When dieting, standard cost accounting would advise you to weigh yourself once a week to see if you’re losing weight. Lean accounting would measure your calorie intake and your exercise and then attempt to adjust them until you achieve the desired outcome. While this analogy is oversimplified, it does get to the core difference between lean and standard cost accounting. Lean accounting attempts to find measures that predict success. Standard cost accounting measures results after the fact.
Many companies have pursued Lean Manufacturing in recent years as a key strategy for profit growth. However, most companies have kept in place the traditional standard system, which is designed for mass-production manufacturing, preventing them from fully realizing the broad benefits of lean. Lean Accounting actively supports Lean Manufacturing