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Operational Review: Maximum Results at Efficient Costs, 3rd Edition


Maximize operating results at minimum cost, using the most efficient methods

The effectiveness of even the most efficient departments or organizations inevitably decays over time. Far from a simple critique, an operational review identifies what current practices have lost their usefulness and what new best practices can be implemented to ensure a function achieves its goals. Rob Reider's Operational Review: Maximum Results at Efficient Costs, Third Edition examines reviews from every angle, showing each organization how to choose and implement the right review for them.

At its heart, an operational review appraises management's conformity with desired plans and allocation of resources. Reider's easy-to-use guide will help readers:
* Understand fundamental review principles
* Understand the purpose and mechanics of conducting a review
* Identify the relationship and differences between operational reviews and other procedures, such as benchmarking, activity-based costing, and reengineering, and how these procedures can be used together to identify best practices in a program for continuous improvement
* Increase the skills and abilities needed to conduct a review
* Increase awareness of review opportunities
* Improve capability to perform reviews

The third edition of this proven, popular study will guide your organization through the review process from start to finish, so that the review can be performed most economically and efficiently to maximize review results.

ROB REIDER, CPA, MBA, PhD, is President of Reider Associates (Santa Fe, New Mexico), a management and organizational consulting firm. Prior to founding Reider Associates, he was a manager in the Management Consulting Group of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell Co. (now KPMG). He is the course author as well as seminar leader of over twenty workshops conducted nationally and is also the author of Benchmarking Strategies: A Tool for Profit Improvement and Improving the Economy, Efficiency, and Effectiveness of Not-for-Profits: Conducting Operational Reviews, both from Wiley. He can be contacted at

Chapter One: Overview of Operational Reviews.

Operational Review Concepts.

Why Businesses Are in Existence.

Businesses a Company Is Not In.

Some Basic Business Principles.

Criteria for Organizational Growth.

Mental Models and Belief Systems.

Organizational Criteria Example.

Economy, Efficiency, and Effectiveness.



Financial Audits versus Operational Reviews.

Why Perform an Operational Review?

Specific Objectives.

Specific Purposes.

Benefits of Operational Reviews.

Operational Review Phases.

What Functions to Review.


Initial Survey.

Engagement Development.

Chapter Two: Planning Phase.

Planning Phase Overview.

Information to Be Obtained.

Sources of Information.

Review of Organizational Planning and Budget Systems.

Organizational Structure and the Role of Management.

Identification of Critical Problem Areas.

Review of Administrative and Operational Controls.

Planning Phase Work Program.

Financial Statement Analysis.

Identifying Critical Areas.

Areas Not Selected for Review.


An Operational Review Case Example: The Accounting Function.

Chapter Three: Work Program Phase.

Benefits of the Operational Review Work Program.

Operational Review Work Program Standards.

Who Develops the Work Program.

Work Program Work Steps.

Work Program Development Procedures.

Sample Work Program: Purchasing Function.

Operational Review Engagement Budget.

Assignment of Staff.

Operational Review Management.

Operational Review Schedule Control.

Engagement Control.

Example Company Work Program Phase.

Work Program to Field Work Phase.

Chapter Four: Field Work Phase.

Field Work Considerations and Tasks.

Factors in Reaching Conclusions.

Field Work Techniques.

Specific Field Work Techniques.

Field Work: Example Company.

Other Techniques.

Work Papers.


Identifying Items for Finding Development.

Case Study: Mercy College, a College Business Office.

Chapter Five: Development of Review Findings.

Attributes of a Review Finding.

Review Findings Development.

Identifying Attributes.

Approach to Developing Review Findings.

Review Finding Development: Example Company.

Developing Recommendations.

Recommendations through Internal Benchmarking.

Recommendations through External Benchmarking.

Choosing a Benchmarking Approach.

Benchmarking Data Collection.

Process Comparisons.

Functional Cost Controls.


Chapter Six: Reporting Phase.

Interim Reporting.

Oral Reporting.

Written Report.

Characteristics of Good Reporting.

Reporting Review Findings.

ABCs of Effective Report Writing.

Sample Reports.