Mary MacAusland, CPA, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer at the Nolan School of Hotel Administration in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, where she teaches courses in financial and managerial accounting and financial statement analysis. Prior to joining Cornell, Professor MacAusland was actively engaged in both academe and industry, serving in senior positions in several organizations. She was previously on the faculty at the University of New Hampshire and Franklin and Marshall College, and taught for several years at a small community college. Professor MacAusland also worked in the life-care management and development field as a controller and has held numerous positions with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), most recently as vice-chair of the audit committee. She served on the executive boards of USTA Middle States and the Berks County Chapter of the American Red Cross for many years and chaired several special events, raising significant amounts for local charities. Professor MacAusland was also a longtime member of the investment committee for the Berks County Community Foundation, where she helped to establish investment guidelines and monitor performance for $50 million in managed assets and was integral in establishing a permanent fund with the foundation to provide grants for tennis programs for at-risk youth.
In this course, you will practice using accounting tools to answer one critical question facing all hotel managers, owners, and operators: How much of the additional revenue generated from one period to another is retained as profit? As a manager or owner in the lodging industry, your ultimate goal is to make better decisions to improve your property's bottom line, but the challenge with any hotel is that so much of its costs are fixed, which means you incur those costs regardless of whether the property is turning a profit.
You will work with Excel to practice analyzing and interpreting costs so that you can better manage them and use a regression formula to calculate change in profit and revenue over time. You will also explore the cost behavior of a property so that you can understand what's causing the costs to be incurred, and you will examine utility costs over time: How much of that is fixed and how much is variable based on usage? You will calculate "flow-through," which tells you how much of your revenue "flows through" to the bottom line. You will calculate the break-even point for a property and the margin of safety. Of particular significance to decision makers, you will identify what you can and cannot influence, both in the short term and the long term.
You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:
- Examining the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI)
- Benchmarking Hotel Performance
- Using Financial Statements for Decision Making
Key Course Takeaways
- Identify and analyze variable, fixed, and mixed costs
- Calculate flow-through, break-even point, and margin of safety
- Analyze and interpret costs to make decisions about managing and controlling costs
How It Works
Who Should Enroll
- Hotel owners
- Hotel general managers and directors
- Hotel managers and department heads
- Hotel employees using financial information for decision making
- Accounting professionals seeking to move into the hotel industry