that we do, we will hold a little inquest to see how the job could have been done a bit faster using technological improvements. We will then make those improvements straight away. It helps here to have an accountant who is also a computer programmer, so he only has to hold a meeting with himself in order to get anything done.
Improvements will be made across the board, both to the classical system and to the optical character recognition system. As an example, the last improvement was to add a feature so if you have a pile of garage receipts for Diesel fuel to type in, then you just type a hash # sign and the narrative “Diesel Fuel” appears automatically. These receipts are often poorly printed, OCR is useless, and a human has to read and type them in. Having a feature like this is just a modest gain, but “Many a mickle makes a muckle” and as we make these little improvements, so the system as a whole will get to be a lot faster. It is certainly good for morale to know that I just have to type # or ; to get the narrative “Diesel Fuel” or “Petrol” generated for me.
The Japanese call a programme of continuous improvement “kaizen”.
David Porthouse & Co are accountants in Carlisle who serve clients in Cumbria and North West England. They have a principal interest in new technology and are developing an optical number recognition/datepoint system for scanning bank statements with the intention of reducing the costs of accounts preparation. They also have a spreadsheet system which can be e-mailed back and forth between the accountant and the client.