Written by: Michael Song
I’m ready to hit the ground running starting the first full week. During my touch base with my supervisor I was given the opportunity to create a new model for consolidation going forward for all HOPE’s entities. I was somewhat overwhelmed at first, but was excited for the challenge.
HOPE owns a small rental company, a benefit real estate company, an investment fund, and the HOPE microfinance umbrella organization. I won’t get too technical for those that aren’t accounting majors, but in a nutshell I needed to combine all the financial statements and reconcile all transactions between the entities because they are nullified in the roll-up. I had a two week deadline as the auditors were coming in for the year end audit. (This was going to be especially difficult because usually in audits the information is simply on a roll forward where accounts are the same and the only difference is the transaction amounts. This would have made it simple because I would have had last year’s statements as an example and could tie back for a control measure.) Through my accounting classes and financial modeling training I was able to start the project with little guidance. For those of you that need to take Acct 522 fir your major, I’m going to make a shameless plug here. You need to take Teri Ziegler’s class. Even though it can be intimidating and quite difficult at times, you will learn so much. Her class helped refine my accounting skillset for the real world.
In addition, I was able to organize the model in a more efficient way with my financial modeling training. This mostly included formatting and notations, but would help the auditors trace accounts more easily to tie back numbers.
I spent most of the week working on this project, but I also have another exciting culture update to share. Every Monday the firm opens one of its conference rooms for prayer and every Tuesday we have devotions. I thought being a Christian organization was awesome enough, where our work was holistic in the approach of bringing the gospel to our clients through relationships, but I never imagined a culture so intertwined with its beliefs! We are constantly reminded our work is not for ourselves or even for the social cause of defeating poverty, but instead for God. Now, that’s an interesting concept to throw into organizational behavior. (Not, sure if Professor Wilk reads this, but if you are I expect a comment on this idea!)
|I. Urgent and Important i.e. Crisis||II. Not Urgent and Important i.e. Planning|
|III. Urgent and Not Important i.e. E-mail||IV. Not Urgent and Not Important i.e. Busy Work|
Most people spend their work time in Quadrants I, III, and IV. The goal however, is to spend your time in quadrant II as that will also minimize quadrant I. You won’t be able to eliminate every task, however try to screen Quadrant III items and discard IV items as necessary to make most efficient use of your time. This will not only help you achieve your goals more efficiently but also allow you to have more responsibility and impact on your organization.
Microfinance points: This week I want to introduce the concept of “PAR” or portfolio at risk discussed in our weekly staff meeting. In a nutshell, PAR is a control metric for measuring the risk of funds, or in HOPE’s situation its microlending portfolio.