lean.org Lean Enterprise Institute 2
Conference organizers said the lean accounting movement seeks a shift from traditional costaccounting practices to practices that accurately measure and motivate companies implementinglean management principles.The goal of the award program is to bring the principles and practices of lean accounting intohigher education, which is still a challenge, Fullerton said.
“There are some excellent books on lean accounting,” she said, “b
ut they are prepared forpractitioners, which is very different from a typical textbook approach. In the classic costaccounting textbooks, there is also little information on lean accounting yet. There is much roomto grow in lean accounting education, but there are also encouraging pockets of interest
Getting graduate accounting students to look beyond career opportunities in public accountingalso is a challenge.
“The public accounting firms are certainly the main recruiters,” she said. “So even though my
graduate students really seem to enjoy my lean accounting focused class
I consistently getmy highest teaching evaluations in this class
it is more difficult to pique their general interestin the material and convince them of its career relevance. I do have students come back aftergraduation and tell me that the lean class was the most fun graduate course they took, and they
have been able to apply the lean concepts by improving processes in their work.”
Her students learn how to apply lean management concepts, not just in accounting, buteverywhere in business, including the type of information system that supports lean managementtransformations. Students also participate in simulations and go on plant tours to see the conceptsin action. Their main assignment is a group project, where they work with a company trying toimprove a process related to accounting.
is a very different class than most accounting students are accustomed to,” she said.
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Lean Accounting Workshop from LEI guides financial and operations managers through thenecessary changes in finance needed to support lean transformations, which often cause conflictswith long-established accounting systems.
The terms lean, lean manufacturing, lean production, or lean management refer to a completebusiness system for organizing and managing product development, operations, suppliers,customer relations, and the overall enterprise that requires less capital, material, space, time, orhuman effort to produce products and services with fewer defects to precise customer desires,compared with traditional modern management.