Nonprofit and Governmental Accounting

Our last session, Spring Session 2, is now underway, which means new classes for Fisher MAcc students! A popular elective for students this term is AMIS 7250: Nonprofit and Governmental Accounting, and it’s taught by Prof. Brian Mittendorf. So far in our accounting education, the focus has been on for-profit companies and learning about their financial reporting requirements, auditing, and taxation. Thus, many MAcc students were interested in learning about the nonprofit sector. Also, nonprofit and governmental accounting is 16-24% of the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the CPA Exam (it’s on the minds of most MAcc students nowadays as some have begun studying for it).

The course makes you think about accounting in a new light. Not only does the terminology change when you are talking about nonprofits, but the way in which you think about profits and expenses shifts as well. Nonprofits do, in fact, make “profits!” What differentiates them from for-profit companies is that nonprofits don’t have owners or shareholders. The “owner” of the organization is its mission, and all profits are reinvested to carry out that mission.

I really like this elective course so far and am looking forward to see what else we learn. In addition to rounding out my accounting education, I will also be able to apply what we learn in this course as soon I will be volunteering as treasurer for a 501(c)(7) nonprofit and would love to undertake other roles in the nonprofit sector in the future.

We watched the TED talk below for class, which proposes that that the way we evaluate charities (and their spending habits) is flawed. Enjoy!

 


Bucket List for My Last Couple Months in Columbus

At the beginning of January, I accepted a job and will be moving away from Columbus. After nearly five years of being in Columbus and just finishing finals for the third term of the Fisher SMF program, it’s finally hitting me that I will be leaving Columbus. Here’s my bucket list for my last two months in Columbus:

Catch the Rocky Horror Picture Show live performance at Studio 35 in Clintonville, OH.

Spend a day at The Book Loft—I’ve been there many times, but I’d love to spend an early Spring day just strolling among the books.

The Book Loft in German Village (photo credit: Bookloft.com)

The Book Loft in German Village (photo credit: Bookloft.com)

Catch a Blue Jackets game before the season ends.

Catch a musical performance by Perfume Genius at the Wexner Center in a few weeks.

Try as many quirky coffee shops, restaurants, and bars in Columbus that I haven’t tried, particularly on South Fourth Street, Broad Street, and Downtown.


Pet or no Pet (while being a grad student)?

If you do not currently own a pet and are getting the itch to own one, I encourage you to consider a few things first.

I already owned my dog, Riggs (aka: Riggles/Rigsy) when starting the program, but pets can be a large responsibility. So consider how much time you will be able to devote to your pet during the program, especially if it is a dog. If you’re considering a dog, will you have to train them? Will they be crated or not? What are the traits of the specific breed (i.e. are they prone to anxiety, are they high energy, etc.)? The answers to these questions will impact how much time you will need to devote to them and ensuring they have healthy outlets to exert their energy. If you plan on balancing work, school (classes, studying, group work) and a social life (including events before or after class), are you okay with knowing that you may have to rearrange your schedule sometimes to meet the needs of your pet? In addition, you will need to consider whether your student budget can cover the cost of vaccinations, vet visits, food, and toys.

On the flipside, I completely understand wanting to come home to a cuddly, fluff ball. They can become quite the companion too. Heck, Riggs is like a son to me (yes, I just admitted that). A pet can bring life to a home even when you have no energy left after work or school. In addition, having to walk a dog can be surprisingly relaxing. I have come to use the walks as refreshing study breaks to clear my head and relax. One of the many benefits to living in Columbus is that it is really pet friendly. There are quite a few dog parks and scenic areas to walk your dog. There are also several places to board your pet if needed, and several daycares (If you live near Grandview or Upper Arlington…I highly recommend Puptown Lounge!). Some extra perks are that there are several food establishments that are pet friendly. DQ has “pup-cups” (Vanilla Ice Cream w/ a Milkbone) for dogs AND if you bring your dog to Graeter’s on the first Thursday of the month during the spring/summer months they will give you a FREE Frosty Paw Treat (dog ice cream)! Needless to say, but Columbus is pretty great!

Between work and school, I definitely find myself rearranging my schedule to ensure I am able to meet the needs of Riggs. This means that sometimes I can’t go out after class or I can’t just relax on campus between my job and class. In my opinion, it’s totally worth it. However, not all people would agree. So consider what is practical and feasible to maintain while pursuing the MHRM program.

 

Your bed becomes their bed.

Your bed becomes their bed.

Your food becomes their food.

Your food becomes their food.

Your clean room becomes their play room within 5 minutes (no joke...5 minutes)

Your clean room becomes their play room within 5 minutes (no joke…5 minutes)

Their happiness becomes your happiness.

Their happiness becomes your happiness (Riggs sure loves his DQ Pup-cups).


