Why accountants and designers should work together.

Marketing and design people tend to be very creative, and fair play to them, it’s part of what they are. But design is one thing and actually building or making sometime is tougher – if you have ever built even a standard house you will know what I mean.

The one thing I have learned about design of products is to not change the design after you agree it – this typically causes costs to go upwards. If a customer is willing to pay for this great, but that’s usually the exception.

My experience of product design is it is best to involve someone with good management accounting knowledge from the outset. This person need not be an accountant, but must has good knowledge of costs and or processes to build or make the final product. Otherwise big surprises can occur.

Maybe it’s an extreme example but take the main stadium design for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. According to reports, the cost of the design to be built has doubled to $2 billion since inception. Surely if someone with half decent knowledge of costs working with the designer would have spotted the additional costs.

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About martinjquinn

I am an accounting academic, accountant and author based near Dublin, Ireland.

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