The Term Project

First and foremost, please enjoy the long holiday weekend! And don’t forget that we’re only meeting in class on Thursday next week, given that the College follows a Monday schedule on Tuesday.

After we (finally) wrap up the Volume section with a quick conversation about the Cost of Quality, we’ll focus on our term project during this week’s class. Please keep in mind that our first term project task has a soft deadline of Wednesday evening, and a hard deadline of Friday evening. The task was described in last week’s blog posting (below).

We’ll also celebrate President’s Day with a discussion of the effective communication skills of some of our greatest Presidents. To prepare for our discussion, in advance of Thursday’s class, please watch a famous video clip of one of our legendary political leaders.

Afterwards, we’ll take a deep breath and prepare to jump into the Cost section of our analytical process. Unsurprisingly, the heart of any accounting-focused business plan is the Cost section, which will become the focus of our curriculum until Spring Break time.

But first, let’s make sure that we’re comfortable with the expectations of our term project! And with our ability to express ourselves in a professional and persuasive manner.

Volume (Conclusion)

We’ve been spending a lot of time talking about volume, haven’t we? This week, we’ll wrap up our discussion of that critical component of business analysis, and we’ll focus on our first submission activity for our term project.

On Tuesday, we’ll begin our discussion with the question on which we ended last week’s sessions; namely, what would Jesus think of our modern financial services industry? And, by extension, would he recommend that PC students consider establishing careers in that industry?

Then we’ll address the issue of managing demand volume. To prepare for this discussion, in advance of our Tuesday session, please download a file entitled Sales Optimization from our online Documents library. Then read the first nine lines of that file. In other words, please stop reading when you reach the words “Step 1” on the tenth line.

On Thursday, we’ll address the reconciliation of volume supply (as established by our Storyboard activity) with volume demand (as established by our Sales Optimization activity). To prepare for this discussion in advance of our Thursday session, please read a web page about quality management entitled Cost of Quality (COQ).

Our Thursday discussion about quality management will be a brief one; we’ll spend the remainder of our time on Thursday discussing our first term project submission activity. And what task will that be?

By Wednesday evening, February 17th, at 11:59 pm, let’s try to complete our first term project task. Please identify your term project topic, create an online folder within Google Drive with a title that reflects your topic, and send an invitation (to access that folder) to me.

I’d appreciate it if you could please use my Gmail user name, which is michael.kraten (at, of course). As I mentioned in class, if you prefer to do so, you are welcome to use Microsoft, Box, or any other comparable online service.

Then, once you create and share your online folder, please use the file description memo function in the right side of your folder’s web page to describe your project. Finally, you are welcome to upload a descriptive document or image, if you wish.

Please note that Wednesday evening, February 17th is a soft deadline. Although I do expect you to respect it, if you experience any difficulty with the technology, you are welcome to let me know about the situation and ask me for guidance. I’ll then invite you to try again, and to prepare your online folder, no later than an extended deadline of Friday evening, February 19th, at 11:59 pm.

One more thing … the local meteorologists are all saying that we will continue to experience threats of snow storms all week long. So please keep in mind that I may need to cancel class, even if the College officially remains open, if I am snowed in at home.

I’ll post a message in our blog menu if that occurs, and I’ll send you email messages as well. Nevertheless, let’s hope that we won’t need to resort to such measures!

Volume (continued)

Now that we’ve concluded our discussion of the business model and segued into a conversation about volume, it’s a good time for a transition. So, this week, we’ll bring in a guest speaker to help us understand these concepts, and we’ll consider the need for persuasive communication in regards to our term project.

We have a three part reading assignment for Tuesday’s guest speaker, although the first two parts represent marketing materials. Jason Macaluso, a UBS financial advisor and a member of the Business Advisory Council of the Providence College School of Business, will join us to speak about the challenges of managing business processes in regards to client services.

Two days ago, in class, we discussed a case about a health care organization that struggled to process a significant level of business volume while it experienced severe capacity constraints. Jason is going to help us extend those case concepts into the financial services industry.

The first part of our advance reading assignment for Tuesday is to review the web pages of Jason’s advisory practice. Although you should peruse all of the content on those web pages, please focus on the podcast library that is highlighted on the front page and think about its purpose, its audience, and its function.

