TXM Lean Case Study – Streamlining Accounting Processes

Client Agilent

The Challenge

Our client was a division of a S&P250 global technology company. To meet US Corporate requirements in a SOX environment, the business was required to report its monthly financial results to the US Parent no later than the end of the fourth working day of the new month. This was proving a major challenge. The accounting and finance team were regularly working 16 hour days after month end and submitting a result at the very last minute that was often inaccurate. On average the US Head Office made 10 queries challenging the data in each monthly result. This reflected poorly on client in the eyes of their US Senior Executives.

TXM Solution

TXM worked with the finance team using our Business Process Value Stream mapping approach to map the end-to-end monthly reporting process. We identified a number of tasks that could be completed before the month end to level workload. The root causes of errors in raw data input in to month end reports were identified and upstream checks or error prevention measures put in place. A workload chart made sure that the preparation work was on track during the whole month end process to avoid a last minute rush. Visual management ensured the workflow ensuring tasks were completed on time in the correct sequence. A daily meeting also made sure the team stayed on schedule and that problems were identified and fixed early.

The Results

From typically reporting at midnight on day 4, our client now reports its results at 5pm on day 3, making it the earliest company in the global group to report. Report accuracy has also significantly improved with the number of head office queries now averaging less than one per month.

Timothy McLean

Author: Timothy McLean

Timothy McLean is the Managing Director of TXM Lean Solutions and is an author of Lean books.