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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Tqm In An Accounting Environment - 2171 words
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TQM In An Accounting EnvironmentChapter One: Description of the problem:All companies need effective employees in order to complete the necessarydaily tasks and attain a profit. Many employers do not receive the peak levelof performance from their workers due to the fact that the employees do not feelthey are having an effect on the quality of service they are offering, or cannotsee any tangible outcome from their efforts.This chapter describes several different aspects of the project, includingthe purpose of this project, the setting of the problem, and the history andbackground of the problem. The scope of the project is the challenge ofmeasuring performance and total quality within an accounting function.Section 1 - Statement of the PurposeThe purpose of this project was to identify and recommend methods toeffectively measure performance and total quality within an accounting setting.Total quality principles have effectively been implemented in other areas,however the accounting section has been overlooked. By implementing this typeof program, new ideas will be encouraged and enable future changes to beaccepted easily.Section 2 - The setting of the problemThe accounting office is located in Holland, Ohio. This facility controlsall the financial related tasks within the Northwest Ohio district.
Thedepartment involved are the General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Payroll, Billing,C.O.D., and Information Services. This facility is located approximately threemiles away form the main United Parcel Service hub location in Maumee. Theaccounting function employs approximately 150 to 160 non-union employees andruns continuously, 24 hours a day, six days a week.The accounting department is highly structured and mechanistic. Allemployees report to a supervisor, who reports to a manager. There are threemanagers within this office
They consist of a Office Manager, an AccountingManager, and a Information Services Manager. These three managers in turnreport to the Controller, who is only responsible to the District Manager andthe regional personnel. There is a high level of standardization in the day today activities with this group. The jobs that are completed do however, requirethe employees to be specialized in certain areas. All rules and procedures areformalized, and the power and decision making process is centralized with themanagement team. The low level members participate very little in the decisionmaking process within this group. Since the Accounting office is located awayfrom the main UPS building, the information network is limited.
Most employeeswithin the accounting function are college graduates.The mission of the Accounting function is to quickly and accurately reportthe state of the business to the management personnel, so that they may followup with the shareholders to make the necessary business decisions.Section 3 - History of the problemDiscontent and low morale can be seen within the employees in theaccounting function. A recent trend in absenteeism can be seen. Employees arelacking a sense of accomplishment, and appear to be just "going through themotions". Some of this can be expected, due to the fact that many of thesepeople have been in the same position for seven years now, and may be becomingrestless, however the productivity and quality of work being done has directlybeen affected.Section 4 - Scope of the problemPrinciples of using TQM can be used and applied to every aspect of acorporation. For this thesis, the scope of the problem will only incorporatethe activity within the accounting function.
I will evaluate differentperformance measures and TQM principles for relativity to the current situation.I will also look at case studies within other transportation companies toanalyze different types of applications. Finally, I will look at establishing aframework on which to build on based on a few simple steps.Section 5 - Significance of the problemThis project is important because the negativity within the groups can onlyget worse if steps are not implemented to correct the situation. Without theflexibility to make the necessary changes, the company is not able to adapt tomarket changes and can be passed by the competition. The current decisionmaking process hinders innovation and also progress. By implementing TQMperformance measurements in the accounting function, employee job satisfactionwill increase, and it will also have a direct effect on the productivity levelswithin the departments.
A failure to recognize this problem can result in anincrease in employee turnover, lower morale, and reduce the overall productivitywithin the organization.Section 6 - List of termsChapter 2 Literary ReviewHistory of performance measurement in accounting and TQM.Many people feel that traditional accounting measures are not up to date intoday's business environment. Cooper and Kaplan and Johnson and Kaplan, masterswithin the accounting profession addressed this issue in their book entitledRelevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of management accounting. They concludedwith the following; Today's management accounting information which is drivenby procedures, and the cycle of the organizations financial reporting system, istoo late, too aggregated, and too distorted to be relevant for managers'planning and control decisions. Kaplan also commented that the current systemsused within accounting functions used to report cost and performance providelittle motivation for companies to try and implement TQM, along with any otherlong term continuos improvement policies. This point is just amplified by thefact that many top executives are not happy with the current way of reportingfinancial data.Meaning of TQM and performance measurementAt the heart of TQM is the concept of total dedication to customersatisfaction.
Quality is defined as that which meets the customer's expectations.Quality, today is recognized as a prerequisite for survival. Quality is seennot from the standpoint of taking time and costing money, but of saving time andmoney. Total Quality describes the state of an organization in which allactivities are designed and carried out in such a way that all customerrequirement are met in less time and at a lower cost. The potential pay backsfrom a Total Quality system are tremendous. Recovery of just a small portion ofunproductive costs can result in a significant rise in profits. For instance,take a cost saving initiative and implement it at all the accounting sites.Which for UPS is a total of 84 sites. This small initiative can add up to be asignificant savings amount when you multiply it by all 84 accounting sites.All businesses today, in such a competitive market, strive to achieve acompetitive edge, a level of excellence, and for higher performance standards.Performance measurement must reflect how well the organization is doing intrying to reach their goals.
To improve quality, a company must constantlyidentify and anticipate customer requirements. The process of meeting customersgoals and needs begins on an internal level. This makes Total Quality essentialto the management decision making process and allows managers the ability tomake more informed business decisions on a daily basis.Managers today need to accept that the person actually doing the work musthave the control in the situation. The employees need to be empowered within anorganization. This is a basic TQM principle. This philosophy is based on thepremise that all employees contribute to fulfilling customer requirements,whether they be internal or external, and that everyone within the organizationis part of a chain.
