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6-1 CASE STUDY - Eastern University Catalog; ways of handling the Bulletin's Budget

This is for MBA Accounting Management using "Accounting for Decision Making and Control", 5th edition by Jerold L. Zimmerman.

Case 6-1 Eastern University Catalog
Eastern University publishes and distributes over 100,000 copies of its Official Bulletin on Undergraduate Studies to prospective students, high school guidance counselors, faculty and staff of the university, and other interested parties. This 250-page catalog with four-color pictures is one of the primary marketing devices for the university's undergraduate programs. High school seniors expressing interest in attending the university receive the Bulletin along with other information about the university. It lists the various programs of studies, course offerings, and requirements. Each year it is revised and reprinted as courses and programs change, and the photographs are updated to improve it as a recruiting tool. The annual cost of preparing and printing the Bulletin is about $1 million, which includes the cost of photographers, nonunitversity graphic designers, typesetting and printing but excludes the cost of university employees who rewrite the text, proofread the galleys and manage the entire process

The responsibility of preparing the catalog is shared by the admissions office and public relations. The admissions office coordinates collection of the basic data on course and program changes. Many of these are not known until May, after the various faculties have met and approved academic program and course changes. These changes are edited and the overall content of the publication is determined based on admissions office's experience with high school applicants. Admissions then send a draft copy of the brochure to public relations. Public relations is responsible of the overall image and publicity of the university and for ensuring that the university publications present a consistent image. Public relations, using outside graphic designers, marketing specialists, typesetters, and printers its staffers have come to know, takes the changes and produces an attractive, high-quality brochure. Admissions reports to the dean of the undergraduate college, who reports to the president. Public relations report to the vice president of external affairs, who reports to the president. The admissions office affects the cost of the brochure in terms of the quantity of text to be included and how many Bulletins must be ordered to satisfy its distribution plan. Public relations affects the cost by using more color photographs, more expensive paper and cover materials, and elaborate layouts. Both admissions and public relations raise the cost by not meeting timely production schedules. If copy is returned late or the design is not completed on time, additional charges are incurred by typesetters and printers who work overtime to meet the publication schedule. It is critically important to the admissions process that the Bulletin be available for distribution in September to high school seniors beginning their college search process.
Admissions and public relations are both cost centers. They have been arguing over whether the cost of the Bulletin should be in the admissions office budget or the public relations department budget.

Required:
A. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of placing the budget for the Bulletin in the public relations versus the admissions office budget.
B. What are some other ways of handling the Bulletin's Budget?
C. Based on your analysis, what recommendation would you make?

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A. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of placing the budget for the Bulletin in the public relations versus the admissions office budget.
The advantages of placing the budget for the bulleting in the public relations is that this would help cut down the public relations demands for a more impressive layout and would induce them to meet the schedule and so the cost is likely to remain under control. The disadvantage of placing the budget for the bulletin in the public relations is that if the PR department cuts costs then the image of the university is likely to suffer. The advantages of placing the budget for the bulletin with the admissions is that the admissions department is likely to curtail the fresh material that needs to be included as well as insist that the PR department not use a very elaborate layout. Further the admissions department is likely to speed up the copy editing process. The disadvantages of this approach are that the communication process may suffer and the image of the university may also be inappropriately positioned.

The responsibility of the admissions includes:
Processing undergraduate applications.

All EU undergraduate applications to the University are processed through the Central Applications Office (CAO).
Â? Process requests for transfer to a different undergraduate course within the university.
Â? Process requests to ...

Solution Summary

The 861 word solution presents a comprehensive discussion in response to the question of the advantages and disadvantages of placing the budget for the Bulletin in the public relations versus the admissions office budget.

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