“He say I know you, you know me, One thing I can tell you is You got to be free, Come together, right now, Over me.”[1]

There are many publications that specify the differences between lean and standard cost accounting.  This is expressed from the definition of each methodology to specific tasks performed.  Unfortunately, there are not many that indicate where lean and standard costing can have common ground and can be used to accomplish organization’s goals and improve decision making.

The focus of this article is to show that the convergence of lean and standard costing is more than believed.  Instead of focusing on the differences to divide the cost management community, this article will focus on ways to bring the accounting community together.  Overtime, the accounting community will find new ways to work together to develop synergies for the advancement of accounting practices and improved decision making.  As with lean’s focus on customer and respect for people, it is the tenant for lean professionals to unify the process for efficiency and effectiveness, bring the process in control, and allow everyone to work in the best environment to complete their tasks.  This is our call to arms:  Start the conversation on what can be done together to develop best accounting practices and decision-making processes.

This article will start with the classic view of lean and standard cost accounting to set the baseline understanding for the article.  The lean definition and identification of muda or waste is presented to illustrate how lean and standard costing can be utilized together.  This will be expanded into the 14 principles of lean (TPS).

[1] Beatles “Abbey Road” (1969), Written by: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Published:  Journal of Cost Management.  January / February 2018 Issue.

Gary Kapanowski – Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt – Excelsior

Download article from the Journal of Cost Management here:

Kapanowski Final_convergence