Financial Health and Performance of an Organization

Businesses and other organizations must regularly measure their financial performance and health to make operational and strategic decisions affecting the
organization’s future. Management professionals utilize income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and a variety of other reports and techniques
to evaluate an organization. They also work closely with professionals from departments across the organization—including marketing, human resources, and
operations—to ensure that the business runs smoothly and financial decisions are not made in isolation.
For this project, you will use the accounting and finance skills you learned in the course to review the past and current financial performance and health of
a global, publicly traded company. Using that analysis, you will create initial financial projections that forecast the company’s performance under different
scenarios and identify internal risks and opportunities in order to begin planning future activities.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
 MBA-520-01: Assess an organization’s’ underlying financial performance and health by analyzing relevant financial statements, variances, ratios,
and other financial information
 MBA-520-02: Draw connections between accounting and financial information and the broader organizational context for making integrated business
decisions
 MBA-520-03: Assess critical factors driving financial risks and opportunities for informing management priorities
 MBA-520-04: Forecast business performance under different assumptions about inputs and processes using simple financial models
 MBA-520-05: Evaluate the internal costs and benefits of business opportunities for their impact on budgeting and business decisions
 MBA-520-06: Communicate financial analyses clearly and coherently for persuading internal stakeholders of the validity of observations and conclusions
Prompt
Imagine you are a newly hired manager at a publicly traded, global corporation of your choosing.
You have been asked to review the company’s past and current financial performance and health and make initial financial projections in order to begin
planning for the upcoming year. Your supervisor is particularly interested in a fresh perspective on what your analysis reveals about potential risks and
opportunities, as well as recommendations for next steps. Because you will eventually need to convince internal stakeholders, including senior management, of
the feasibility and desirability of your suggested activities, it is important that you justify your projections and recommendations, explaining how they were
informed by existing information and modeling different scenarios.
Your financial analysis and projection report will include several financial tables, along with a comprehensive narrative describing the company’s context
and financial performance and health, and your analytical approach and conclusions. Your report should be geared toward an executive audience with
basic accounting and finance knowledge and should be well organized, clear, concise, convincing, and free of distracting errors. Note that, in addition to
the company’s financial statements and website, other authoritative news sources—such as annual reports and external sites like Bloomberg—may offer
insights that facilitate analysis or provide information on the company’s priorities, challenges, and geographic distribution.
Specifically, your financial analysis and projection report must include the following critical elements. Most of the critical elements align with a particular course
outcome (shown in brackets).
I. Executive Summary: Clearly and concisely summarize your principal findings, projections, and recommendations as a manager, with the goal of
persuading busy executives to support your ideas and read further. Provide your intended audience with a solid but brief sense of the parameters of
your analysis and who you would consult in refining it further, and why. Remember that your goal is to convince readers of the validity of your
observations while recognizing limitations that affect business decisions. [MBA-520-06]
II. Financial Performance and Health: In this section, you will evaluate the company’s recent financial performance and current financial health, given its
organizational context. In particular, you must cover the following:
A. Organizational Context
1. What key goods or services does your company provide, for whom, where, and why? How do these features of the company (major
products or services, customers, location, etc.) help set the boundaries for business decisions? [MBA-520-02]
2. How is the company organized and managed (by product groups, geographic region, function, etc.)? How does that affect
accounting and financial information and subsequent business decisions? [MBA-520-02]
B. Recent Financial Performance
1. Assess what the company’s consolidated income statements for the last three years say about its financial performance. Use relevant
indicators, graphs, and spreadsheets to support your narrative. (Include all spreadsheets in an appendix.) For example, what do the
amounts and year-to-year changes in revenue, operating income, net profit or loss, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation,
and amortization tell you? Do any items stand out? [MBA-520-01]
2. Assess what the company’s consolidated cash flow statements for the same time period say about its financial performance. Use
relevant indicators, graphs, and spreadsheets to support your narrative. For example, what do the amounts and year-to-year changes
in cash from operating activities, cash from investing, cash from financing, and total cash flow tell you? Do any items stand out? [MBA520-01]
3. Assess the company’s underlying financial performance. Support your answer with the analysis above and relevant research. For
example, is recent performance substantially affected by unusual events such as a major acquisition or spin-off? Is the business
thriving or struggling in its industry? How do you know? [MBA-520-01]
C. Current Financial Health
1. Assess how the company is capitalized and what that tells you about its financial health. Support your response with relevant graphs,
spreadsheets, and indicators such as cash and cash equivalents, total debt, shareholders’ equity, current ratio, debt/equity ratio, and
