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The Changing Role of Management Accountants in a Lean Enterprise – From ‘Bean Counter’ to Delivering Customer Value
Cost Management (2016)
  • Mark E Pickering
  • Vanessa A Byrnes
Abstract
Implementing Lean in organizations requires significant changes for all managers and staff including support staff, such as cost and management accountants.  Lean enterprises utilize different forms of control and have disparate management information requirements than traditional organizations. Lean accounting involves a move away from traditional management accounting to better meet the needs of Lean organizations. 
 
The change for management accountants can be challenging with substantial differences in the roles and requiring the learning of new skills and ‘unlearning’ of some existing ones.   The good news is that, for those who can adapt, working in Lean organizations enables management accountants to move away from the ‘bean counter’ role to greater participation in the business, adding value to operational processes and strategic decisions.   
 
Even for management accountants in non-Lean enterprises, Lean accounting provides insights and positive examples as to how some of the problematic ‘sacred cows’ of traditional management accounting can be slayed and replaced with more valuable information and processes.
 
Keywords
  • Lean,
  • Accounting,
  • Management Accountants
Disciplines
Publication Date
January, 2016
Citation Information
Mark E Pickering and Vanessa A Byrnes. "The Changing Role of Management Accountants in a Lean Enterprise – From ‘Bean Counter’ to Delivering Customer Value" Cost Management (2016) p. 38 - 47 ISSN: 1092-8057
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_pickering/17/