The people issue is the toughest area to work on. It may take some time to fix if you need to redo procedures and make certain you are getting the most out of your computer programs.
The easiest option here is to take advantage of outsourcing. Make sure your administrative staff, including field personnel, aren't doing work that your vendors should be doing. Every effort should be made to outsource the work, if possible. For those tasks that must be done in house, make sure your employees are taking advantage of existing computer systems to perform the work electronically.
A lot of small changes can add up to large profits. Good times or bad, this exercise is a must.
Garry Bartecki is director of dealer/distributor services at BDO Seidman, LLP of Chicago, as well as a consultant to the AED. He has also worked as an independent CPA and consultant to equipment dealers. He can be reached at (312) 616-4677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.