Who looks after this?

To remain competitive, it’s vital you continually challenge your business’s internal processes and procedures.

Who looks after this? Why do we need to do this? Who do I give this to now that that person or this person has left? Why does the process need to change?

Repeatedly hearing these questions in your business is a sign that you are likely experiencing:

  • Rapid growth with the same workforce, process and/or IT infrastructure
  • Loss of key staff and/or no documentation of the processes
  • Downsizing of operations
  • Acquisition of a new business
  • Establishment of a new branch or subsidiary
  • Changes in government legislation, or
  • A long period without challenging processes.

To create efficiencies, you need to clearly understand a process’s objectives and determine what is and what is not necessary. This allows the business to focus on the most efficient way to perform what is necessary.

Surprisingly, maintaining processes and procedures can be more challenging than establishing them in the first place. It’s important to periodically check processes and systems and ensure employees are aware these checks are in place. Training multiple staff in all business processes is also a crucial step to maintaining effective internal controls. Before you make any major change in the business – such as downsizing, making an acquisition or establishing a new IT system – consider reviewing your operations.


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Getting it right has real bottom line impacts

Two scenarios – one with a positive outcome, the other not so positive.

Challenging operations

Business A had two people working two days a month on a month-end reporting task. On careful analysis of this process, it was determined the work could be completed in one hour with a more accurate result. By challenging their operations, this business owner was able to create greater efficiencies.

Maintaining effectiveness

Business B had an established and robust system. The problem was, only two people knew how the system worked. When one went on holiday, the other was able to override the process and steal a large amount of cash. It was several weeks before anyone noticed the theft. With a documented procedure that could be handed over to other employees, this scenario could have been prevented. Opening up the process to other employees would have also provided an opportunity to find efficiencies.


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