Measuring Operations: An Analysis of the Financial Statements of U.S. Private Colleges and Universities

32 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2003

See all articles by Mary Fischer

Mary Fischer

University of Texas at Tyler - College of Business & Technology

Teresa P. Gordon

University of Idaho

Janet S. Greenlee

University of Dayton - School of Business Administration

Elizabeth K. Keating

Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government

Date Written: March 2003

Abstract

As events in the business sector have highlighted, companies can play by the rules and yet produce misleading financial statements. This study examines the nongovernmental organizations that provide a substantial portion of higher education in the United States. We seek to determine whether private colleges and universities take advantage of the discretion available to them under accounting and auditing standards by presenting an operating measure in their statement of activities. We find that nearly 60 percent of schools report an operating measure but the items included or excluded from operations vary widely.

Keywords: Accounting, Operating Measure, Statement of Activities, Higher Education

JEL Classification: M41, M48

Suggested Citation

Fischer, Mary and Gordon, Teresa P. and Greenlee, Janet S. and Keating, Elizabeth K., Measuring Operations: An Analysis of the Financial Statements of U.S. Private Colleges and Universities (March 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=386982 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.386982

Mary Fischer

University of Texas at Tyler - College of Business & Technology ( email )

3900 University Boulevard
Tyler, TX 75701
United States
903-566-7433 (Phone)
903-566-7211 (Fax)

Teresa P. Gordon

University of Idaho ( email )

College of Business & Economics
P O Box 443161
Moscow, ID 83944-3161
United States
208-885-8960 (Phone)
208-885-6296 (Fax)

Janet S. Greenlee

University of Dayton - School of Business Administration ( email )

Dayton, OH 45469
United States
937-229-4790 (Phone)
937-229-3301 (Fax)

Elizabeth K. Keating (Contact Author)

Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-9856 (Phone)
617-495-8963 (Fax)

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