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Process Improvement is Not Just a Buzz Word

One of our clients has a process problem; they don’t trust the data in QuickBooks, so they are using Excel to track inventory. They are concerned too many employees have access to the system and are keying in bad data.

As business process and accounting consultants, we see problems like this every day. My job is to question the processes my clients have in place and help find cheaper, better and faster alternatives. While this blog series is about how to determine if you have the right software in place, “processes” are an integral part of that decision.

If employees are spending a lot of time on data entry, creating manual reports or using Excel for something like inventory tracking when there is an inventory module installed, it’s time to find a system that integrate those functions. Use available technology to streamline processes, reduce data entry and create more efficient processes.

I start by talking to the client’s accounting department to determine what is happening. I find out what each employee is doing every day, week and month, asking, “Why are we doing things this way?” The answer will give you a lot of insight into what is working … and what isn’t.

For the client I mentioned earlier, we’re cleaning up the company’s QuickBooks file and then implementing a tool that provides a data review process before the data posts. This should solve the data integrity issue, improve processes and enable them to take advantage of the functionality QuickBooks provides.

My next blog offers a new way to review the constraints of your current system.

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