practice is using a signature stamp to sign checks (see Chapter 3); it is simple, cuts a modest amount of time from the check preparation process, and there will be no complaints about its use. However, only when this type of best practice is used in large numbers is there a significant increase in the level of efficiency of accounting operations.

The second type of best practice involves a considerable degree of reengineering. This requires the complete reorganization or replacement of an existing function. The level of change is massive, resulting in employees either being laid off or receiving vastly different job descriptions. The level of efficiency improvement can be several times greater than the old method it is replacing. However, the level of risk matches the reward, for this type of best practice ...

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