Accounting Project

Z Cheddr Project Description and Requirements





Mr. Z (real name Josh Zubkoff) runs a successful chain of cheese and wine shops in Oregon that specialize in Oregon artisan cheeses and local wines. He also sells his cheeses and wines in packages over the internet. He is considering expanding his business, but he thinks his current accounting and financial systems are restricting his ability to expand. He has come to you for assistance.




Your supervisor met with Mr. Z and discussed his requirements in detail. At that meeting, they agreed on the following deliverables for your project.


  1. Plan and manage your project with one of the tools listed in the separate Project Management Software Short List document. First, identify all the tasks and the team member(s) that will perform each task (the entire team may perform certain tasks). Then, each class period should start with a review of pending tasks and submitting your plan for the day to the dropbox.
  2. Document process activity using BPMN. After gaining an understanding of Z CHEDDR’s business processes, you will document current processes using business process modeling notation (BPMN). This involves documenting at least five current business processes. Each member of your team must prepare at least one BPMN diagram. These diagrams will serve multiple purposes. Z CHEDDR expects to use them to train new employees. In addition, they will provide information about potential improvements to those processes by the efficient use of information technology. They will also highlight areas of exposure to unnecessary risks in his business. As you finalize the BPMN diagrams, you should review the diagrams with Mr. Z and Prof. Smith (Mr. Z will evaluate whether the diagram accurately reflects his business, and Prof. Smith will evaluate whether the diagram meets BPMN standards.)
  3. Prepare an integrated data model using UML class diagrams and the REA framework. This data model will serve as the blueprint for Z CHEDDR’s prototype database that you will also develop. Also, prepare a corresponding data listing[1] for the prototype database. Identify where different fields/attribute names provide the same information and develop recommendations for changes in field names. Review the data model with both Mr. Z and Prof Smith before working on developing your database.
  4. Prepare a prototype database for Z CHEDDR. Mr. Z has agreed to provide financial data from his business for the 1st quarter of his fiscal year. That data will be in EXCEL format. You will move the data into Access, structure it appropriately, and set relationships consistent with your data model. Make changes as necessary in file structures to implement efficient tables and eliminate duplication.
  5. Answer the Z Cheddr questions in CONNECT. Follow the CONNECT instructions and prepare appropriate queries to answer the questions (rather than using the EXCEL data).
  6. Prepare financial reports using your database. You will prepare queries as necessary to provide the following reports and management information.
    1. Z CHEDDR income statement for the 1st
    2. Z CHEDDR balance sheet as of the end of the 1st
    3. Income statements for each Z CHEDDR stores for the 1st
    4. Other performance measures, such as ROA, ROE, Inventory turnover, etc., that you believe would be important to Z CHEDDR management.
  7. Evaluate the financial performance of Z CHEDDR for the 1st Use your Access queries to also prepare formal financial statements and compute appropriate ratios to evaluate performance against the industry and past performance. Also, use one of the analytics software products, Tableau or Power BI, to compare results for the current quarter against historical performance and industry performance to the extent that you can find comparable industry data. Clearly explain what those performance measures mean for Z CHEDDR.
  8. Recommend changes to Z CHEDDR business processes necessary to implement an integrated system that will capture sales and inventory information at each store, track inventory movement, manage human resource information and payroll, integrate with the Z Cheddr website, etc. You may assume that Mr. Z has committed to purchasing smart cash registers for each store, mobile devices for van drivers, and other technology necessary to implement the integrated system. Document your recommendations for at least three critical processes by preparing BPMN diagrams that describe Z CHEDDR processes post-implementation. Explain how your recommended changes will create value for Z CHEDDR.
  9. Evaluate the extent to which Z CHEDDR complies with COSO principles and recommend appropriate and cost-effective actions to bring Z CHEDDR into compliance, improve internal controls and reduce risk.


Report to Z CHEDDR


Submit all the deliverables in one report to Z CHEDDR at the end of the project. Also, submit your prototype Access database with all the queries along with that report. Include a cover page and table of contents. Present your report in an executive summary style and not longer than 6 pages not counting the cover page, table of contents, any appendices or attachments. Include financial statements, data model, BPMN activity diagrams, and other information necessary to support your analyses and conclusions in appendices or attachments. Make your report content clear to an accounting novice such as Mr. Z. Present your findings using tables, charts, and bullet points whenever possible. Avoid long paragraphs.


Administrative Information


Submit your complete project through the dropbox on or before midnight November 27. The complete project includes one report with all appendices and the Access database with clearly named queries for each group. Also, each team member must submit an individual peer evaluation.


As soon as your group is ready, you should schedule an interim review of your data models and activity diagrams with me. I will provide feedback on the models that you should then incorporate before the final report is due.


Grading criteria. I will provide detailed grading criteria by the time you are ready for your interim reviews. I will grade your project relative to the other groups. In general, however, I expect the following:


  • You should perform professional work; quality is important. You will be graded on the quality of your preparation, group interactions, and dealings with Mr. Z.
  • You should know how to prepare financial statements and how to explain them to a non-accountant. You will be graded on the accuracy and quality of the financial statement information.
  • You should be accurate (do not make assumptions; ask Mr. Z). You have all the data necessary to complete the project.
  • You should support all recommendations with facts; explain why Z CHEDDR should follow your advice. Avoid vague statements and opinions (such as Z CHEDDR performance is good).


Tip. The best grades typically go to the group that starts fast, gains a thorough understanding of Z CHEDDR’s business through questions and examining the data and does the best job of allocating the workload. You should be curious about everything and check all your results at least twice.


Lifelines. You get two free lifelines. In other words, if you are stuck—you know what to do but you don’t know how to do it— you can ask me for help twice without penalty. After that, it will cost you 5 points per request. The choice to use a lifeline should be a group decision.


Group participation. I will reserve 25% of the grade to adjust according to your group’s peer evaluations that must be submitted separately by each individual group member on or before the project due date. I will first determine the group grade. Then, I will adjust grades upward for the group members that contributed the most and downward for the group members that contributed the least. If you fail to submit a peer evaluation, you will be penalized 5 points.


[1] The data listing is different than the table listings that you have prepared. You are to list all the attributes/fields in alphabetic order, define what the field means, indicate which table(s) contain that field, and whether it is a primary key or foreign key in those tables.

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