- Interpret core managerial finance concepts and data.
- Analyze operational budget drivers and variances.
- Interpret financial decision-making criteria.
- Evaluate financing strategies for business operations.
- Evaluate operational performance using analytic and comparative techniques.
- Devise risk mitigation strategies in financial management.
Student Success Criteria
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You are a department manager for a distribution team that packages and ships products from a warehouse location to fulfill customer orders. Your company has been acquired by a larger firm. The new owners are requesting that each department manager prepare a master budget for the upcoming year and submit it for approval. The submission must include a written justification of the requested amount and at least one risk mitigation action to control or reduce costs.
The information available to meet this request includes:
- The department’s expenses, staffing, and output for the past 12 months;
- Metrics, financial and operational, that can be used to compare the department’s performance and output to a department that provides similar distribution support to another division of the company;
- One potential efficiency project with two available financing options;
- Data on the company’s historic employee practices such as annual raises and bonuses; and
- The level of output that the department must meet in the upcoming year based on the new owners’ sales goals.
Using the information provided, as well as relevant economic data researched independently, make decisions about:
- The staffing level required to meet the expected output requirements;
- The annual raises and bonuses that should be included in the budget;
- Whether the efficiency project option should be implemented, and if so, using which financing option; and
- The cost control (i.e. risk mitigation) action(s) for implementation.
From your decisions, prepare a master budget for the upcoming year in Excel. Then, prepare a written justification, memo-style, for the budget that discusses your decisions and the rationale for each. Include support for your decisions from your analysis of the data and the financial and operational metrics (historical and expected) as well as at least one external economic or industry source.
In the justification memo, include one visual (chart, graph, etc.) created from the data. The purpose and type of visual selected should be based on the data being highlighted. Examples include a summary pie chart of the total budget, a bar chart comparing the department’s historical metrics to the expected metrics with the new budget, or costs across time to implement the efficiency project using the recommended financing options.
Submit an Excel file with the new master budget and a justification memo with embedded visual.