You have arrived at our final chapter. We have discussed the many different applications and concepts of lean accounting, but we have not yet discussed the actual transition to a new system of reporting. I’m sure you are wondering how organizations actually make the transition from a standard costing system to a more relevant, lean reporting system. Is it really possible? What real benefits come from such a dramatic change? What challenges have others faced? If this is truly a better accounting system, why haven’t more organizations embraced it? If I am a single plant in a large corporation, will I be able to still comply with corporate reporting? What issues will I face with the external auditors? How will I make decisions without discrete tracking of all of my individual product costs? We will try to address all of those questions and more in this chapter. Of course, every organization has a different culture and organizational structure. They also vary in complexity and size. We cannot prescribe customized transitions, but from the knowledge gleaned from our research and personal experiences, we can discuss some general guidelines on changing your internal reporting system. After reading this chapter you should have a clearer understanding of the following:
◾ Basic environmental characteristics required for making a transition to lean accounting.