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Process Improvement

Posted By Jim Boomer, CIO & Shareholder, Boomer Consulting, Inc., Friday, March 7, 2014

The below blog post is a segment of the 2013 Boomer Technology Circles fall letter. This letter highlights the latest strategies, directions and resources discussed at the Fall round of Circle meetings. To learn more about the Boomer Technology Circles, please visit

Technology is embedded in about everything we do from a work standpoint these days.  It’s also embedded in our processes.  There is a huge interest in increasing efficiency and improving workflow through automation and technology.  And, many firms are attacking this from the process side and initiating major Lean Six Sigma process improvement projects. There are two approaches that firms are taking here: 1) engage a 3rd party expert to lead them through the project and 2) sending employees to training to get their Lean Six Sigma certification so they can drive the initiative.  Both approaches have had success but the firms using an outside resource have made quicker progress.

With the ubiquitous nature of technology today, it’s hard to look at processes and streamlining workflow without considering tools to accelerate your progress.  Some of the tools that are gaining a lot of interest are tools like to handle payables and receivables digitally and electronic signatures for client documents such as engagement letters as well as internal documents requiring a signature.  Many firms are anxiously watching the IRS and waiting for them to approve electronic signatures for Form 8879.  In the meantime, we are seeing a growing adoption of this technology  (cPaperless’ CPA SafeSign, EchoSign & DocuSign) due to the time savings and automation of processes.  Tools like Tallie and Expensify are also available to streamline the expense reporting process.    

As with any business, your firm has a lot of processes and a frequent question is “where do we start?”  The answer is to start with the processes that have the biggest impact on your firm’s performance.  Most firms are applying the Lean Six Sigma principals to the tax, audit and client accounting services to get the ball rolling.  Once they have some success and confidence, they are moving on to other areas of the firm.

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