Just-in-Time Accounting: How to Decrease Costs and Increase Efficiency

By Steven M. Bragg | Go to book overview

Preface

This third edition of Just-in-Time Accounting is designed for anyone who wants to streamline an accounting system so that transactions can be processed with minimal errors and staff time. The book uses a multi-step approach to improving accounting systems. First, we describe and chart an existing process, focusing on the inputs, processing steps, and outputs associated with each transaction. In many cases, this includes an analysis of wait times and paper flow among employees and departments, in order to differentiate non value-added from valueadded activities. Second, we list a number of suggestions for reducing or streamlining the workload. This can include the application of new technology, eliminating redundant or unnecessary control points, reducing the number of people involved, and compressing some activities.

Each chapter outlines the effects on accounting controls of the suggestions for improvement. This includes a discussion of which controls can be eliminated, how to bolster remaining controls, and which new controls should be added.

Each chapter contains samples of cost/benefit analyses that can be used as models when creating actual cost/benefit analyses for justifying the implementation of revised systems. Special problems with identifying some costs and associated savings are also noted.

Streamlining the accounting function eliminates some of the old accounting reports. In many cases, this requires their replacement with new reports that are more useful for the revised system. Consequently, sample reports are described in each chapter, which can be used as templates. In addition, the chapters include new metrics that monitor the revised systems.

This multi-step approach applies to Chapters 2 through 8, covering transactions in the following areas: the sales cycle, cash, inventory, accounts payable, cost accounting, payroll, and the budget. Chapters 9 through 12 discuss improvements to other accounting areas that either

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Just-in-Time Accounting: How to Decrease Costs and Increase Efficiency
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • About the Author ix
  • Preface xi
  • Free Online Resources xiii
  • Chapter 1 - Setting Up and Improving the Accounting Department 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Sales Cycle 25
  • Chapter 3 - Cash 69
  • Chapter 4 - Inventory 87
  • Chapter 5 - Accounts Payable 139
  • Chapter 6 - Cost Accounting 183
  • Chapter 7 - Payroll 211
  • Chapter 8 - The Budget 245
  • Chapter 9 - Closing the Books1 271
  • Chapter 10 - Data Collection and Storage Systems 297
  • Chapter 11 - Process Documentation 317
  • Chapter 12 - Change Management 337
  • Index 349
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