November 29, 2007

Crack Monkey

So, there's this class. Methods of Organization and Administration. It sounds like it should be a great, useful course for those of us actually planning to go into grass-roots, ground up non-profits. I mean, granted, we won't ever get into actual Administration unless we get our actual Masters of Social Work, but whatever, sometimes you need this stuff.

I'm sure I've ranted about this class before. The woman is lovely, and she has lots of experiance, but she can't teach. She doesn't get it. And the assignments she's given have gotten progressivly more rediculous since we've started. I've just taken a look at the last assignment we have to hand in (For the record, I always do them about an hour before class, and the system works...) and I think this one actually beats the last one. The last one was a volunteer manual. She didn't teach us how to create one until after we handed it in, so when we asked how to do it, her response was "Just Google it". This, to me, suggests that we probably could have done everything in that course by just googling it, and also that our prof has no issue with plagerism. Also, she wanted it to be 2-3 pages, then told us that the shortest one she had ever seen was 10 pages long. I'm sorry, but have you ever actually seen a proper volunteer manual? they're about 25 pages long.

This one beats that. We have to do a budget for the organization we created. Right there, there are problems: 1) Until last week, no one even knew which mission statement we were using, because she made us do 4 of them. 2)The organization isn't real. The facilities don't exist in North Bay, so there is nothing to compare it to re:rental costs and general operating costs.

Anyways, she wants us to submit the organizational chart we submitted earlier in the term as our example of the employee breakdown. Everyone did a different one. Meaning there are going to be 40 different budgets. Mine, in her own words, looked good, but logistically would require millions of dollars just to pay for employee wages, benifits and insurance.

So, I look at the actual assignment. Keep in mind, she didn't give us an opening bank balance. So, I don't know how much I'm starting with... I guess I should assume it's $0? She told us to start with a Chart of Accounts, then told us that there is an example on her Chart of Accounts, which she aparently didn't give to us. Then there is a "Brainstormed" list of the possible expenses:
· Accounting and Audit Fees
· Advertising and Promotion Expenses
· Bookkeeping Expenses
· Building Repair and Maintenance
· Equipment Repairs and Maintenance
· Food Costs
· Fund-Raising Expenses
· Office Supplies
· Printing Expenses
· Program Expenses
· Rent
· Telephone, Fax and Internet Expenses
· Training Expenses (Staff)
· Travel Expenses

I"m sorry, what about insurance? Our organization, according to the class, does everything from career/personal counseling to sports to dances to internet and computer lab access to field trips to offering courses... It's astronomical! And are we supposed to research the actual cost of things like this? Are you serious? "Fundraising Expenses" alone could range anywhere from $0-$500, depending on what you want to do. Equiptment purchace, maintenance, repair, replacement...Depends on the equptment, which really depends on the facility. She didn't even include employee wages and benifits... and I seem to remember them wanting a company vehicle...

Fine, whatever. Then she wants a balance sheet. I can't give her our assets until I know what our assets are, and how much each is worth.

And, I think it stands to mention that we're SSW students, not accounting students, so... Don't accountants usually do this?

This is going to be the first assignment I don't hand in. I'm going to make it clear to her that I couldn't complete the assignment because I wasn't provided with enough information to do it properly. I mean, I could make it up, but then what's the point in doing it in the first place?

Ducky mentioned something in her blog a while ago about "here's your double-double, and my letter of resignation. If you read every second word, it's a suicide note."

Maybe I should just hand in a letter of resignation... I wonder how she'd take that.

1 comment:

Ginny said...

*Just catches up after month of not being able to read*