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

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The Impact of Best Practices on Employees

The impact of best practices on employees is significant. In the short run, there is an overwhelming feeling of discontent, because any kind of change makes employees nervous about what the impact will be on their jobs. Admittedly, a primary purpose of using best practices is to reduce the payroll expense in the accounting department, or at least to handle an increased workload with the same number of employees. Consequently, employees have a reason to be concerned.

There are several ways to deal with employee concerns. One is to create a standard policy of rolling all displaced employees onto a project team that will be used to implement even more best practices. This approach tends to attract the best employees to the project team, but also has the disadvantage of eventually displacing so many employees that there are too many people staffing the implementation team. The opposite approach is to be up-front about projected changes to employee jobs and to give a generous amount of both notice and severance pay to those people who will be displaced. Given the realities of paying extra money to departing employees and the need for well-staffed implementation teams, the recommended approach is somewhere in the middle—to retain a few of the best employees to run new projects, which reduces the amount of severance that must be paid out to departing employees.

The other problem, which is more of a long-run issue, is communications. Even after ...

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