Bargerstock Named Director of All MBA Programs at MUM

In November 2011, Andrew Bargerstock was named as Director of all the MBA programs at MUM, including the following specializations: Accounting, Sustainable Business, and Business Process Improvement.

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Nikoo Dolati Turns Internship into Full-Time CPT Position

Nikoo Dolati

Nikoo Dolati

Accounting student Nikoo Dolati accepted a part-time internship with iPhone Life Magazine during her on-campus studies. She was told that this position would not lead to long-term employment. After demonstrating her value to the company, Nikoo was hired full-time as a senior accountant.

Nikoo is enrolled in the Accounting Professionals track at Maharishi University of Management and is now completing the curricular practical training (CPT) portion of her MBA degree at iPhone Life. Congratulations to Nikoo on converting an internship into full-time CPT employment!

For the full story visit http://www.mum.edu/achievements/2012_02_11.html.

 

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How MUM’s MBA Teams Became CAPSIM Winners

CAPSIM Winners: MBA Team at Maharishi University of Management

In this 6-minute video, CAPSIM Winners: MBA Teams at Maharishi University of Management, Dr. Andrew Bargerstock describes the CAPSIM business simulation process and MUM’s CAPSIM participants discuss what it takes to win the CAPSIM simulation.

One of two participating teams from MUM placed 1st out of 137 teams nationwide in the CAPSIM Foundation Simulation competition during the spring and summer terms in 2011. The second MUM team placed in the 82nd percentile.

For complete story, see post on MUM Accounting MBA Students Win National Business Competition.

Video of CAPSIM Winners

 

 

 

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Rao and Bargerstock Article Published in Management Accounting Quarterly

Rao and Bargerstock

An article by MUM Ph.D. candidate Manjunath Rao and Associate Professor, Andrew Bargerstock was published in the Fall 2011 issue of Management Accounting Quarterly, the refereed online journal of the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA). The article titled “Exploring the Role of Standard Costing in Lean Manufacturing Enterprises: A Structuration Theory Approach,” presents the theory and research plan for Manjunath Rao’s dissertation. The system of Lean Management focuses on adding value to customers while streamlining operations and eliminating waste. It grew out of the success principles used by the remarkably successful Toyota Motor Corporation.

Mr. Rao also recently received a $4,000 research grant from the IMA to examine the nature of an apparent contradiction between accounting theory and practice in mature Lean manufacturing plants. According to lean accounting theory as published in numerous books and articles, mature lean manufacturing companies are expected to eliminate the use of standard costing and variance analysis (SCVA). However, field reports suggest that many companies continue to retain SCVA even after they have successfully implemented an effective system of work cell metrics.

SCVA is taught worldwide as the traditional method for controlling costs in manufacturing operations by averaging input costs and quantities over the entire production process.  It involves setting quantitative average cost and quantity targets for key categories of inputs: material, labor and overhead. Reports are typically generated each month that summarize and compare actual costs to standard costs. Differences (variances) are investigated to determine root causes of unexpected results.

By contrast, in a lean manufacturing company, work cell teams (typically 6-10 people who perform a few sequential tasks) develop the relevant data they need to control quality and costs in real time (as compared to monthly reports with SCVA).  From the perspective of Lean Management, work cell metrics are clearly superior to SCVA reports and therefore SCVA reports are expected to be eliminated in mature lean companies.

Surprisingly, there has been no significant research study that has tested the lean accounting theory that mature manufacturers will eliminate SCVA. Rao’s research will gather such information via survey and he will also collect data to understand why companies are retaining SCVA.

Rao utilized Gidden’s Structuration Theory, a general social theory model, to test the relevancy and completeness of questions on his survey. In his dissertation, Rao will show how Giddens’ theory mirrors Maharishi’s consciousness-based Samhita concept that explains the relationships among the knower, the known, and process of knowing.

According to Dr. Bargerstock, Rao’s dissertation adviser, “Manjunath’s research has garnered significant attention by experts in the field of lean accounting.  In June 2011, Manjunath gave a poster presentation of his research plan at the annual conference for the IMA. In September, 2011, he was named as one of two Ph.D. students nationally who were recognized as Lean Accounting Students of the Year at the Lean Accounting Summit in Orlando, FL.  In December, Manjunath received a research grant award of $4,000 from the IMA.  And now, he is recognized again by the IMA with the publication of this article.  We are very pleased with the progress of Manjunath’s dissertation.”

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MUM Rotarians Win Rotary Competitive Matching Grant

MUM business professor, Dr. Andrew Bargerstock, and MBA graduate and current CFO at Maharishi Ayurvedic Products, Naya Raj Baral, participated in a successful grant application (#75577) to The Rotary Foundation to support the drilling of a water-well for a community of 10,000 people at the base of the Himalayas in Chitwan Province of Nepal.  The grant, awarded on November 28, 2011 in the amount of $45,706, will cover the costs of one borehole well, pumps, 400,000-liter reservoir tank, and training on the use and maintenance of the water system for the Jaluke Community in Gaidakot, Navalparasi, Lumbini Zone, Nepal.

