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Fix the Process, Not the People
Renee Cveykus and Erin Carter, CPA
After successfully optimizing processes in about 800 manufacturing and operational projects worldwide, Medtronic, Inc. recently proved that its unique "Lean Sigma" formula is applicable to any process, including financial business transactions. By applying a kaizen, an accelerated week-long improvement event, to five global accounts payable scenarios, Lean Sigma teams achieved measurable results, empowering employees and changing old paradigms in the process.
Making the Cost of Quality Practical
Quality is a company-wide concern because when decisions impacting quality are made in one division, they may generate costs in another division, typically downstream. A COQ system developed from the bottom up is more likely to yield data for action and a sufficient understanding for driving operational decisions.
COSO at a Crossroad
Lawrence Richter Quinn
The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) labored long and hard to produce its Enterprise Risk Management Integrated Framework, but is this model at risk of being shunted aside by nimbler, more popular competitors? One positive sign: Despite its perceived weaknesses, studies show that companies outside the U.S. are adopting it at a level higher than in the country where it was introduced in 2004.
Closing Pandora's Box
Costs of complying with the Sarbanes-Oxely Act have far exceeded forecasts, and something needs to be done about it. That was the consensus of a roundtable in May hosted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. One business executive complained that SOX impels management to become "so focused on value protection that they're not creating value."
When Knowledge Isn't Power: Why CFOs and Controllers Complain about Their Jobs
Paul Kunin, CPA
CFOs and controllers have the most knowledge about their company's finances but not the power-hence the frustration and sometimes anger at the boss for not listening to their advice. The solution, according to this headhunter: Controllers and CFOs should control their own careers by finding a company that values and uses their knowledge.
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