This chapter covered a number of best practices that address problems in three main areas—processes, personnel, and reporting.
Many best practices covered issues in the area of accounting process, with principal recommendations covering the outsourcing of smaller functions, consolidating accounting functions, setting up a database of contract terms, as well as a knowledge management system, and focusing closely on the organization of employees around processes. These changes can bring about a major improvement in the efficiency of accounting processes.
Other best practices focused on accounting employees. A highly focused and organized training program is needed, especially when combined with cross-training for key activities, a policies and procedures manual, and a calendar of activities. These improvements will help to convert the accounting department into a highly knowledgeable and well-coordinated group.
Finally, three best practices target changes in the reporting function. One uses on-line reporting to ensure that information is disseminated as inexpensively and widely as possible, while Balanced Scorecard and function measurements are needed to determine the progress of the corporation as a whole and of individual departments, respectively, in achieving their goals. Though the reporting changes will not have an immediate impact on the efficiency of the accounting department, they will assist in informing management of companywide activities, resulting in better ...