Application of ratio and trend analysis.

This project allows students the opportunity to perform critical thinking, by addressing specific financial trends and industry comparisons for a company of their choosing. This project will be a comparison/contrast paper that shows a demonstration of the application of financial analysis and critical thinking in a large organization. The student will be performing trend analysis and industry comparisons on 3-4 years worth of financial statement data (whatever tells the story).

Trend Analysis & Ratio Analysis
Ratio analysis uses percentage or decimal calculations of comparison to at least two different sets of financial data. You are comparing how one relates (compares) to another. Decision makers use ratios because they illuminate relationships between financial data taken from the company’s statements.

Although ratio analysis can be used to evaluate financial performance, the number, by itself, does not reveal the entire story. To take the analysis to the next level, one must engage in trend analysis. Trend analysis utilizes the aforementioned ratios and shows the changes in those ratios, over time. Stakeholders can use trend analysis to not only compare “this year” to “last year” for this company, but can compare each year to the industry as a whole and even to the number one competitor for benchmarking purposes.

When you are setting up your paper, it would help to group your ratios and analysis together by content area (profitability, debt management, asset utilization, liquidity, and market value ratios).

Choose a publicly traded, publicly held, U.S. company. This means you need to pick a company that is public and has stock that trades on the exchange. You will use a variety of sites to find your financial data. Start with either Yahoo! Finance site or These two sites will allow you to capture at least one year of data for each of the two companies you are going to review as well as the industry ratios you will need. You will need to acquire annual reports for the company sites for years older than the most current year. You will need to review three – five years of financial information on this company, more years of data will produce a more thorough analysis.

Specific areas of analysis are noting major ratio categories and identifying whether the trend is up or down, whether that is good or bad, and why. Once the data are gathered, analyzed, and trends revealed; the student will acquire the same information for a competitor within the same industry. The same ratio and trend analysis will be gathered for the competitor. A comparison will ensue, identifying specific strengths and weaknesses of various components of the financial statements. Upon completion of the original company trend analysis and the competitor’s trend analysis, an analysis and trend comparison with the industry is required. This will allow the student to demonstrate an understanding of financial ratios and what trends are present between two different companies in one industry, as well as, being able to determine the position of the industry and be able to project future trends and how the company being evaluated can budget for changes in the industry.
So . . . .what is required . . . .

  1. Your chosen company (financial ratios and trend analysis)
    a. Using the data provided at the Yahoo! Finance site, use the ratios in the textbook and determine the status of your chosen company based on those ratios. Also, identify any trends you notice and what the impact might be if those trends continue. The ratios you will be reviewing are the same ratios; as you will find in your textbook. Note that some of these ratios may not be applicable to your company. Some ratios are specific to certain types of firms. Not all firms carry significant accounts receivable as an example.
  2. A competitor in the same industry (financial ratios and trend analysis)
    a. Using the data provided at the site, use the ratios in the textbook and determine the status of your chosen competitor based on those ratios. Also, identify any trends you notice and what the impact might be if those trends continue.
  3. The industry as a whole; how does your chosen company compare and what evaluations can you make (predict) for future financial success?
    a. Review industry data and determine where these two companies fit within that industry. Are they leaders/followers? What does the future hold for this industry?
  4. Using your chosen company and the current conditions in the financial markets, assume the firm needs to raise a large amount of cash. Compare the choices of raising these funds in the capital market (selling new shares of stock) versus the bond market (debt financing), and make a decision as to what is best and why. Also, consider ethical implications of financial reporting and how it relates to acquiring additional investors and accessing markets for additional capital.
  5. Take one of the following positions and justify your decision:
    a. You are a banker who has been approached by this company to borrow a sum of money (you decide how much, and why). Based on the company’s financials and its future business prospects, would you loan the money? Why or why not.
    b. You are an investor with a large sum of money (or a company looking for an investment), and buying either the company or shares of stock in the company is being considered. Determine, based on the company’s financials and its future business prospects, whether you will invest in this company or not.

There is no specific number of pages required to do this assignment, but past experience has shown it takes at least 10-12 pages of text to adequately complete this assignment. This is a critical thinking assignment so all the specifics are not laid out in front of you. You must research, assess, analyze, and strategize about the company you have chosen, the competitors, and the industry as a whole.

When using the Yahoo! Finance site or other similar financial sites, you are going to have access to a large volume of data, as well as company websites. Understand this must be cited using APA methodology. DO NOT COPY and PASTE anything from this or other sources without proper citing.

Sample Solution

Inductive Generalization and Analogy

The reasoning used in inductive generalization is based on empirical observations and the inferences we draw from such observations. As such, it is closely allied to the scientific method. It is also the method used in polls and surveys; reports of the results of these polls and surveys can heavily influence decision making in health professions and other areas of public opinion.

