Mike Knapp | Process Improvement

Process Improvement

April 04, 2014

Over the last several months I’ve been spending time working with a client’s finance department on process improvement. While their headcount is quite small, their finance and accounting there is complex – they’re a multi-national public (SOX applies) company managing several very major projects (think $10-100 million each).


Our focus was to reduce the monkey-work and improve audit-ability and reporting in the accounting department so they can be focused on high-value work. Would you believe Excel is one of the best tools for doing this?


We started by looking at some of the end-to-end processes and decided to implement two major systems:

* web-based time sheets
* Web-based purchase orders


Both of these systems replaced Excel-based forms which the finance team had to manually manage, compile and report on.


The new time sheet system is incredibly simple – exactly enough for the company’s requirements. We now have complete visibility into every project, automated approvals, vacation/sick time accrual, and reporting (ad-hoc and automatic). With the work flow in place and automatic reporting, the auditors are very happy and their accounting team has almost no administrative overhead.