How to Implement Lean Six Sigma in an Accounting Practice

Audit re-engineering has been around for decades and delivered significant increases in firm productivity and is now making another quantum leap in improvement by integrating the key tenants of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) into today’s digital audit workflows.

Production efficiencies learned in the manufacturing environment are being applied to audit and accounting practices and building quality control into the three major phases of a compliance engagement: planning, fieldwork, and wrap up/delivery, in addition to adding value from the client’s perspective, which is becoming a key differentiator in delivery of A&A services.


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Waxing and Waning Markets

Business guru and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch wisely advises, “Change before you have to.” Adapting proactively to shifts in the marketplace is one of the most effective ways to grow your practice.

Today’s markets are undergoing dramatic realignment. Understanding the powerful elements at work is essential to bending these forces to your advantage.

Disappearing act

For mid-market CPA firms, markets have traditionally been defined by local geography rather than by buyer group or industry. Until recently, that place-based view (“We are a mid-sized firm serving businesses in Phoenix”) has fundamentally shaped a firm’s vision and strategy.

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Can You Get Cyber Liability Insurance?

Can you even get Cyber Liability insurance?

Like with any insurance, there are those who can get it vs. those who can’t. When’s the last time you got life insurance? I got a new policy a couple of weeks ago, and a couple of the questions were an obvious screening process so they can determine if I am going to fit into their norm (i.e. make money on me).

This made me curious on who can get cyber liability insurance and who can’t. This digging led me to a series of questions (below) that basically determine if your firm even qualifies for the insurance program, and/or if it will cost you over and above their standard premium. Take a look at the questions – can your firm answer yes to all of them? If not, you need to likely get with your IT firm/person to get it going.

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New FREE Policies

We’ve also been busy during this past month adding new resources to our website.  There are several new policies for anyone to utilize for free, including a policy on E-mail Acceptable Use, Mobile Device Acceptable Use, and more.

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Xcentric Leaders on 40 Under 40 List Again

Two of our leaders made it again on CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 Under 40 list.  This award recognizes young professionals who have a great impact on the broader accounting and tax profession.  These may be individuals currently practicing in the tax and accounting space, or those who work with professionals and firms to help them achieve greater productivity and growth in their firms.

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Policy Examples & Resources Download

Part IV (the last section) of the IT Governance series gives readers specific examples of documents which should be considered for managing a CPA firm’s overall IT Governance strategy.  This is not a complete list but covers areas such as infrastructure, applications, asset management and more and is a good place to start.

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Roman Kepczyk Named All Three Consulting Awards for 2014

Xcentric is honored to have Roman Kepczyk, CPA consultant who offers over 25 years of CPA firm experience, as our Director of Consulting.  Roman travels during the majority of the year meeting with CPA firms and speaking at conferences and association meetings, teaching people in the industry how to utilize technology by implementing today’s digital best practices.

This year, Roman has been honored with all three of the main consulting awards in the accounting industry.  This is not Roman’s first time receiving these honors either.

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Why Your Accounting Firm Needs Information Security Liability Insurance

By Stephen Vono, Principal, NAPLIA

Currently, 46 states have information security laws concerning personally identifiable information (PII). The laws define what information is considered PII and it defines what you must do in the event of a breach or loss of information. Laws are not prescriptive, meaning they don’t tell you specifically how to lock down client information. They will say that reasonable precautions need to take place. If you have a breach or loss of PII, the laws usually inform you who you need to inform of the breach and how to proceed. Many times the directive on what to do next comes from the local law authorities or the Attorney General’s Office, and these directives can be costly leaving your accounting firm exposed to financial damage. According to the Ponemon Institute, the cost in responding to notification laws can cost around $150.00 per notification.

Your firm is ultimately responsible for your notifying your clients of any loss of PII. If there is a breach in your cloud provider’s network and your clients PII is now compromised, your firm

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Operational Issues Related to IT Governance Download

Part III of the IT Governance series gives readers direction in how to smoothly operate a CPA firm.  This whitepaper brings up several issues that occur related to IT and walks through how to apply IT Governance methods to resolves these unpleasant scenarios.

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How smoothly IT Governance operates can be directly controlled by the IT department itself.  Oftentimes, the IT department has handled items “on the fly” in the past, however, IT Governance is going to now require documentation.  Establishing a standard can make this not only easier for the Committee, but will increase efficiencies for the department.

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