For the initial post, address the following:

Using what you learn from the text and from research you conduct from other sources, analyze polls and surveys.
If we simply read a report of a poll, how can we know if the poll is reliable? What criteria do we use to analyze them?
What part do polls and surveys play in medical research?
Of what value are public opinion polls?
Inductive generalization is sometimes mistaken for deductive categorical reasoning.
Using what you’ve learned in your study of analogical reasoning, examine why this may happen?
What are the similarities in the two? The differences?
Where does the analogy break down?
The website links provided in the Required Resources are a good starting place for your research.

Sample Solution

The Allegory of the Cave” from Plato’s Book

Read the “The Allegory of the Cave” from Plato’s Book VII of The Republic : This particular text, “The Allegory of the Cave” describes a moment of intellectual enlightenment. There are moments in your life when you discover something new that you did not know before and it compels you to think differently about everything. Sometimes this kind of event can transform your entire world-view. In the case of this reading—Plato will describe how someone will learn something completely new that challenges his/her previous viewpoints about his/her life situation. After they see the “light” so to speak, they begin to truly understand how their mind and thinking process really works in relationship to the world and how they see things and ideas. There have been times in your life when you have most likely had such an event: a distinct experience where your previous notions about something were proved false and you had to change your whole perspective on the world. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is the story form of Plato’s view of the cosmic order. As you read the Allegory of the Cave, think back over your own life and see if you can remember if you have ever had a similar experience where you learned something new and your entire understanding of the world changed.

Sample Solution

Using Evidence to Guide Decision Making and Management Practices

Providing safe and effective patient care is critical for all health care organizations. Many acronym
related to quality improvement exist, and multiple organizations monitor quality of patient care. How does
the Nurse Leader remain current, adhere to quality standards from multiple organizations, and integrate
those findings into everyday nursing practice?
Construct a minimum of 3-page APA-formatted paper (not including Title and Reference pages). *Include
at a minimum the use of Level 1 and Level 2 headings.Download the provided template to use as a
guideline for APA format.
Interpret and analyze the following bolded topics and sub-topics (required) to guide the flow of discussion
in your paper keeping in mind the key question “How does the Nurse Leader remain current, adhere to
quality standards from multiple organizations, and integrate those findings into everyday nursing

Sample Solution

Process Analysis

Before you begin work on this assignment, be sure you have read the Case Study and reviewed the feedback received on your Stage 1 assignment.

As the business analyst in the CIO’s department of Maryland Technology Consulting (MTC), your next task in developing your Business Analysis and System Recommendation (BA&SR) Report is to conduct a process analysis. This will identify how the current manual process is working and what improvements could be made to the process that would be supported by a technology solution.

Assignment – BA&SR: Section II. Process Analysis

The first step is to review any feedback from Stage 1 to help improve the effectiveness of your overall report and then add the new section to your report. Only content for Stage 2 will be graded for this submission. Part of the grading criteria for Stage 4 includes evaluating if the document is a very effective and cohesive assemblage of the four sections, is well formatted and flows smoothly from one section to the next. For this assignment, you will add Section II of the Business Analysis and System Recommendation (BA&SR) Report to Section I. You will conduct an analysis of the current hiring process and present information on expected business improvements. This analysis lays the ground work for Section III. Requirements of the BA&SR Report (Stage 3 assignment) which will identify MTC’s requirements for a system.

Using the case study, assignment instructions, Content readings, and external research, develop your Section II. Process Analysis. The case study tells you that the executives and employees at MTC have identified a need for an effective and efficient hiring system. As you review the case study, use the assignment instructions to take notes to assist in your analysis. As the stakeholders provide their needs and expectations to improve the process, identify steps that could be improved with the support of a hiring system. Also look for examples of issues and problems that can be improved with a technology solution.

Use the outline format, headings and tables provided and follow all formatting instructions below.

Begin with your Section I (Stage 1 assignment) and add Section II. Apply specific information from the case study to address each area along with relevant supporting research.
II. Process Analysis
A. Hiring Process

At the beginning of this section, write an introductory opening sentence for this section that addresses what the complete table provides. Refer to Week 3 and 4 content on processes and analyzing process improvements. Additional research can expand your knowledge of these areas.

The first step in analyzing the process is to document what the current process steps are and who is responsible for doing them. Therefore, the table provides the current steps in the manual hiring process provided by the case study. Remember, a process is a series of steps to perform a task; therefore, think about what the users are doing as part of the hiring process. Retain the as-is process steps provided; do not remove or revise these. Complete the second column by identifying the stakeholder responsible for this step based on the interviews in the MTC Case.

