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Life as a CPA

Life as a CPA (3): Let’s get to work…Process Mapping

– Ty’s Summer Internship – Day 2 –

A beautiful blue sky, pomegranate, and guava trees out in the yard, and nice breezes… I am already enjoying the tropical island, but I am not here for vacation. Yes, I need to go to work! My first day at ITK. I am excited, but also nervous. The first day at work always makes you nervous, right?

After meeting the ITK staff, going through the orientation, and setting up my PC, the first task that I am assigned is process mapping. Process mapping is the development of a process flow diagram to visualize how current business operations run and the transactions flow within a company. Once you understand an company’s current processes, you can analyze where the processes can be changed to improve the company’s performance.

This is the task that Donny does in the earlier stage of his Assessment/Planning projects. Clients come to Donny for an assessment of their overall business operations, use of technologies (both software and hardware), IT security and/or any other areas depending on the client’s need. He analyzes their as-is processes, organizational structures, and inventory of software and hardware and comes up with a list of recommendations on “what to change”; such as process automation, organizational restructuring, and process reengineering.

ITK's Enterprise Assessment Process

ITK’s Enterprise Assessment Process

This list is usually more than what a client can handle in one year, so Donny also helps them to prioritize which ones should be done in what order, based on their business strategy, budget, and long term business goals. This is the IT advisory work Donny provides, but he doesn’t stop there. If the clients need a partner to implement the changes, ITK will play a role to manage the changes as a program manager, and sometimes goes into the project level work such as application development.

Here is a short clip in which Donny explains what services he provides. 

So back to process mapping. I had done very similar work before when I was on a packaged ERP (enterprise resource planning) implementation project. I have never done process mapping to support IT advisory work, but I was quite comfortable with what I was assigned. Then Donny explained to me how the rest of the project goes, with possibility of more projects based on the “recommendation list”. Okay, so I get it. This is very similar to what I used to do. Whenever we had a system implementation project, we followed similar steps. Then one question came up – do you have to be a CPA to do that?

No, not really. There are millions of IT consulting vendors without CPAs who provide a similar service like Donny does. Does Donny strictly deal with the accounting system or IT audit side? No, he does a lot more than just accounting or audit related IT work. So then what is the real advantage for him to do all these IT advisory work as CPA?

I haven’t seen the real power of a CPA/CITP yet, but it’s my first day. I am sure my question will be answered in the next 3 months.

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