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In recent years, there have been many initiatives to improve performance in the finance function. Through the years many organizations have undertaken numerous finance initiatives, shared services, performance management, and fast-close to name just a few, with mixed results. At BearingPoint we believe that two flaws often lead to the failure of these initiatives; they often fail to take an end-to-end approach and they are initiated and pushed top-down. In this paper, we explain how a lean management approach takes these two elements into account to ensure the achievement of long term improvement.