The next step is to identify how a hiring or applicant tracking system could improve each step in the process and how the business will benefit from that improvement. For each of the as-is process steps provided, complete the To-Be Process column in the table. indicating how this step in the process will be done using the hiring or applicant tracking system. For each process step, the statement should be concise and include an action verb and align with improving or replacing the current manual, as-is process step provided. Then complete the Business Benefits of the Improved Process column by explaining how this part of the process can contribute to the overall business strategy – think at a higher level than the specific process step. Review the examples provided in the Hiring Process table. For each to-be process step, identify the result of using the system, as shown in the two examples. While it is true that the system will speed up each step of the process, think about how MTC would benefit more strategically from using an automated system to perform that step.

The first row and last rows have been completed for you as an example and must be retained and not revised. Be sure your table contains a total of 12 steps. Use the examples to help you provide clear to-be process steps and business benefits. Your responses should be written in complete sentences.
MTC Hiring Process
As-Is Process

Responsible MTC Position 

To-Be Process – How the system Will Support and Improve the hiring process 
Business Benefits of Improved Process (Align with MTC’s overall business strategy and needs.)
  1. Recruiter receives application from job hunter via Postal Service Mail. Recruiter

EXAMPLE PROVIDED – (Retain text as #1 but remove this label and gray shading in your report) System will receive application via on-line submission through MTC Employment Website and store in the applicant database within the hiring system. A more efficient submission process decreases time needed to receive and begin processing applications. This will present a positive image to potential employees and help MTC compete for top IT talent.

  1. Recruiter screens resumes to identify top candidates by matching with job requirements from job description.
  2. Recruiter forwards top candidates to Administrative Assistant via interoffice mail
  3. Administrative Assistant forwards candidates’ resumes and applications to hiring manager for the position via interoffice mail.
  4. Hiring Manager reviews applications and selects who he/she wants to interview.
  5. Hiring Manager sends email to Administrative Assistant on who he/she has selected to interview and identifies members of the interview team.
  6. AA schedules interviews by contacting interview team members and hiring manager to identify possible time slots
  7. AA emails candidates to schedule interviews.
  8. Interview is conducted with candidate, hiring manager and other members of the interview team. Hiring Manager and Interview Team Interview is conducted with candidate, hiring manager and other members of the interview team. (Hiring System is not used for this step.) n/a
  9. Hiring manager informs the AA on his top candidate for hiring
  10. AA collects feedback from interviews and status of candidates
  11. Administrative Assistant prepares offer letter based on information from recruiter and puts in the mail to the chosen candidate.
    Administrative Assistant

EXAMPLE PROVIDED – (Retain text as #12 but remove this label and gray shading in your report) System enables AA to prepare job offer letter by storing the offer letter template and information on each candidate; allows AA to select information to go into letter and put it into the template, which can then be reviewed and emailed to the candidate. More efficient offer process presents positive image to applicants and decreases time needed to prepare offer letter, and enables MTC to hire in advance of the competition.

B. Expected Improvements – As noted in the case study, there are a lot of manual processes, overwhelming paperwork, difficulty scheduling interviews, etc. related to MTC’s current manual hiring process. A technology solution can address many of these issues. For each of the areas listed in the table below, provide an example of an issue from the case study and how a technology solution could be used to improve that area. Issues and improvements should be addressed in 1-2 clear, complete sentences with information incorporated from the case study. The first one is provided as an example. Note: This is not about the stakeholders’ wishes or expectations for the new system but identifying the current issues they have. Some may be explicitly stated in the interviews and for others you may need to apply some critical thinking. (Provide an introductory sentence and copy the table and insert information within.) For explanations of these areas, refer to Week 4 content on analyzing process improvements. Additional research can expand your knowledge of these areas.

Area Current Issues
(from the Case Study) Improvements
(due to use of technology)

(Retain text but remove this label and gray shading in your report)

The Hiring Manager states that recruiting is only one area he is responsible for and he isn’t as responsive to HR as he could be.  Therefore, he counts on the Recruiters to help manage the process and keep him informed.  

Current manual system causes considerable communication breakdowns and takes additional effort and time to stay on top of the hiring process. An efficient system with all information in one place, easily accessible via a dashboard, and updated in real time could make his recruiting job easier; and he could devote time to effectively working collaboratively and proactively with HR on his staffing needs.
Communications: Explain how a hiring system could improve internal and external communications
Workflow: Explain how a hiring system could improve the MTC hiring process by providing a consistent structure for each participant to perform his/her part in the hiring process.
Relationships: Explain how implementing an enterprise hiring system could foster stronger relationships with applicants/potential employees.

Formatting Your Assignment
Consider your audience – you are writing in the role of an MTC business analyst and your audience is MTC and your boss, the CIO. Don’t discuss MTC as if the reader has no knowledge of the organization. Use third person consistently throughout the report. In third person, the writer avoids the pronouns I, we, my, and ours. The third person is used to make the writing more objective by taking the individual, the “self,” out of the writing. This method is very helpful for effective business writing, a form in which facts, not opinion, drive the tone of the text. Writing in the third person allows the writer to come across as unbiased and thus more informed.

