Re-Energizing an Old System – Reporting
Businesses transform, sometimes daily. Accounting systems evolve.
How do you know whether your accounting system has fallen behind the business?
Ask people if they use their reports.
Don’t wait for them to ask for new ones.
They often assume that what they are getting are the only reports available.
Don’t just accept what they say.
Sometimes even when you ask they are not forthcoming or can even be hostile. I asked a production manager what would help him schedule jobs for the tool and die shop. His first answer was, “There’s no way you’re replacing me with a computer.” That night I used a spreadsheet to make a mock version of the kind of report I had in mind. When I showed it to him the next day, he tore it apart. Why did I use the shop number? Customers always call using their P.O. number, etc. etc. But we had moved from discussing whether he needed a report to just what report would help. Eventually we found what he needed, and no, he was never replaced by a computer!
Reporting is the key because it supports good decision making. It’s not just the reports, but also how they are formatted and how quickly they are produced.