Business Model and Volume

Hello, capstone students! First and foremost, here’s a reminder that your term project topics are due via email tomorrow (i.e. Saturday, February 18th) at 8:00 am. If I haven’t yet heard from you, I look forward to learning your choice!

By now, of course, you undoubtedly know that we will not meet in class this Monday. But don’t despair! We’ll meet on Tuesday instead. 🙂

In advance of Tuesday’s session, please skim the first four chapters (i.e. Parts I and II) of our business planning handbook, i.e. the chapters that you first read in advance of last week’s class. Then proceed to read the next three chapters (i.e. Part III) of our handbook.

By the time that you finish these seven chapters, you’ll have completed the Parts of the handbook that address an Introduction, the Business Model, and Volume Estimation. We’ll discuss these three components of the business planning process in class on Tuesday.

These chapters will provide us with sufficient knowledge to quantify the operational Inputs, Activities, Outputs, and Outcomes factors of our Integrated Reporting “Octopus” framework. Although it’s possible that we’ll be able to discuss the framework on Tuesday, it’s more likely that we’ll run short of time to do so.

In that event, we’ll simply schedule that conversation for the following Monday, and will continue on to the handbook’s chapters on cost estimation at that time. For this week, though, let’s focus on covering the first seven chapters of the text.

P.S. If you didn’t bookmark our Library’s direct link to our handbook last week, I’ve added a link to the Link Menu on our blog’s home page.

Term Projects

Did you enjoy our two week journey through the world of the blue frog? Now that we’ve dedicated a little time to a case-based discussion, it’s time to turn our attention to a different set of real world cases … our term projects!

But first I have an administrative request to share with you. Our Accountancy Department has developed a very brief one-page survey, and we’d like to ask you to spend five minutes or so on it. You can find the survey on this web page; it consists of eleven multiple choice and “fill in the blank” questions.

Please complete this survey no later than Tuesday, February 14th at 8:00 am. I’ll explain it further when we meet in class on Monday.

And what else shall we do on Monday? Although last week’s pair of discussions in our two sections covered the same material, the open-ended portions of the conversations addressed different issues. So we’ll spend a little time reviewing the conversations and ensuring that each class section is fully briefed on what we covered in the other section.

Then we’ll dedicate some time to your term project ideas. Before you arrive in class, please spend some time selecting a tentative idea for a project. It can focus on any current or proposed organizational entity, product, or service, as long as its mission involves an outcome that is more altruistic than simply earning money.

During our class session on Monday, please be prepared to describe your topic in a one-minute conversation from your desk. Afterwards, please give your choice a little more thought, and then communicate your topic to me via email no later than Saturday, February 18th at 8:00 am.

Finally, please click on this link, type in your credentials if you are off-campus, and go to a handbook entitled Business Planning and Entrepreneurship: An Accounting Approach. You’ll see that it is an e-book that is available via our Providence College library. It summarizes most of the content that you will need to include in your term project; we will refer to it during the semester.

In advance of our class session on Monday, please read the first four chapters (i.e. Parts I and II) of the handbook. Don’t worry; although you’ll need to read 32 pages, they are very, very brief pages!

After we complete these activities, you should have a fairly clear expectation of our term project. Nevertheless, we’ll dedicate more time throughout the semester to developing the details of our assignment.

But this week, we’ll simply focus on our topic selections. It may only be a small step, but it’s an obvious place to start!

Role Play: The Blue Frog

And now for something completely different! It’s time to shift from a traditional classroom discussion of the Blue Frog case to a more interactive and experiential approach to learning.

As you know, there are four phases in our Blue Frog case: (1) valuation, (2) sustainability, (3) controls and risk, and (4) ethics and morality. And there are several characters in the case as well, including John Aqua, John Formica, Jacques Pluie, Matt Rooney, and members of the royal family of the nation of Vastaria.

Well, those are the human characters of the case. Of course, there are also the frogs!

As you also know, accounting professionals cannot simply rely on documentation to glean information that is relevant to a decision. They must interview client representatives and other individuals, while remaining mindful that people always discuss information from their own subjective points of view.

So we’re going to role play our way through the case in the classroom this week. We’ll welcome a Manager from the Boston office of PwC to provide feedback and suggestions through this experience.

To prepare for our class on Monday, please review the same material about the Blue Frog case that was assigned a week ago. In addition, to provide a contemporary perspective about the issue of payments to government officials, please read a Washington Post editorial that was published about such payments just yesterday.

While you read the editorial, please keep in mind that the author clearly possesses a subjective point of view. You should thus apply a reasonable amount of critical skepticism to the content, while simultaneously remaining open-minded about the potential truthfulness of his claims.

Is that easy to accomplish? Of course not! It’s a tricky balancing act, one that we’ll continue to practice throughout our role playing exercise this week.

Save The Blue Frog

Hello, capstone students! It was a pleasure to meet all of you last Monday. I hope you enjoyed our review of the Integrated Reporting <IR> framework, as well as the Valuing Your Talent (VyT) framework.

This week, we’ll begin our discussion of the Blue Frog by using the two frameworks to develop a set of business analyses for the firm in the case. In essence, we’ll practice the very skills that you’ll use to complete your term projects later this semester.

To prepare for class on Monday, please read the following content of the Blue Frog case: (a) the home web page and the four web pages entitled Valuation, Sustainability, Controls & Risk, and Ethics & Morality, (b) the 8 page PDF file of Client Information, and (c) the Client Spreadsheet. You do not need to read any of the other information on the web site.

Incidentally, we are using the “Blog” on that web site as a course blog for my current Civ Colloquium course. You certainly don’t need to review it, though you’re welcome to do so if you’re curious about that particular course.

In addition, please keep in mind that we’ll take our initial weekly closed book quiz during the first ten minutes of class on Monday. It’ll cover the two frameworks that we discussed last week, as well as the advance reading assignment for Monday.

Finally, I have a requirement to share with you. It might sound like a strange one in a College where many faculty members forbid electronic devices in the classroom, but I’d like to require you to bring an electronic device to class.

That’s because it’s virtually impossible for the entire class to see detailed text and numbers on the (relatively) small screen on the side of the room. This week, because we need to review a spreadsheet, I ask that you bring a device that can open and modify spreadsheet files. You’re welcome to share a device with a classmate, as long as you check with that classmate in advance of class.

Also on Monday, we’ll discuss the term project in some detail. During the ensuing week, I’ll ask you to think about your preference for a term project topic. I’ll then ask you to make a preliminary, non-binding choice of a topic the following week.

As you can see, we are beginning to raise the proverbial bar on the level of complexity of our course activities. Please don’t worry, though … I’m confident that we’ll master it together!

Welcome!

If you are reading this message, you have found our course blog page. Welcome to the capstone course in accountancy!

We’ll use this blog to coordinate our learning activities. Please remember to return here every week.