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Good Question. I am a Quickbook Consultant and using Q B has changed accounting.
In the old days (B C) before computers there were Debits and Credits. And the Debits
had to equal the Credits. No longer.
college professor, author, lecturer, and consultant. Deming is widely
credited with improving production
in the United States during World War II, although he is perhaps best known for his work in Japan.
There, from 1950 onward he taught top management how to improve design
(and thus service),
product quality, testing and sales (the last
through global markets) through various methods,
including the application of statistical methods such as analysis of variance and hypothesis testing.
Deming made a significant contribution to Japan's later renown for innovative high-quality products
and its economic power. He is regarded as having had more impact upon Japanese manufacturing
than any other individual not of Japanese heritage.
considered something of a hero in Japan, he was only beginning to win
recognition in the U.S. at the time of his death.
I guess what I should have done when I posted by question was add an example. I think I mentioned this in another post. Ex: I learned that in Quickbooks when one enters a bill (under "Vendors" and clicks "Enter Bills"), one should use the opposite (which would be "Pay Bills") when paying the bill. What I wonder is, what are the ramifications if, because software allows us many ways of performing a task, someone goes in and enters the bill the way I just mentioned and decides to go into "write checks" and pays the bill that way? Does it have the same effect?
The point I'm trying to make is--what if a person decides to be creative (and I don't mean "creative" in a joking way that an accountant thinks) and decides to try a new way (because they're bored of the same old way), or, another person comes in to do the job and has his/her way of doing it, will the way he/she is doing it, if it isn't consistent with the way it was initiated will it end up somewhere else in Quickbooks causing a different outcome? In my opinion, people don't like being told what or how to do something, but I think sometimes there has to be a uniform way of doing something, so that it doesn't (excuse the French) screw up everything else. Because software makers want to accommodate all, I sure hope the end result is the right result.
In general, if you change the process, you change the result. The more you reduce the variance in a process, the more predictable the result becomes -- and the more you adhere to that proven process, the more consistently you get what you want.
As a business owner or manager, you have to decide and let people know what processes must be adhered to (due to regulatory or safety reasons, for example) and which processes they are free to be "creative" with. I worked with Dr. Deming in the mid-80's, and I can almost hear him snapping, "Measure it!" If you've given someone the latitude to make Quickbooks entries their own way (or to modify some other business process), the essential thing is that you (or better yet, they) measure the consequences. In other words, make it a practice that along with the freedom to change a process comes the responsibility to verify the outcome (as opposed to just "hoping" that it was okay).
Of course, if it turns out to be "wrong," you can't punish the person for that -- otherwise you'll stifle the very initiative and innovation you're trying to nurture. (To use your "French," screwing something up is not a big problem if the person discovers that he/she has screwed something up and corrects it quickly. If it would be a big problem, then that's a process you need to define as mandatory and that must be followed.)
I'm not sure if this was what you were getting at, but I hope it helps.
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With technology and software constantly changing and people not having the time to read manuals I'm wondering if it's "o.K." that we don't have to learn the old fashion way of performing a task? Has anyone heard of Dr. William Deming? Is there a right and a wrong way of doing something? Computers allow the user different options. Is this good or bad? I guess what I'd like to know is--because software allows us to do a certain task many different ways, does the end result come out the same?