Getting Accounting Information Used More Widely in Your Company
BY GORDON L. MURRAY SYSTEMS MANAGER, CHICAGO OFFICE
Presented before the National Association of Cost Accountants, Detroit Chapter — September, 1955
The sub-title assigned for this discussion is "Removing Road-blocks to Good Communications." In order to remove the "roadblocks" and arrive at an effective management control reporting system, management
must first agree upon the objectives and upon the approach to the problem. Someone also must provide the techniques necessary to initiate and maintain such a program.
Companies approach their reporting and communications problems
in various ways. Before presenting what we believe to be the fundamental objective and a sound approach, I would like to mention the way this problem is often approached and why it usually falls short of a full solution.
APPROACHES .AND ATTITUDES
Management often first attacks the reporting problem with the statement - "We are producing too many reports" - the objective and approach should therefore be - reduction in reports. When management makes this criticism it is more often right than not. Management people are expected to read and absorb an amazing number of reports in order to control and be informed about the business.
Corollary to the criticism that there are too many reports is the criticism - "We are spending too much money producing reports."
When agitiation along these lines becomes sufficiently great there is usually an effort to eliminate reports and cut costs. Many companies have a regular clean-up compaign. A person or a committee receives the assignment of "working over" reports. By taking one report at a time they proceed to try and "unsell" users of a report and get permission
to eliminate it. Achievement is usually measured in terms of the number of reports eliminated.
Another phase of such a program is often a reports control plan with the tacit objective of making it so difficult for a new report to be started, or the distribution of a present report to be expanded, that re-