Stand-Alone Project: Case Study in Managerial Accounting

Stand-Alone Project: Case Study in Managerial Accounting (250 points)

You should begin working on the Stand-Alone Project early in the course. Each assignment provides a benchmark for completing the Stand-Alone Project in a timely manner while working through the course. You will find this information in the “Stand-Alone Project Benchmark” section of each assignment.

Your Stand-Alone Project responses should be both grammatically and mechanically correct and formatted in the same fashion as the project itself. If there is a Part A, your response should identify a Part A, etc. In addition, you must appropriately cite all resources used in your response and document them in a bibliography using APA style.

Each assignment in this course focuses on a different concept in managerial accounting. These concepts apply whether a firm is involved in manufacturing, merchandising, or service, as well as non-profit organizations. The purpose of this project is to help you understand the use and application of the concepts covered in the course. You are being asked to study an actual firm and to report on its use of the concepts covered in this course. (250 points) (A 20-page response is required.)

Part A    Select a firm that is publicly traded. This ensures you can access the needed data and information from published financial disclosures and articles found in various business journals such as Strategic Finance, Management Accounting Quarterly, etc.

Note: For large firms, you may want to study only a segment of the firm. If so, ensure that you break down company data for the segment chosen.

Provide the following background information on the firm you selected. (25 points)
1.    Firm Name
2.    Description of the Industry in Which the Firm Operates
3.    Type of Business or Segment of the Firm (manufacturing, merchandising, service, or non-profit organization)
4.    General Description of the Firm’s Operations, Organization, Products, and Markets

Note: The rest of the report will deal with the concepts covered in this course. Following are concepts that should be discussed in your report. Although some discussion relating to each concept is expected, please feel free to place a greater emphasis on topics of special interest to you. You may also want to place an emphasis on an area of weakness that may result in corrective action by the firm.

Conversely, for your benefit, you may want to explore in depth a topic in which the firm has a real strength. Your study may find areas in which the firm needs improvement. A “no” answer for many of the questions would indicate a weakness in the firm’s systems. In those instances, you should make recommendations. Provide complete details of the recommendations that you make, including why the recommendation is being made and the benefits to be gained. Each of the following components of your report requires a minimum of two (2) pages. This allows flexibility for you to emphasize your areas of specific interest.

Part B    Cost Behavior and Cost-Volume-Profit (CVP) (Lesson #1): Assess your firm’s use of these tools. (45 points)
1.    Does the firm break down their costs by behavior?
2.    Do they determine their break-even point?
3.    Do they use these concepts in the decision-making process? Do you have any recommendations to make?

Part C    ABC, Job Order, and Process Costing and Cost Allocations (Lesson #2): Describe the cost system used by your firm. (45 points)
1.    If your firm is not using ABC costing, do you think that it is a good candidate to do so? Why or why not?
2.    Do you have any recommendations to make?

Part D    Budgeting and Variance Analysis (Lesson #4): Describe the budgeting process used by your firm. (45 points)
1.    Does the process follow the responsibility concept?
2.    Can you ascertain how employees view the process?
3.    Is a flexible budget concept used? Do you have any recommendations to make?

Part E    Cost, Profit, and Investment Center (Lesson #5) (45 points)
1.    Is decision making centralized or decentralized?
2.    How is performance evaluated?
3.    Does the firm follow the decision-making and evaluation concepts covered in this course?
4.    Does the firm use a balanced scorecard?
5.    Do you have any recommendations to make?

Part F    Decision-Making Policies (Lesson #6): You were given a number of examples showing how relevant financial information was used in decision making. Review the firm’s policies regarding these decisions. (45 points)
1.    Does it follow the concepts covered in this course?
2.    Do you have any recommendations to make?

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