This Team Went Lean To Win

Adoption Of Lean Six Sigma Methodology Sets CPA Firm Apart From The Competition and Their Peers

The Problem: With nine offices throughout Michigan, the management team of Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants realized that in order to better serve the needs of their clients and professional staff, the firm needed to adopt processes that would strengthen its internal efficiencies.

The Solution: Operating as a single, consistent entity is hard enough with two or three offices in need of your attention. Now imagine that, in an effort to improve your efficiency and strengthen client relations, you must convince more than 200 audit and tax professionals scattered throughout nine offices across the state of Michigan to embrace a “one-firm” mindset. This was the challenge the leadership of Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants were confronted with in 2013 as they sought a better way to service their audit clients.

“Our solution was to eliminate the individual office approach and communicate a new process across our nine offices to efficiently distribute work and increase client satisfaction,” said Kristi Krafft-Bellsky, senior manager.

Because of the firm’s commitment to continued improvement, deciding to move forward with the adoption of a universal audit process was a natural next step for Yeo & Yeo’s leadership team. Seeking additional expertise, experience and assistance, Yeo & Yeo reached out to Lean CPA, to help establish and implement the necessary methodology needed to develop the new processes.

The Game Changer

“We realized an opportunity existed to streamline our process to better serve the needs of our clients and professional staff,” said Krafft-Bellsky.

The methodologies used throughout the Lean Audit process helped identify inefficiencies and aided in developing techniques that focus on process effectiveness and understanding client value. The new process was rolled out firm-wide in 2013. All fieldwork performed since has been completed using the firm’s new Lean Audit process.

“It was incredible the energy and passion our Lean Team showed in dissecting our current audit approach to find all the bottlenecks,” said Brian Dixon, CPA, a principal with Yeo & Yeo and a co-leader of the firm’s audit team. “We developed work papers, streamlined workflow and committed to various audit timelines. The Lean Team created a new firmwide audit standard that has increased job satisfaction and realization.”

Dixon said he was impressed by how quickly the firm’s auditors embraced the changes and
noted that firm-wide buy-in has helped deliver immediate results.

The new process was rolled out firm-wide in 2013. All fieldwork performed since has been completed using the firm’s new Lean Audit process.

“We used a full year of data to prove the benefits this process has garnered, which include reduced on-the-job hours, a decrease in write-offs and a 5 percent increase in realization,” Krafft-Bellsky noted. “But the most astute has been the positive feedback from staff and clients, resulting from quicker turnaround times and better communication throughout the audit engagement.”

In October 2015, the firm’s Lean transformation was recognized by the Leading Edge Alliance (LEA), at the organization’s 2015 Global Conference in Miami, Fla. Each year the LEA recognizes accounting firms for their cutting-edge innovations that differentiate LEA members from their competitors. For its Lean Audit process implementation, Yeo & Yeo was given the prestigious LEA Award for Process Improvement.

“It is an honor to be recognized by our peers for implementing a successful Lean Audit process,” said Tom Hollerback, CFF, CFE, CEO, in a press release announcing that the firm had won the award. “Yeo & Yeo strives to continuously improve processes to strengthen internal efficiencies and the relationships with our clients.”

Yeo & Yeo is a founding member of LEA Global, one of the largest international professional association in the world, creating a high-quality alliance of firms around the world that are focused on accounting, financial and business advisory services.


With more than 90 years of service, Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants is not only a leading Michigan CPA firm; it’s among the top 100 CPA firms in the United States. Since the beginning, the firm’s professional staff has worked to provide clients with forward-thinking, comprehensive solutions in all aspects of accounting, audit, tax, technology and business consulting. Today, Yeo & Yeo is home to more than 200 professionals, 30 of whom are partners with the firm.


Yeo & Yeo manages offices throughout Michigan. Office locations include: Saginaw, Alma, Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Flint, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Midland and Southgate.


The firm provides audit & assurance, business consulting, employee benefit plans, financial services, fraud & forensics, interim C-suite & management staffing, payroll solutions, practice continuation agreements, QuickBooks consulting, tax planning, technology and valuation & litigation services to individuals and business clients operating throughout the agribusiness, construction, education, government, healthcare, manufacturing, not-for-profit and real estate industries.


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