Left to right: Andrew Bargerstock, Douglas Flournoy, Naya Raj Baral

Naya Raj Baral is a current member of  Rotary Club of Fairfield and former member of  Rotary Club Narayani Mid Town that meets just two miles from the site of this project.  During a Nepal trip to visit family and friends in Spring, 2011, Naya learned about this project that had been presented by a local engineer to the Nepal Rotary Club.  When he returned to Fairfield, Naya contacted fellow Rotarian, Andrew Bargerstock, who is the Director of the International Service Committee for Fairfield’s Rotary Club.  With approval from the local Rotary Club Board of Directors, a team was formed to develop the application and raise financial support from regional Rotary Clubs.  The application was filed in early August with the Rotary Club of Narayani Mid Town as Host Co-sponsor and The Rotary Club of Fairfield as International Co-sponsor.  Since then, the Rotary Club of Fairfield and thirteen additional Iowa  Rotary Clubs or their members have contributed more than $16,000, exceeding the Iowa financial match required by the grant application process.

About this project, Dr. Bargerstock says, “Rotary is about relationship building and this project displays this core principle of our international service organization.  The successful grant application emerged from the collaboration of Rotary Clubs in Nepal and Iowa.  Naya’s background as a chartered accountant and CPA and his relationships with people in Nepal were critical for building credibility.  Another Rotarian, Professor Douglas Flournoy of Indian Hills Community College, was a key person in guiding the grant application process. Another MUM graduate, Beth Alonso, also participated in the grant application process. Additionally, our local Rotary Club’s past success with international service projects facilitated the involvement of Rotary Clubs from across Iowa in raising the required matching funds.  And now, the successful roll-out of the project will be guided by all these relationships.”

Projects that seek funding in excess of $25,000 from The Rotary Foundation are judged on a competitive basis.  On an annual basis, only 20-30 such projects receive this degree of funding.  With additional matching formulas built into the grant application, the total project will generate more than $122,000.

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Management Ph.D. Student Receives National Award

Winners of the LEI Excellence in Lean Accounting Award are from left: Professor Sandra Richtermeyer, Ph.D., winner of the professor award; student award winners and Ph.D. candidates Manjunath Rao and Dan Harris. At right is Chet Marchwinski, communications director at the Lean Enterprise Institute, award sponsor. (Photo: Business Wire)

Manjunath Rao, a Ph.D. student in MUM’s Management Dept., received one of three 2011 Excellence in Lean Accounting awards sponsored by the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) at the seventh annual Lean Accounting Summit in Orlando this fall. The awards were presented to an accounting professor, Dr. Sandra Richtenmeyer, and two Ph.D. students, Dan Harris and Manjunath Rao. Dr. Sandra Richtenmeyer is the outgoing president of the national Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and, coincidentally, one of Manjunath’s dissertation committee members.

Manjunath earned the award on the basis of his dissertation research project, in which he surveyed the members of the two leading organizations in lean accounting–the Institute for Management Accountants and the Lean Enterprise Institute–to determine how many have actually replaced traditional cost accounting with the state-of-the-art system of lean accounting.  Manjunath’s dissertation also addressed why many manufacturing companies continue to use cost accounting, even when they adopt lean manufacturing. This is the first time that anyone has empirically studied this phenomenon to see whether the practice is equal to theory.

This is MUM’s second award from LEI in two years, the first being the 2009 Excellence in Lean Accounting Professor Award given for my initiatives in implementing lean accounting in the classroom. In the past year, enrollment has grown in our Specialty program in Lean Accounting and in our Post-Graduate Certificate program in Lean Accounting.

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MUM Accounting MBA Students Win National Business Competition!

MUM's CAPSIM teams discuss simulation in 6 minute video.

Students in MUM’s Accounting MBA program placed first among 137 teams in a national business simulation competition. The Baldwin team was the winning team, including: Peng Wang (China), Ganesh Baniya (Nepal), Abdul Sheikh (Pakistan), and Chittaranjan Sahu (India).

A second team from MUM, the Andrews team, also placed well in the same competition, scoring in the 82nd percentile: Stella Mangwa (Cameroon), Tricia Walrond (Barbados), Nikoo Dolati (Iran), and Monica Bayung (Cameroon).

Although CAPSIM offers official Challenge Competitions where results are published and winners are officially recognized, MUM instead participated in CAPSIM’s Foundation Simulation — a continuously rolling event available on-line where participant teams are evaluated against all teams who have participated in the previous six months. The claim of #1 ranking by the MUM’s Baldwin team is based on the team’s total score of 830 points which placed them in the 99th percentile at the end of the simulation on August 4, 2011.

Through the Foundation simulation, students gain the opportunity to practice integrated decision-making across a wide range of management functions (e.g., product design, sales forecasting, inventory management, operations management, human resources, finance, TQM) while they attempt to optimize both short-term and long-term performance metrics based on the Balanced Scorecard concept. Balanced Scorecard recommends that organizational performance metrics cover four perspectives: financial, customer, internal business processes, and learning & growth.

