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If You Give an Accountant a Pencil…

Some of my favorite childrens books are written by Laura Joffe Numeroff. The series of Image Detailbooks, such as “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” are stories that through a chain of events begin with the title, make a full circle of events and then again, end with the title.

The story often starts innocently by giving a critter something to eat. Unfortunately, each event leads to another often messy task. The critter is very distractable and eventually is reminded once again of the item that started it all.

I have worked in many organizations, some well organized, and some not so much. Redundancy is an all too common problem in accounting. The process to get to a single result is often repeated in multiple steps or tasks. For example, when I worked for Marriott, I was promoted to a large resort hotel. I had never worked at a hotel that had so many gift certificates redeemed. Each gift certificate went through multpile hands before it was finally fully accounted for on the balance sheet. With a little effort, some common sense, and Excel expertise, a process was created that saved at least two hours each period in the reconciliation process.

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut thinking “it has always been done this way” and we forget that technology can make things better. If a task seems like it takes too long to do, it probably does! Take a moment to sit back, think about the process and find ways to make it better. There is always a better way!

So if you give an accountant a pencil, hopefully he is still not using it to write on his ledger paper.

(Disclaimer: I claim no rights to the images and link posted on this blog. I used them for illustration purposes only)


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