We’ve all heard sayings like, “Don’t rock the boat” and “Go with the flow.”
But innovation doesn’t come from sticking with the status quo.
Yenae Bollinger and Deidra West, both Staff Accountants at SAM, saw the opportunity to make a big impact on their department. And they didn’t hold back on bringing their ideas to life.
Old Habits Die Hard
When Yenae joined SAM in 2018, she noticed how much time the Accounting department was spending making copies and sorting paper. She also became concerned about the environmental impact of so much printing.
There has got to be a better way, Yenae thought.
Knowing that change doesn’t always come easily, Yenae began by suggesting changes to the deposit and invoicing process.
“When we billed clients, we used to email attachments of invoices while also overnighting a paper copy,” Yenae said. “And with deposits, we would make up to five copies of each check and throw away the stubs.”
Now, Accounting has switched to digital copies of checks and invoices, made easy thanks to the Intact software the department already uses.
When Deidra arrived on the scene, she too was perplexed by the amount of printing going on.
“I worked part-time for an auditor for a few years, and they had made 500-page audit documentation paperless, so I knew we could do the same here,” Deidra said.
Deidra pushed to move media reconciliations to a paperless system. After printing several copies of each report, there were sometimes reconciliations that were over an inch thick. SAM has made the switch, and Yenae and Deidra are now working to get more stations on board with sending paperless documents, too.
Hint: Media reconciliations are what Accounting uses to verify that the media schedule matches a client’s budget, ensuring no spots are missed.
More Changes to Come
People and processes are naturally resistant to change. Yenae and Deidra were wise to champion these changes to Accounting little by little. This way, it ensures details don’t get missed, and everyone on the team has time to adjust to the new ways of working.
The paper-saving duo’s next target is the purchase requisition (PR) and purchase order (PO) process. They are working out the last few kinks before introducing a two-phase roll-out to move this process entirely online.
Both Yenae and Deidra had ambitions at one time to open their own professional organizing companies. Now, they are bringing their skills to SAM to tidy up processes and copy rooms with increased efficiency.
“January is one of my favorite months because stores are filled with organizing tools,” Deidra said. “I love the feeling of cleaning up and reducing waste.”
These innovators proved that good ideas are worth talking about. Thanks to their efforts, Accounting’s desks are a little cleaner, and the planet a little greener.
P.S. Make sure to give Yenae a big congratulations the next time you see her. She has been working tirelessly to earn the Certified Management Accountant designation. She passed the test on her first try this week. Great job, Yenae!