Author: Lea Patterson

Don’t use Student Credit Hours to allocate Cost!

Financial analysts use a wide range of cost allocation methods, including cost per student credit hour, in universities to calculate the cost of delivering courses and programs.  I will show you why this is fraught with danger and could cause more harm than good! In recent posts I have used data from our Australian demonstration […]

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Costing is NOT Financial Accounting!

Quick Thoughts Costing is Management Accounting. Costing requires Operations and/or Engineering expertise. Cost is modelled. e.g. Activity-Based Costing. Cost comes in many forms – Financial Cost, Environmental Cost, Social Cost. It’s important to understand what CAUSES cost so you can manage it appropriately. Cost is calculated by identifying where resources are used to undertake work […]

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Higher Ed Course Break-Even Analysis

In times of financial crisis, low enrolment courses are usually targets for removal. But removing the wrong courses could lead to a worse financial position! Due to the financial impacts of the current pandemic, institutions are taking a serious look at all of their programs and courses to determine their financial performance. The typical targets […]

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What can we do that you can’t?

Last week we were invited to present our regular solution to a university technical team. Lots of analytical and IT skills in the group and one of the attendees asked a very important question “What can you do that we can’t?”. What a great question and one that we should be answering all the time […]

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Higher Ed Cost Management via Mapped Resources

Everything you do has some type of cost associated with it. If you want to drive to the shops, you need a vehicle which you either purchased with cash, or you are paying off a loan, or you leased the vehicle. Then the vehicle requires fuel, oil, water and associated maintenance. All the things you […]

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What is your University doing to combat Climate Change?

This is a rewrite of an old blog post with a specific focus on Higher Ed. At the end of the article is a link to a whitepaper discussing the prototype Carbon Accounting model implemented at Weber State University. Managing Environmental Issues and Mission The Problem – Every institution’s operations have an environmental impact.  There […]

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Academic Burnout – Can you measure or predict it?

I just read this article by Kevin R. McClure, associate professor of higher education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington on Academic Burnout. To quote the article “The pandemic has introduced unique challenges for faculty and staff in higher education that may make burnout even likelier to occur…Summer is normally a time of […]

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Finance + Faculty: Management Accounting in Higher Ed

Management accounting, as a discipline, is going through a resurgence.  Primarily driven by the huge increase in the amount of data available for analysis, financial professionals are needing to look beyond traditional business metrics and recognize the potential of embracing a wider set of data. Management accounting has been around for 100 years, so it’s […]

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From Whoa to Go in 7 weeks – an Analytic Model Implementation Case Study

Last year NACUBO released the results of their survey to understand the current status of analytics, where Business Officers would like to use analytics and barriers that institutional leaders face within the Education sector. As the results show below, Operational Analysis and Cost of Instruction top the list of areas that are in need of […]

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