Jane Ashby Sinclair Art Museum
35 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2010 Last revised: 18 Dec 2010
Date Written: August 16, 2010
This case illustrates the management control and financial issues faced by a museum of art located in a medium size city in the southeast US. The museum faces a crisis situation when the bank fails to renew its unsecured line of credit and calls $742,000 of debt. The case focuses on the decisions which must be made by the Board of Directors and the Executive Director of the Museum in a short time frame in the face of the 2008-2009 financial markets collapse, investment losses, reduced operating revenues, and criticism by a former board member and the local press. The case allows discussion of numerous issues involved in the management and control of not-for-profit organizations as well as accounting reporting issues which may obscure both the solvency and actual assets of the entity. The case allows for exploration of both the accounting issues and management issues associated with responding to the bank’s request for repayment of the loan. The case provides a basis for contrasting decision making and controls in for-profit organizations, where shareholder value may be a primary focus, with decision making and controls in not-for-profit organizations where operating revenues are only one of several sources of funds and multiple stakeholders have interest in competing and potentially differing outcomes. This case is appropriate for a management controls course which includes not-for-profit organizations, a not-for-profit accounting course, junior or senior level accounting courses that contain a segment in not-for-profit accounting, graduate courses in not-for profit management and control, and MBA courses in accounting, control or financial management. Professional co-authors include the CPA partner who audits this museum as well as numerous similar organizations, and a bank officer who specializes in loans to not-for-profit organizations.
Keywords: Management Control, Not-For-Profit Organizations, Not-For-Profit Accounting, Financial Management, Board of Directors, Museums
JEL Classification: A20, M40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation