Read the scenario below. Then draft a 3–4 page business memorandum to Linda Hoff, Stanford’s CFO. In your memo, codify your findings and interpretations from the horizontal and vertical analyses and the level of alignment between the company’s fiscal management and its strategic direction. Include an Excel spreadsheet as an attachment to the memo. In this memo you will:
- Review the year-over-year variances contained in the audited Stanford balance sheets and income statements, which are contained within the provided Week 5 Assignment Spreadsheet [XLSX] for fiscal years 2015 through 2018. You’ll be expected to pay particular attention to the negative variances (color coded in “red”) that you believe to be potentially the most impactful to Stanford.
- Speculate as to the reasons for the negative variances.
- Examine the common size balance sheets and income statements looking for abnormally low or high ratios based on what you know about the line item and what you observe in the data for the other fiscal years.
- Look for patterns in the line items over time (2015 through 2018) and identify any unusual findings that may need to be examined further.
- Make a judgement regarding the alignment of the organization’s fiscal management with its strategic direction of the firm. Fiscal management is based on your horizontal and vertical analyses. The strategic direction is based on the vision, mission, and strategic priorities of Stanford.