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How the urine of a Danish cow can help your finance team

No, this is not the latest health kick doing the rounds on Instagram or Tik-Tok, but a reminder of the reaction when I tried to introduce the benefits of Six Sigma to my team whilst working in Denmark.

For those of you who have not come across Six Sigma before, it is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement, originated in Motorola and picked up big time by Jack Welch at GE, hence my involvement.

One of the phases of the Six Sigma process is “Define” and one of the tools used is SIPOC which stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers. Since GE made a thing of putting the customer first, SIPOC became COPIS. For those of you without a knowledge of Danish, “ko pis” is pronounced the same as COPIS and means… well I’m sure you get it! Suffice it to say, my team in Denmark found this hysterical and hence yet another phrase was etched on my memory.

I am a great fan of COPIS as providing a simple view of a finance process, and often use them to support account reconciliations or to map the current state of a process before implementing a finance transformation program.

Below are two examples of a simple COPIS diagram for a Group Consolidation and Bank Account Reconciliation (linking nicely to some of my other articles):

The process section should be a level 1 process map but may refer to other more detailed process notes documentation existing in the department, or it could refer to further COPIS maps. For example, there could be a COPIS for the Late Adjustment process referenced in the Group Consolidation map. The building of this may then highlight another customer of the Consolidation process which needs bearing in mind when pulling together a Group timetable.

So, anyone for some amber nectar?

Bob Carter
When it comes to Financial Consolidation, we turn to Bob. With over 29 years of experience in large multi-national Insurance and Financial Services companies, few can rival his expertise. Indeed, Bob’s knowledge extends well beyond insurance technical accounting. Bob has demonstrated considerable capability in Change environments, having participated in numerous finance transformation projects over the decades, which is why he is so well known to the Function Six team. Bob is an avid contributor on LinkedIn, where he posts incredibly useful articles and participates in interesting discussions.

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