The simulation is a popular event among students in the class, U.S. and International Accounting Practices. The students appreciate the opportunity to exercise their skills in executive decision-making and small group dynamics. Both strong analytical skills and informed intuition are valuable for simulation decision-making. The winning team reports its success came from a combination of good decisions about product pricing, building customer awareness, product innovation, automation of production facilities, controlled expansion of capacity, cost control, training and development of personnel, and sound financing strategies.

Many universities have a reputation for producing very good technical accountants who are not good decision-makers. Courses in accounting frequently involve students solving problems that have definite answers. But, in the real world, decision-makers face a complex world of uncertainties. Traditionally, trained accountants often struggle with the desire to want more data leading to procrastination. When our MBA students perform so well against some of the best business schools in the USA, it validates the quality of their integrated decision-making skills and builds confidence that they can compete effectively in the challenging international business environment.

Some of the other colleges that placed in the top 10% of the competition were Villanova University, University of Maryland, Mountbatten Institute, Urbana University, Concordia University, and the University of Wisconsin.

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2011 Most Outstanding MBA Accounting Student

At the June 2011 graduation activities at MUM central campus in Fairfield, Iowa, we gave the 2011 Most Outstanding MBA Professional Student Award to Dipesh Dahal.

Dipesh Dahal

Both from the level of his academic work and his professional accomplishments, Dipesh set a good example to all students.  He passed all parts of the CPA exam, became a licensed CPA, and completed the post-grad certificate in Lean Accounting — all while he maintained a full-time job.  We are proud of his accomplishments.  Past winners of the AccMBA Outstanding Student Award include Howlet Beshir (2010), Pravakar Dhungana (2009), and Oleksiy Levchenkov (2008).

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Lean Accounting Research at MUM

PhD student Manjunath Rao gave a poster presentation on how Maharishi Vedic Science can be a powerful analytic tool in implementing “lean accounting” at the recent annual conference of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in Florida.  Mr. Rao, who is a Certified Management Accountant and member of IMA, gave a poster presentation on his Ph.D. research, which addresses the issue of why organizations haven’t readily adopted lean accounting.

Mr. Rao explains that lean accounting complements the rapidly growing trend toward lean manufacturing: a practice that derives from the Toyota Production System and is a way of standardizing procedures, removing unnecessary activities, and empowering the workforce. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that companies that have adopted the lean manufacturing strategy continue with traditional standard cost accounting practices rather than adopting lean accounting.  “Lean accounting theory posits that traditional standard cost accounting practices are not suitable to companies that have implemented lean manufacturing,” Mr. Rao says. “My research seeks to answer the question why lean manufacturing companies continue to retain standard cost accounting.”

In order to find the answer, Mr. Rao’s research takes a holistic perspective based on Maharishi Vedic Science. His study aims at identifying the dominant variables on three dimensions of rishi (accountants), devata (organizational processes), and chhandas (organizational resources) in order to describe the profile of accounting practices in lean manufacturing companies. “The lens provided by Maharishi Vedic Science can be a powerful tool for analysis because of its holistic nature,” he says. “My analysis highlights startling parallels between ancient Maharishi Vedic Science approach and the postmodern structuration theory approach provided by Giddens.”

Mr. Rao says accounting is a knowledge-creating process, and that the kind of knowledge that accountants create depends on the way they think. It’s important for them to go beyond, or transcend, their past experiences and integrate new methods. During the course of his presentation Mr. Rao had the opportunity to network with accounting professionals from around the world.  “They showed a keen interest in my research,” he said. “And I received appreciation from Sandra Richtermeyer, the outgoing president of IMA.”

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Two new tracks for MBA Accounting Specialization

MUM’s MBA with Accounting Specialization Program is offering two new tracks beginning in the fall 2011 semester. Building on the success of the program established in 2005 for international accountants with two or more years of work experience, the new tracks will consist of 11 months of full-time study but work experience will not be required.

“This MBA program anticipates the growing need for professional accountants in the USA due to the retirement of large numbers of baby boomer accountants,” said Dr. Andrew Bargerstock, Director of the Accounting Professionals MBA Program, who developed the concept for the program. “Some forecasters suggest that for every two accountants who retire in the next 5-10 years, there will be only one accountant available to take their positions.”

Applicants in the new program will be required to have a four-year bachelor degree in business, accounting or related areas. Based on the students’ academic background in accounting, there will be two new MBA accounting tracks: Fresh Start and Strong Background.

The Fresh Start group requires no previous accounting courses or work experience and will begin in mid-August 2011. The Strong Background Group requires at least four accounting courses previously taken and will begin mid-January 2012. There is no curricular practical training in this track.

“This new exciting specialization in accounting will allow MUM to attract groups of students who currently are not eligible to participate in the Accounting Professionals MBA program because they do not possess enough work experience,” said Dr. Scott Herriott, co-chair of the Department of Business Administration.

For more information on this new MBA specialization in accounting, visit http://www.mum.edu/programs.html and find the MBA accounting specialization program link.

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