CAMP 2015

CAMP Logo

Every year, Fisher’s Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) puts on their annual Columbus Advertising & Marketing Powwow (CAMP) event.  At this event, students and professionals come together to learn about new trends and recent developments in marketing and advertising.  This year’s CAMP will include keynote speeches from John Gerzema, the CEO of BAV Consulting, and Kevin Richardson, the Senior Vice-President of Consulting Services at Nielsen Marketing Analytics.  The day will also include a panel of marketing professionals from the Columbus area, as well as the presentation of the second annual Marketer Of The Year Award, which will be presented to GoPro.

The 2015 CAMP will take place this Friday, March 27th, at The Fawcett Event Center from noon to 4:30 p.m.  If you are a current or prospective student, or if you are simply in the Columbus area and interested in learning more about marketing, come join us!  Tickets are currently on sale on the Fisher AMP website http://fisheramp.com/marketingcamp/.  Lunch will be provided and parking is free!  More information about this year’s speakers, panel, and Marketer Of The Year can also be found on the website.

Fisher AMP is very excited about this year’s event, and we have a few fun surprises planned for the day of.  Come check it out!

 


Scheduling Woes and Wins

Scheduling can either be a walk in the park or it can be a stressful experience. Unfortunately, no matter how much you prepare and plan for your next semester’s schedule, something is likely to go awry. Whether this is missing out on a class or getting wait-listed there are always some issues regarding your new schedule. Because of this likelihood, I am glad that I will never have to schedule classes again! While there are issues with every schedule, there aren’t any bad classes to take within the MAcc program so that can serve as some comfort.

Scheduling classes in the MAcc can be especially interesting because of all the elective options. With all of the different courses you can definitely find something that is unique and will grab your attention for the term or the entire semester. I think some of the best advice for scheduling classes is to try and talk to the students who have already taken the classes. Before I started the program I talked to some current students and got the lowdown on what classes to take. This turned out to be valuable information and I will make sure to write a future post about some of my favorite classes to ensure that future MAcc generations receive the same knowledge I did!

Another piece of advice around scheduling is to talk with the professors. They will be able to provide greater insight into the main goal of their course and the workload associated with it. I have learned that the accounting faculty are always willing to discuss their courses and what you may learn from the material. This will help when it comes down to narrowing your elective choices.

Finally, I would say the last piece of advice I have regarding scheduling courses is to go outside your comfort zone! There are so many wonderful courses here and just because you may not have a ton of background or prior knowledge about a subject matter, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the course. You can find unique courses both within the accounting electives and outside of accounting through the MBA, Finance, and Human Resources programs.

If you prepare ahead of time and plan out your year, scheduling becomes a whole lot easier and much more fun!

 

 

 


Daymond John Comes to OSU

One perk of being part of Ohio State is being able to take advantage of all the events the Ohio Union Activities Board (OUAB) puts on.  Last month they welcomed Daymond John to the Union.  For those of you who don’t know, Daymond John is one of the judges on ABC’s Shark Tank, as well as founder, president, and CEO of FUBU.  They set up his presentation into two separate sections.  First, they allowed four individuals/groups to present a pitch for their product to the “sharks”.  The “sharks” consisted of three professors and John.  All of the product pitches were very interesting and John provided great constructive feedback to the students.

After the pitches were over they started a moderated Q&A.  John shared with the audience his story of starting his own business to his experiences on Shark Tank.  John was able to provide a lot of solid advice for future entrepreneurs and businessmen and women.  One major piece of advice he gave was to learn how to be financially responsible. It doesn’t matter whether you learn this “on the job” or through formal education, just as long as you become financially educated.  He stressed too many times startups fail due to poor financial decisions or poor financial structuring.  He also talked a lot about his perseverance and how it is important to set goals and attain those goals.  His strategy was to set long-term goals and short-term goals to gradually achieve the long-term goal.  Through his perseverance and his dedication to completing his goals he became a successful entrepreneur and investor.


Winding Down…On to the Consultation Saga

As the end of the first term has come to a screeching halt, it is hard to believe that graduation is only a couple of months away. The feeling is bittersweet to say the least. While I am dying to graduate and put my new skills to the test, I have made plenty of friends that I will miss when we all go our separate ways.

Nonetheless, this last semester is extremely important to all SMF students. You will finally participate in the coveted team projects. This is a staple of the SMF program. All SMF students participate in a team project in the final term of the spring semester. This project is very much like a consulting project. You are given multiple projects to rank and then you are assigned these projects based on a multitude of factors. These companies include Nationwide, Wells Fargo, Owens Corning, The OSU Wexner Medical Center and many more.

I was lucky enough to get The OSU Wexner Medical Center, which was my first choice! I will be working with 2 classmates to develop a model that helps them determine whether it is more beneficial to outsource or make in-house. Our first meeting with our client is within the next few days so stay tuned for the next edition in the Consultation Saga!