The second part of our advance reading assignment is a very brief brochure that Jason distributes in the public realm. You can access it in our online Documents library by clicking on the Documents link in our menu and downloading the file entitled UBS Brochure. Again, as you review it, please think about its purpose, its audience, and its function.

The third part of our advance reading assignment is a Harvard Business School case. You can access it in our online Documents library by downloading the file entitled HBS Case. Please review this content carefully, as Jason will lead a discussion about it in class.

That’s quite a multi-faceted assignment, isn’t it? To compensate for its complexity, we’ll keep it simple on Thursday. In advance of that class, please read a very brief address by an extremely famous politician.

When we meet in class on Thursday, we’ll reflect on our conversation with Jason, think about how business processing considerations affect our operating activities, and then talk about how we’re applying these concepts to the structure of our term project.

It’ll be a very interesting week … I promise! Jason and I are looking forward to getting the ball rolling with you on Tuesday.



Well, I guess that we won’t have a snow-less winter this year! I hope you’re staying warm and dry during this stormy, stormy weekend.

But before we address our plans, I thought you might be curious to see North Carolina State University’s original press release of EY’s $500,000 grant for their virtual reality video game. For some unfathomable reason, PC didn’t see fit to issue a similar press release about my own $489 award.

This week, we’ll wrap up our discussion of the business model, and we’ll engage in a more in-depth discussion of our term project Then we’ll proceed with our review of the concepts of volume supply and volume demand.

In advance of our session on Tuesday, please watch the first ten minutes of a Charlie Rose interview with Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. By the way, the remainder of that interview is very interesting too … as is the subsequent interview (in the video clip) of Keira Knightley! But we’ll only focus on the first ten minutes of Jeff’s interview in our class.

Sorry, Keira! You’re a fine actress, but you’re no business mogul. :(

Annoyingly, the little time clock in the lower right corner of the video screen (that appears when you move your cursor over the screen while the video is playing) only displays “time remaining in video,” as opposed to “time already passed.” So, in order to watch the first ten minutes of this 53 minute video clip, you’ll need to watch until that little clock hits 43:00.

Also, by the time we meet in class on Tuesday, please be prepared to discuss your term project concept. We’ll spend a little time that day, discussing how you’ll transmit that information to me.

And then, in advance of our session on Thursday, please watch a brief video documentary from National Geographic about a place that is facing a geographic risk.

So much to learn, so little time! And before you know it, it’ll be spring time. :)

The Business Model

Well, we’re on the way! One week down, and only fourteen to go until summer break. :)

But in the meantime, we’ll proceed with our conversation regarding the business model. On Tuesday, we’ll discuss statistical analysis, and on Thursday, we’ll proceed to flexible budgeting practices.

To prepare for our conversation about statistical analysis on Tuesday, please click on the Documents link in the menu of this web page and read the first page of the two page PDF file entitled Business Model Data. Please note that you are not expected to actually type the data into the Wessa web page; we’ll do that together in class on Tuesday.

To prepare for our discussion of flexible budgets on Thursday, please review slide # 19 of 27 (i.e. the slide and the explanatory blurb) in the Sports Illustrated slide series Sports in Unusual Venues. It presents a basketball game that was staged in a very unusual place.

We’ll also review a blog post about flexible budgeting on Thursday. However, you are not expected to review it before our class on Thursday.

Please keep in mind that we are now scheduling a quiz at the beginning of each class. The quizzes cover the content that we discussed during the previous class, as well as the advance reading assignment for the current class.

This week, we’ll also select an online information management system for our term project applications, and we’ll begin our discussion of the term project itself. It would be helpful for you to begin to think about an entrepreneurial project, product, or service that could be launched by an existing organization or a start-up entity.


If you are reading this message, you have found our course blog page. Welcome to Accounting Policy!

This week, on Tuesday, we’ll get acquainted, review the syllabus, and discuss the expectations of the course. Then, in advance of Thursday’s session, please prepare for our introductory assessment of the business model by reading a web page about the balanced scorecard methodology, as well as a brochure about its applications.

On Thursday, we’ll look back at the original version of the balanced scorecard, and we’ll then begin our assessment of a pair of critical articles regarding the balanced scorecard (entitled Ditching the Balanced Scorecard and Balanced Scorecard: Why It Isn’t Working). However, you are not expected to read these two critical articles in advance of Thursday’s session.