Understanding Best Practices

Image credit: Shane Trist. (10 June 2008). Dryden mill. Retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dryden_mill.JPG [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

Image credit: Shane Trist. (10 June 2008). Dryden mill. Retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dryden_mill.JPG [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

Once the business process settles down and becomes repetitive, there is little incentive to change. However, in most cases, a small tweak here and there will make the process quicker, easier and more reliable. Reviewing each business practice on a regular basis is a good start towards establishing best practices.

One major pulp and paper company was closing its books and reporting the financial results on the 5th business day after the month-end. A project was started to shorten the process down to 2 days. The reaction amongst the finance team was “shock and awe” but they realized the financial data was important to the success of the business. With a lot of planning and reviewing every document used to close the books and without additional staff, the team was able to accomplish the two day goal. This example of best practices continues to be discussed with many companies as a goal to achieve.

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has developed an excellent checklist to consider in your own business. You can find their Good Practice Checklist for Small Business, Second Edition on their website under “Publications & Resources.”

Activity: Understanding Best Practices

At this stage you likely want more information on the business opportunities available to you, however, you also probably have more information than you can digest. You can proceed to the Preparing to Transfer Working Knowledge, but we recommend you review the previous topics, and research the type of business you are most interested in purchasing. It is when you narrow your focus from the general overview of owning a business to a specific type of business, that what you have learned becomes most useful.

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