There's the novel idea that starts a business and then there's the running of the business, with one of these decidedly more sensational than the other. If you can't already guess which garners the most excitement, here's a hint: it's not bookkeeping.
"No one starts a business and says, I want to keep a great set of books! They usually have a great product or service they want to sell or they're good at networking," says Dr. Hank Alewine, Assistant Professor in the College of Business Administration at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). "But it's difficult to run a business successfully if you don't know what's going on in the books."
That's a lesson he's not only teaching his graduate students, but also local business owners as well, thanks to his group consulting project. Each semester, teams of about five students from Dr. Alewine's Cost Management (ACC 614) or Managerial Accounting (ACC 602) classes are tasked with analyzing a real-world organization's cost management needs and identifying possible solutions or improvements, which they then present to the class and collate into a report.