• In Stage 2, you are preparing the second part of a 4-stage report. Use the structure, headings, and outline format provided here for your report. Use the numbering/lettering in the assignment instructions as shown below.
II. Process Analysis
A. Hiring Process
B. Expected Improvements

Sample Solution

The Rogerian model

The Rogerian model will be used as the second of two 750-word essays written in Module 2/Week 2 of ENG 102.

There are two different options for how you may go about completing this assignment.

As stated on the syllabus, you’ll choose one of the following options:

1.) Write two essays (around 750 words each) submitted on the SAME topic for different audiences.

One essay will be written to a sympathetic audience (i.e. one that agrees with the point of view of you, the writer) or unsympathetic audience (i.e. one that disagrees with, or is expected to disagree with, the viewpoint put forth in your essay). As an example, let’s say you’ve decided to write about why limiting personal automobile use should be required to combat climate change. How would you present this to an audience likely to agree (i.e. readers who are informed on the environment and are likely to support drastic action to protect our ecosystems from further damage) versus an audience likely to disagree (i.e readers who are less informed on environmental issues and are likely unwilling to make lifestyle adjustments because they don’t see the connection between human activity and environmental harm).

Sample Solution

Drafting a contract

In this assignment you will be drafting a contract based on the following. You are an associate in a law firm and you have a client, Sally Smith, who has four children (Joey, age 12, Tyler age 8, Sean age 6 and Martha age 5). Sally is a single mother who travels extensively for work. She would like to hire a tutor for her children.

The tutor will receive room and board, a salary of $40,000 a year, and insurance benefits. This is full-time employment and the tutor is expected to work 8 hours a day. The tutor will also have a three month probationary period, after which will begin a one year term of employment. Sally would like an option to renew the contract with the tutor for an additional year. After the renewal year, the parties will be free to renegotiate the contract. The household staff at the Smith family includes a housekeeper, and nanny, a cook, and a gardener. Once an offer has been acccepted, Sally would like you to draft a contract for this arrangement. Sally will conduct interviews and make the selection.

In this assignment, you are to assume that this position has already been advertised, and that Sally has interviewed and selected the tutor for this position. The person that she has selected is James Jones. You are to assume that Sally sent Mr. Jones an offer and he has responded with the following letter.

Dear Ms. Smith,

Thank you for your offer of employment. I find the position in terms of the employment very enticing. However, I would like to request the following be included in the contract.

  1. In the event of a dispute, I would like us to attempt to resolve the dispute by negotiation. If that fails, I would like us to try mediation and only after negotiation and mediation fails, would we resort to arbitration. Dispute would not be resolved by litigation.
  2. Although this contract is for a stated term, I would like the opportunity to terminate the contract upon four weeks notice. For the sake of fairness, I would be fine with you having the same right to terminate me with four weeks notice.
  3. I would like the option portion of the contract to include an automatic increase in compensation of 10%
  4. Finally, I would like to have a two week paid vacation provided in each year of my employment.

Please let me know your thoughts on these requests.

Thank you, James

Assume that Sally is fine with all of James’ requests.

Draft a short response to Mr. Jones from Sally and include on a separate page , a short contract for both parties to sign. This contract should be no longer than two pages.

Please submit this assignment as a word document. The total assignment should be no more than 3 pages as you are to draft a short letter responding to James and a contract incorporating all the terms which should not exceed 2 pages in length. The contract should be double spaced.

Sample Solution

Critical Thinking in Action

Write a 2-4-page academic paper in which you describe a business situation, apply a critical thinking framework to the situation, and recommend evidence-based solutions to the situation. Explain how the concepts of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) could affect both the situation and the solution.

Sample Solution

Influential people

Pick any one of the items under either of the Topics: sections on the M1 Learning Objectives page.
Write a 5-7 paragraph essay on this topic in the following format:
Introduction – the main point/position/purpose of your essay.
Body – supporting arguments/discussion/rational to support/explain/justify your point/purpose/position.
Summary/conclusion(s) – justification of your point/position/purpose.
This is where you can pick a topic from
A Brief History of Computers – From the abacus to the Internet
Contribution of the abacus to modern computing theory and practice
The role of scientists and philosophers
Blaise Pascal
George Boole
Charles Babbage
Herman Hollerith
Alan Turing
Howard Aiken
John von Neumann
Gordon Moore
Steve Wozniak
Steve Jobs
Bill Gates
Tim Berners-Lee
How Computers Work
End-user IT Systems
The technology life-cycle
Modern operating systems
Learning Outcomes:
Understand the evolution of the modern computer and its impact in our personal and business lives.
Identify basic components of an end-user IT system.
Summarize life-cycle strategies for replacement, reuse, recycling IT technology and resources.
Differentiate among various operating systems.

Sample Solution