Category: Shared Governance

Steam Engines, Tea Sets & Railroads – A brief history of Activity-Based Costing

TLDR! Activity-Based Costing (ABC) concepts have been around for yonks! (Australian/British slang for a long time) Ever since the 1770’s. ABC concepts have been largely ignored for yonks! ABC was formalized in the 1980’s. ABC is needed more than even now given the increasing complexity of modern business models and the growth of overhead to […]

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Transparency in Higher Education Expenditure

With Covid-19 striking the university sector hard (and suddenly) last year, the Commonwealth Government postponed the need for the university sector to provide their 2019 ‘Transparency in Higher Education Expenditure’ submission.  However, despite the ongoing impact to the sector in 2021, the decision was made to not only ask for the 2019 data, but also […]

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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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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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Testing the New Higher Ed Funding Model

By Lea Patterson, Michelle Brooke, Andrew Faulkner and Professor Alan Pettigrew BSc (Hons) PhD FAICD On the 19th June 2020, Dan Tehan – Minister for Education, announced a proposed new funding model for Australian Universities.  The objective of the change is to shift student attention to jobs of national importance, such as teaching, nursing and […]

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Activity-Based Costing Software Top 4 ‘Must Haves’

I can’t believe it has been nearly 10 years since this I wrote this article and that very little has changed with respect to my top 3 costing ‘must haves’! The article has been refreshed where needed and due to changes in technology, I’ve added a 4th point….so welcome to my ‘Top 4 Costing Requirements’. […]

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COVID-19: Higher Ed Crisis Management – Part 2: 2020 Deep Dive

Using the Pilbara predictive model to test crisis management options for university leadership. By Lea Patterson, Michelle Brooke, Andrew Faulkner and Professor Alan Pettigrew BSc (Hons) PhD FAICD Preface This article has taken a little longer to write than usual because we have been busy running a wide range of different scenarios. Rather than creating […]

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