Middleton Outreach Ministry is a local nonprofit that leads a community-wide effort to prevent homelessness and end hunger for local residents. Their annual event, Home for the Holidays, was the focus project for the class.
Students met with Debbi Kutchin, financial manager for Middleton Outreach Ministry, to go over what they were looking for in a cost analysis spreadsheet and to get all the information students needed to develop it. This included any fixed costs, variable costs, and sources of income.
The class developed the Excel spreadsheet formulas and designed the layout they felt would be user-friendly for MOM. The project ended with a formal presentation to the executive director of MOM, Kathy Hanson, and Debbie Kutchin, financial manager.
Students reflected on the final product and what they learned.
“I’m really happy with what we did,” said Tonya Lou, a student in Globe University’s accounting program. “In the beginning I was kind of nervous of what MOM would think of it and if they would like it, but last night I couldn’t stop talking about the project with my husband. Today, they seemed very pleased with our final project and I feel that they will be able to use this for other events.”
Tonya added, “It’s one thing to do a problem out of the book and have it maybe make sense, but when you are doing real life scenarios, it’s whole new picture and for me it made more sense.”
Denise Henrich, also a student in the accounting program, said, “The timing was perfect for both Tonya and I in that we were also taking an online course called Excel for Accounting. A lot of the material that we were learning in that class was material we applied to the spreadsheet as well.”When asked how the students did, Kathy Hanson, MOM executive director shared, “I think they did a great job, and it’s really going to help us as far as a model to go forward with our special events. Especially for Home for the Holidays, we’ve got some good numbers in there and [can] look at what is realistic and what’s optimistic and set our goals appropriately. They did a really great job; I was very impressed.”
Debbie Kutchin, financial manager for Middleton Outreach Ministry also explained the value of the students’ project to their organization.
“The students did a great job laying out for us in an Excel spreadsheet a way for us to look at different variables that we have for the event. We can put in actual ticket sale numbers and get projections for what we think our income will be. We can also look at what we are projecting for sponsors ahead of time because we look for sponsors early on in the process and that gives us a good idea on how the event will turn out.”
MOM was so impressed with the class’s work that they said they would like to have future Managerial Accounting classes work with them on projects yet to come.