days sales outstanding (DSO). For example, does the company have enough cash for payroll and other bills? Does it have the right mix of
debt versus equity (stock)? How do you know? [MBA-520-01]
2. Does the company have the right amount of cash and other resources (e.g., key people, technologies, reputation, physical assets) to fuel
future growth? What does this suggest for business decisions? For example, if it has too much cash, should it pay a large dividend,
repurchase its own shares, or reinvest the excess funds? [MBA-520-02]
3. Assess the financial value of the company using relevant indicators. What does your assessment imply for future business health
and performance? For example, what is the business’s current market value? What is its price-to-earnings ratio? What do these
suggest about investor perceptions of the business’s future? [MBA-520-01]
III. Success Factors and Risks: Use this section to discuss the factors that may affect current and future performance. Specifically:
A. How do the company’s financial and strategic priorities affect accounting procedures and business decisions? How might that affect business
success? For example, is management growth-oriented or efficiency-oriented? What is the company’s approach to risk and short- versus longterm planning horizons? [MBA-520-03]
B. How might the company better capitalize on nonfinancial factors such as market share, reputation, human resources, physical facilities, or
patents? Support your response with relevant research and analysis. [MBA-520-03]
C. What are the most significant internal risks to the company’s financial performance? Give evidence to support your response. For example, is
the company vulnerable to technological changes or cyberattacks? Loss of high-talent personnel? Production disruptions? [MBA-520-03]
IV. Projections: Using what you know about the company’s financial health and performance, forecast its future performance. In particular, you
should:
A. Project the company’s likely consolidated financial performance for each of the next three years. Support your analysis with an appendix
spreadsheet showing actual results for the most recent year, along with your projections and assumptions. Remember that your
supervisor is interested in fresh perspectives, so you should not just replicate existing financial statements: You should add other relevant
calculations or disaggregations to help inform decisions. [MBA-520-04]
B. Modify your projections for the coming year to show a best- and worst-case scenario based on the potential success factors and risks
you identified. As with your initial projections, support your analysis with an appendix spreadsheet, specifying your assumptions and
including relevant calculations and disaggregations beyond those in existing financial reports. [MBA-520-04]
C. Discuss how your assumptions, forecasting methodology, and information gaps affect your projections. Why are your projections
appropriate? For example, are they consistent with the company’s mission and priorities? Aggressive but achievable? How would changing
your assumptions change your projections? [MBA-520-04]
V. Business Opportunities: In this section, discuss the incremental impact of a hypothetical but reasonable and simple new investment project, such as a
new product or facility or a cost-cutting investment, as an initial step in thinking about the future. Be sure to address the following:
A. Based on your knowledge of this company, what is a likely investment it would consider and why? Be sure to describe the basic features of
the investment as a foundation for considering its potential financial impact. [MBA-520-05]
B. Evaluate the approximate costs and benefits of the investment you identified, explaining how they would affect your spreadsheet
projections and business decisions. Estimates are sufficient but should be grounded in common sense and insight into the company. [MBA520-05]
C. Assess the implications of how the potential investment affects budgeting and related business decisions. For example, does the investment
involve significant cash spending this coming year, followed by benefits in the following year? How might that affect short-term and long-term
spending priorities? Does the benefit outweigh the cost? [MBA-520-05]
Milestones
Milestone One: Financial Performance and Health
In Module Three, you will submit your first milestone, in which you will evaluate the company’s recent financial performance and current financial health given
its organizational context. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone One Rubric.
Milestone Two: Success Factors and Risks
In Module Five, you will discuss factors that may affect current and future performance. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Two Rubric.
Milestone Three: Projections
In Module Seven, you will forecast future performance based on what you know about the company’s financial health and performance. You will then modify
your projections for a best and worst case scenario, and discuss how your methodologies affect your projections. This milestone will be graded with the
Milestone Three Rubric.
Final Submission: Organizational Financial Analysis
In Module Nine, you will submit your final project. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the critical elements of the final product. It
should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course. This submission will be graded with the Final Product Rubric.
Deliverables
Milestone Deliverable Module Due Grading
One Financial Performance and Health Three Graded separately; Milestone One Rubric
Two Success Factors and Risks Five Graded separately; Milestone Two Rubric
Three Projections Seven Graded separately; Milestone Three Rubric
Final Submission: Financial Health and
Performance of an Organization
Nine Graded separately; Final Project Rubric
Final Project Rubric
Guidelines for Submission: Your financial health and performance report should be approximately 12–15 pages (excluding title page, spreadsheets and graphs,
and references list). It should be double-spaced, with 12-point Times New Roman font and one-inch margins, and use the latest guidelines for APA formatting for
references and citations. Include your name, course name, and report title on the title page.

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