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.
If you want to understand a hotel property fully, you need to read and analyze three critical financial statements: its operating statement, its balance sheet, and its cash flow statement. These statements will answer key questions, including: In what ways is this property performing well or underperforming?
Using provided data for a sample property, you will practice reading and interpreting financial statements to assess areas of strength and weakness, then you'll apply that understanding to critical higher-level decisions from different perspectives. What improvements would you make to this property if you were the owner? What improvements would you want to make to this property if you were the GM, who typically doesn't see the balance sheet? How about as an asset manager? These three people will see things differently, so how and what they advocate will differ. You want to be in the position to review the financials from all points of view and make the most informed decisions you can.
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
Key Course Takeaways
- Examine a balance sheet and identify areas of strength and weakness in the firm
- Examine a cash flow statement and identify the firm's sources and uses of cash
- Practice reading and interpreting financial statements to assess areas of strength and weakness in the firm
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