In the following case study of Federal Express, you willbe able to see how the control lies within the hands of the employees to makethe operation function effectively.Too much emphasis has been placed on accounting measures that are used bysenior managers to report data to shareholders. TQM takes a much simplerapproach by reducing the operation into easier aspects to understand, thushaving a huge impact by reducing the level of variation. This is extremelyimportant in a large cooperation, where reporting methods can vary from locationto location. TQM recognizes that quality cannot be added to a product orservice after it's been completed but must be designed into the work processfrom the beginning. TQM focuses on the work process and not on the employee.TQM focuses on the customers. TQM places a major focus on utilizing teamwork toaccomplish tasks.
A simple way to look at the current measures that are inplace is to ask a few simple questions: Does the measure add any value to thecustomer?, Does it reduce waste or create it?, Is there any direct costreduction or benefit?.This increasing rate of success in due largely to the shifting managementparadigm. Thought about management is making the gradual transition form strictauthoritarianism - a far greater influence than many readily recognize - towarda far greater belief in true participative management. Richard Schonberger, ina newsletter by Computer Aided Manufacturing writes the following:"Total Quality is no longer strictly measured by internal costs but, rather,by the improvements seen by the next customer.Total Quality Management therefore, needs to provide each individual withthe opportunity to assess the effectiveness of their own efforts and enable themto improve on their contributions in the chain. The measures in place need,therefore, to reflect progressive movement, change and a learning process in allaspects of business operations. The question of "what next?" has to be askedcontinuously in all links of the chain.The company that is ready, willing and able to answer it most often, is thecompany that has learnt to meet the challenge of Total Quality and embracechange, that company will be the winner in the race for competitive supremacy.Total quality has to be reflected by improvements in areas such asefficiency; effectiveness; productivity improvements; quality improvements;profitability improvements; improvements in innovativeness and quality of worklife among others.All of these things need to be directed towards two main goals:1) Getting the job done.2) Constant improvement of performance.Type of TQ- based Performance MeasurementsThere are many different types of measurement which can be used andassociated with total quality.
Some of these measurement are the following:1) costs of poor quality2) economic and financial data3) complaints and feedback from customers4) direct customer surveys5) periodic audits and self checksOne important thing to remember is that Total Quality should be measuredin increments of time. If a particular item is not working as expected, it willbe easy to change and try something else. Total quality needs to be based ontotal people productivity. Good total quality measurements will all have auniform measure of what the goal is to be. They will also have a exactpreciseness of what is being measured. As noted above, the time frame is veryimportant in order to be effective.
All processes should be based onobjectivity and not on opinions. And finally, all processed should be easilyunderstood by all the employees involved.History of United Parcel ServiceUnited Parcel Service was formed in 1907 in Seattle, Washington. At thattime it was named the American Messenger Company. Business at this timeconsisted of messengers who ran errands, carried notes, and any othermiscellaneous package deliveries, such as food from restaurants. UPS thenbranched into the small package delivery service for the many retail stores inthe Seattle area.
After two years of success in this market, the name thenchanged to Merchants Parcel Delivery in 1913. The first expansion came to thesouth into California, and in 1919 the name again changed to what it is today,United Parcel Service. After this expansion, business increased rapidly. Thisexpansion was so great, that by 1927, UPS serviced all the major cities alongthe Pacific coast. Delivery service on the east coast began in 1930.United Parcel Service pioneered the service which is now called commoncarrier.
This type of service includes daily pickup calls, automatic return ofnon-deliverable packages and weekly billing. This service was only available onthe west coast until 1957 when UPS began to move east into Chicago. Thefollowing years marked massive expansion and fierce legal battles with theInterstate Commerce Commission. By the year 1975 UPS was actively serving everyaddress in the 48 continental states.UPS was the first company to embrace the idea of air service. It wasintroduced in 1929, and at the time there was little volume to sustain theservice.
Due to the lack of business, it was abolished in 1931. United ParcelService got back into the air business in 1953 with a 2 day service to manymajor cities. UPS Next Day Air was introduced in 1982, and by 1985 the Next DayAir and Second Day Air services had reached to every address in the continentalUnited States and into Puerto Rico and Alaska.Today, UPS offers service to more that 185 countries and territories alongwith all addresses in the United States. UPS is privately owned by its'management and employees over 300,000 people worldwide. UPS also owns severalsmaller businesses relating to the package delivery industry. Some of whichare: Martrac - Established in 1979, transports agricultural commodities byrail in temperature controlled trailers.
UPS Truck Leasing - Established in 1982, provides delivery vans andover-the- road tractors for lease or rental. UPS Properties, Inc. - Established in 1990, earns revenue by leasingfacilities near UPS package delivery operations. Roadnet Technologies - Specializes in computerized mapping, schedulingand routing systems. II Morrow Industries - Specializes in vehicle communications systemsincluding the electronic clipboard (DIAD) which all UPS drivers carry. Sonic Air - Acquired in 1995, provides same day; next flight outdelivery for extremely urgent shipments.
As you can see; the history of UPS in one of continued growth. For manyyears, the challenge for UPS management was how to manage a company that wasincreasing in size so fast. The structure of UPS is therefore very bureaucratic.Methods and procedures are highly standardized; a package driver in Toledo,Ohio uses the same work methods and procedures that a driver in Madrid, Spainwould use. All locations must have a Master Operating Plan on site which ...
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