There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

There are massive differences between the efficiency and effectiveness of average accounting departments and those that operate at a world-class level. The key difference is having a lean focus on how the operation is constructed and operated. The Lean Accounting Guidebook reveals how to restructure the department to take advantage of lean principles and catapult it into the realm of world-class organizations. This course reveals how to streamline the accounting department with over 150 improvement tips for billing, collections, cost accounting, fixed assets, payables, payroll, and more. You'll find answers to many questions about lean accounting in this comprehensive course, including the following:

  • Can a revised invoice layout improve the speed of collections?
  • What impact does a bank lockbox have on my cash controls?
  • How does a reduction in the number of suppliers impact accounts payable?
  • Can I completely automate the collection of timekeeping information?
  • Which actions should I take to compress the time needed to issue financial statements?
  • Which behavioral triggers by a customer should initiate a credit review?
  • What level should be used for smaller account write-offs?
  • What is the easiest way to locate obsolete inventory?
  • What types of variance reports should the accounting department issue?
  • How can adjusting the capitalization limit impact fixed asset record keeping?


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Jan 6, 2020
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1


  • Cite the tools used to create a lean accounting system.


Chapter 2


  • Identify the techniques used to reduce billing problems.


Chapter 3


  • Note the steps in the processing of cash receipts.


Chapter 4


  • Cite the techniques used to streamline the processing of payables.


Chapter 5


  • Note the methods available for creating a leaner payroll process flow.


Chapter 6


  • Recognize the revisions used to accelerate the closing process.


Chapter 7


  • Cite the types of protections available for mitigating credit losses.


Chapter 8


  • Recognize the tools used to manage the collections function.


Chapter 9


  • Note the methods used to increase inventory record accuracy.


Chapter 10


  • State the types of traditional cost accounting reports, and the situations in which these reports can be used or avoided.
  • Recognize the characteristics of lean production environments, pull systems, and bottleneck-focused systems.
  • Note the situations in which work-in-process tracking is not required.


Chapter 11


  • Cite the effects of interest capitalization and the capitalization limit on fixed asset recordation.


Chapter 12


  • State the effects of an acquisition on the general ledger.
  • Recognize the arguments favoring a reduction in the number of general ledger accounts.


Chapter 13


  • Recognize the methods used to streamline and verify the budget model.


Chapter 14


  • Note the techniques available for minimizing employee movement within the accounting department.
  • Recognize the available solutions for minimizing record misfilings and locating missing records.


Chapter 15


  • Identify the situations in which weak controls are acceptable.
  • Cite the situations in which separation of duties is needed.
  • Describe how the outlier analysis concept can be used.
  • Recognize how controls can fail in special situations, such as during acquisitions, employee turnover, and rapid growth.

Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

hard copy

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