Trivia Night!

One of my favorite things that I do weekly is Trivia Night with some MAcc friends at a local bar called The Grandview Cafe. The place is packed (usually 20+ teams) with grad students and young professionals every Thursday night for a competitive and challenging round of trivia. Some friends and I started going early in the semester and have gotten hooked. We’ve finished in second and third in the past, but we’re still striving for gold!

Prof. Zach heard about our Trivia Night tradition and decided that he wanted to join in on the fun. He’s gone with us the last two weeks and definitely carries his weight, particularly with his knowledge of sports and world geography. One of the great things about the MAcc program is that our faculty and staff are down-to-earth and genuinely interested in what we are doing. Whenever I see Prof. Arya, our program director, he likes to check in to see how our trivia team is doing. There is such a fun, relaxed learning environment here with a great work hard, play hard mentality. Trivia Night is just one example of the many things that MAcc students are up to outside of the classroom!

Prof. Zach joins us for Trivia Night!

Prof. Zach joins us for Trivia Night!

Check out Columbus Trivia Challenge if you want to play – they host trivia Sundays through Thursdays at different locations throughout Columbus!


Guess Who Came to Speak at Fisher?

So, I’m not name dropping or anything…

BUT….

Jamie Dimon came to The Ohio State University.

This is Jamie Dimon talking to the OSU football team

This is Jamie Dimon talking to the OSU football team

 

Due to the stature of Jamie Dimon, this event could not be released before his visit. Jamie Dimon came to address our SMF Corporate Finance 3 class taught by Karen Wruck. (Other students were allowed to attend if seats were available.) It was very interesting to listen to all that Mr. Dimon had to say. He reads about 5 different newspapers every morning and is constantly reading everything else and just soaking in knowledge. He spoke to not only working hard, but working smart. He also noted that he likes to talk to an expert in whatever he is interested in learning more about, because listening to him/her for 10 minutes is worth more than hours of reading.

Fisher tends to bring in quite a few of amazing speakers, such as the CEO of L Brands, Les Wexner, and the CEO of Cardinal Health, George Barrett. Last year students even flew to meet with Warren Buffet. Who wouldn’t want to play guess who and see who will be here when you come next year?!


Second Semester First Years: A changing (still busy) life

As a second semester 1st year, it’s very interesting to look back and see how things have changed since the end of August.  We all went from being strangers to creating great friendships in the span of just a few months.  The program allowed us to participate in so many things first semester that it was a complete whirlwind.  From info sessions and case competitions, to exams and interview prep, we were busy from August through mid-December.  Second semester hasn’t been any less busy and in fact, I sometimes feel like we are even busier.  However, there have been some changes since the beginning of January and it has definitely kept our entire first year interesting.  There are few main changes I think the whole class has seen:

1) Less Exams, More Group Projects

Our first semester included classes like Finance, Accounting, Data Analytics & Econ.  As you can probably guess, these were very heavily data and fact-based, which led to lots of midterms and final exams.  This semester we have classes much more based on discussion and theory.  The shift has led us to many less tests and many more group projects.  While there are pros and cons to this shift, I know we can all say that we have a new appreciation for time management.  I have never seen Gerlach as busy on Sunday as it has been these past few weeks.  Multiple projects mean multiple group meetings, multiple deadlines and multiple deliverables in the form of papers, PowerPoints and presentations.

2) Less Information Sessions, More ‘Development’ Sessions

As soon as we arrived on campus in August, companies began to flock with info sessions.  It was great because it made us realize that Fisher has a very well respected MBA program.  It also meant we spent a lot of lunch hours and evenings in information sessions.  Now, we spend more of our lunch hours and evenings in what I will call ‘development’ sessions.  From learning how to personally brand yourself and marketing to millennials, to learning about the real estate process and hearing from influential leaders in the corporate world, we are learning a lot that can be applied to our careers and lives.  While there is definite value in every ‘extra’ event on campus, I think we are now learning how to stretch ourselves even more as leaders and businessmen/women.

3) Less Interviewing, More Celebrating

The interviewing process is definitely ongoing throughout our whole first year.  In fact, most of us don’t secure our summer jobs until the second semester.  However, it is great to feel the stress level drop as people get and accept offers.  Interviewing and interview prep has been a main part of our year and the celebration feels that much sweeter when all the hard work pays off.  I am also extremely happy to see how many of my peers are getting the internships they dreamed of.

By the end of this semester, we will all feel like pros at the MBA lifestyle.  It’s crazy to think the end of year one is already rapidly approaching and I am excited to see new and exciting changes continue to come our way.


Next Page »


The content and opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by The Ohio State University or Fisher College of Business.