New England Accounting Firm Benefits from Lean Six Sigma

New England Accounting Firm Benefits from Lean Six Sigma

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Why do organizations pursue methodologies like Six Sigma, Lean, and Agile?

The answer, of course, is to improve processes and streamline efforts. But why? What is the most valuable outcome that these philosophies create? Better customer service? Lower operating costs? Improved communication among teams?

The answer depends on which organization you ask. But if you asked Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. – one of New England’s top accounting firms – you’d get an answer you probably wouldn’t expect.

Time.

“We had tried several other ways to become better at improving efficiency,” Melyssa Brown, a senior manager in MBK’s auditing department, said in an interview with BusinessWest. “But we needed that outside person’s view of what the best course of action might be.”

In an effort to create value for the organization, Brown decided to pursue her Green Belt in Six Sigma. After earning it, she spearheaded a campaign to streamline some of MBK’s most complicated processes. The company has given her its total support, and after seeing some of the returns on her efforts, MBK has embraced a Lean philosophy.

Reimagining Lean Methodology

The Lean methodology, simply stated, is about correction. You examine an existing process by tearing it down into individual steps, and you analyze each of those steps based on the value it facilitates. If a step can be reduced or removed without negatively affecting the value of the overall process, then it needs to be corrected.

Lean was initially designed to streamline manufacturing processes, but over the last few years, people like Brown have reimagined the methodology. They’re using it to improve bookkeeping, reporting, communication and more.

At MBK, the newly-green-belted Brown decided to focus on processes that wasted the organization’s time. Her first major victory involved improving client communication.

“Before, we would send a list of needed information via e-mail, in Word or Excel, and the client would either send us documents via e-mail, save it to a jump drive, or find some other way to get it to us,” she told BusinessWest. “But it was never really clear if we had a certain piece; we would say, ‘do we have an accounts-receivable list?’ and they would say, ‘yes, you have it,’ and someone here would say, ‘I don’t think I do.’”

Brown analyzed this process, and she found wasted time, redundant effort and needless headaches. So she led the development of an online repository for client information – a one-stop shop for all the client reports, financial figures and contact information MBK needed to service their customers.

It might seem like a minor change, but Brown created extra time with this solution, and extra time has led to other positive results.

“Before, we may have thought that we needed to hire more people to get the work done,” she said. “Now, we can get the same amount of work done with fewer hours and the same amount of people – or more work, because you’re taking on new projects with the time that you’ve saved.”

The post New England Accounting Firm Benefits from Lean Six Sigma appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.




Original: http://www.sixsigmadaily.com/accounting-benefits-lean-six-sigma/
By: James LoPresti
Posted: July 11, 2017, 1:37 pm

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