Business

Lean Wednesday Tip: Objectives of a Process Improvement Project

“The validity of a well-planned process improvement project is identified through value-added process mapping, problem isolation, root cause analysis and problem solution. Ultimately, the key to refining processes is to concentrate on the process from the customer’s point of view and identify and eliminate non-value added activities.”

E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: The 4 Struggles of an inexperienced Manager

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a great week. This week I’ve been discussing employee to manager transitions with clients and the problems they have encountered with the newly appointed yet inexperienced manager. You may have witnessed an employee that has been promoted to a managerial position lose their shine as they demonstrate that they don’t actually comprehend the position. Before they were task driven and now they have to think and act strategically. Below I have noted the top 4 struggles that inexperienced managers face:

  • Inability to empower others
  • Poor delegating: Lack of trust of staff to complete tasks
  • Little or no constructive feedback given to staff
  • Lack of focus and/or skills in strategic thinking

Early manager to employee support and coaching in the inexperienced manager’s early years in the company is the best course of action in molding effective managers. Employees do what they see their managers do so make sure you walk the talk!

 

 

E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: Managing Employees when mistakes are made

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a great week. Today, I want to end this week with the topic of employee management specifically when they make mistakes. In my career, I have seen “Screaming Managers”, those that yell like banshees at their employees when something goes wrong or a mistake is made. Its worse when this is done in front of everyone as the employee’s confidence is being eaten alive coupled with the horrific embarrassment.

Then we have the passive aggressive managers, who say everything is okay but have plans to kick you out the door even if this is your first mistake. An effective and strong manager does not scream nor is passive aggressive. So, “What is the best way to manage an employee when they make a mistake?”

“Effective leaders quickly respond to an employee that has made a mistake. They use firm yet positive language to express how the mistake makes them feel and how it affects the company. They make sure the employee understands what they did wrong and give them a brief moment to digest it. Most importantly, they make it clear to the employee that confidence has not been lost and they are certain the employee will be able to not only correct it but also ensure that it is not repeated. In short, effective leaders don’t erode employee confidence they mold them to be champions.”

Lean Wednesday Tip: Tax considerations for C Corporation Dividend Payouts

“Avoid double taxation of a C Corporation’s dividend payout by structuring payments to shareholders as consulting fees. Shareholders must actually offer advice for the payments to be considered valid tax deductible transactions.”

E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: Retaining Millennial Talent

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a great week!

Recently, I’ve been reading numerous articles and speaking with clients on the millennial job hopping issues many companies are having. “How can I keep a talented millennial employee from moving on?”, a particular client asked me. I responded immediately with this answer: “Ask them want they want and listen to them!”.

“To keep your millennial talent from moving on to greener pastures you must first ask and listen to what they want. You must have an abundance of educational and training benefits and opportunities. If you offer student loan assistance, you are already a winner. Most importantly, role responsibilities, expectations, and advancement/promotion processes should be made clear to your millennial employees. In short, to increase millennial workplace satisfaction you must take the time to listen to them!”

Top 10 Business Tax Shelters You Should Know

As we all know, two things are certain in life, death and taxes. I personally enjoy doing my taxes but like everyone else I don’t enjoy paying them. In business, it is critical that you know all the deductions that are available to you when it comes to keeping your bottom line healthy and your tax payment as low as possible. See below for the top 10 business tax shelters you should know:

  • Real Estate
  • Pension Plans
  • 401K/Roth
  • Municipal Bonds
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Tuition Assistance/Reimbursement
  • Charity
  • Leasing Vehicles (offers larger deductions than owning one)
  • Assets bought on credit (e.g.; computers, equipment, inventory, office furnishings, et cetera)

It is important that businesses keep a separate high yield savings account designated for taxes and automate quarterly deposits.

Notable Bookkeeping knows taxes. Let us help you with your tax planning and research needs. Contact us today

Lean Wednesday Tip: Accounts Payable Performance

 

“By encouraging your A/P team to report and make critical department KPI metrics visual, such as, process cycle time, activity lead times, and cost per invoice with industry and competitor comparisons you realize the opportunity to reduce costs, increase productivity and streamline processes.”

Lean Wednesday Tip: Customer Focused Process Improvement

 

“Effective Lean organizations study their processes from their customer’s point of view and align their processes to meet their customers’ needs the first time and every time.” – Donna Summers

Lean Wednesday Tip

 

“To run an efficient accounting department opt for a chart of accounts with less than 180 accounts for improved productivity and financial planning.”

Reduce A/P and A/R Errors with Standardized Work

Per my previous article, “Taking a Visual Management Approach to Accounts Payable”, I touched upon a Lean Six Sigma technique, called, Standardized Work.

“Standardized work is often referred as standard operating procedures to refer to the activities that must happen in order to complete a process. Essentially, everyone doing the job does it exactly the same way.” There should be no difference as to how your Sr. Accounts Payable Manager enters and processes bills versus your Junior Accounts Payable Coordinator. There would also be no difference between the 10th time they did the work or the 7,000th time they performed the work.

These standards and process procedures should include visual checklists, setup procedures, an integrated preventative plan, or other process steps. They should be written in terms of expected behavior or actions, and must be auditable.

Why do visual process controls make sense? It is known that people gain 80% of their information from their vision, 18% from their hearing and 2% from other senses. By implementing visual standard operating procedures for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable you aid in the reduction of transaction errors and process cycle time; and improve overall productivity, and client and vendor relations.

Critical departmental information, such as, KPI metrics (cost of A/P and A/R invoice, current process cycle time, on time delivery rate, et cetera) compared with industry and competitor data should also be visual as this will prompt your team to look for opportunities to improve.