Historical Analysis Through Architecture: Determining Cultural Values of Ancient Greece and Rome Through The Study of The Theater at Epidauros and The Theater of Pompey In many ancient cultures, before written languages were created, the primary form of historical documentation was through story telling, which later developed into the art of theater. The origins of this art form can be traced back to Ancient Greece, which proved to be greatly influential on the culture of Ancient Rome. The theatrical arts serve as an exemplary source in understanding the culture of a civilization.
Many would say that Architecture, if explored to its maximum potential, is also capable of weaving stories of its own. When carefully studied and analyzed, surviving buildings of significance reveal a plethora of historical knowledge, including cultural values and technological capabilities of the civilization of whence it was created. The designs of Roman and Greek theatres, specifically the theater at Epidauros and the Theater of Pompey, reveal a difference in cultural values of Ancient Greece and Rome. Greek theatre originates with the inebriated merriments of followers of Dionysus, the god of fertility and wine.
Dancing, singing, and stories of Greek mythology began to take a choral form. In 6th century B. C. , a priest of Dionysus engaged in a dialogue with the “chorus”, an element that marks the birth of theatre as its known today. Theatrical contests emerged and became a regular event within the annual festivities honoring Dionysus. Through the performances, the semblance of a theater begins to emerge. The chorus and actors would perform in a circular area called the orchestra, derived from orchester or dancer, with an altar in the center and a wooden structure (scene) behind it.
Large masks were used for the purposes of costume and projection. Large amounts of citizens would gather and sit along the slope of the Athenian hillside overlooking the “stage”, setting precedence to a raked auditorium, an exclusive contribution to architecture from the Greeks. Over time the layout of a typical Greek theater developed into three main parts, the theatron or cavea (audience), the orchestra (stage) and the skene (stage building). Other components such as the orchestra pit were slowly added with time. The theater of Epidauros serves as the best example of a classical Greek theater.
It is known to surpass all others in harmony and beauty. Epidauros was the birthplace of Apollo’s son, Asclepius, also known as the healer. The asclepieion, a healing temple, became the most popular healing center in the classical world and its success brought upon the construction of civic monuments, most notably the theater, designed by Polykleitos the Younger in 4th century B. C. The seats, arranged in 55 semi-circular rows, lay nicely along the natural curve and slope of Mount Kynortion. The orchestra is perfectly circular (See Figure 1).
A water canal that collects and drains rain water runs between the last two wedges of the curves of the auditorium. The auditorium covers more than a semi-circle around the orchestra. Usually this arouses the problem of people at the ends facing away from the stage and more towards the orchestra pit. Awkward walls jut out near the entrances and exits, like in the theater at Delos. Instead of solving this by cutting a straight line through the diameter of the orchestra pit, Polykleitos widened the circle without seemingly changing the radius. He also designed the upper band of seats with a steeper slant.
With a consistent regular slant, heads of spectators will limit the vision of those that sit behind them. This now commonly used principle of a steeper slope higher up allows all spectators to see comfortably. One of the extraordinary features of the theater at Epidauros is the acoustics of the amphitheater. Spectators as far as the last row have been able to hear actors and musician clearly without the use of microphones or amps. Researches at the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered that the cause of this is in the material used in the theatron, limestone.
The limestone offers a filtering effect that suppresses frequencies lower than 500 hertz, minimizing background and crowd noises, while reflecting higher frequencies back into the audience, undiminished. Unfortunately, it did not seem that Greek architects in the past have fully understood the science behind this effect because later attempts of duplication were not as successful with acoustics as Epidauros was. Looking out towards the stage is a breathtaking view of the landscape that frames and serves as a natural backdrop behind the orchestra and low skene. The continued use of having he seating nestled into the hillside shows integration with nature, of which has not diminished since the birth of Greek theatre. This emphasizes the importance and respect for nature within Greek culture. Culturally the Romans were greatly influence by the Greeks, especially in theatre. Like the Greeks, Roman theatre derives from religious festivals. The Romans adopted the basic layout of the Greek theater with the addition of a major element, the scaenae frons, an elaborately decorated background to the stage. They preferred construction of their own foundations instead of earthen works or a hillside.
Roman theaters are completely closed on all sides and sometimes covered by an awning all of which exudes an enclosed and protective ambiance rather than an open and natural one provided by Greek theaters. Permanent theaters were banned until Pompey was inspired to build his theater in 55 B. C. after seeing the Greek theater in Mytilene. The Theater of Pompey was the first permanent Roman theater, the first one to be constructed with stone and concrete and one of the most monumental theaters in ancient Rome. As a result, subsequent theaters used it as a template with minor alterations and changes in measurements.
The characteristics of the Theater of Pompey are similar to that of the theater at Epidauros; however, there are specific aesthetic and functional differences. On top of the cavea, or audience seating, sits the Temple of Venus Victrix. This allowed Pompey to avoid censorial objections by stating that the cavea were stairs leading to the temple. On the opposite side across the cavea and orchestra, Roman theaters introduced the crypta, or area behind the stage (See Figure 2). The crypta of this theater, also known as Porticus Pompey, was the largest of any roman theater.
Fully enclosed was a decorated garden with sculptures and fountains surrounded by long columned porticoes. This served as a gathering place or for people to leisurely walk about. Unlike the Greeks, the stage is connected to the auditorium creating an enclosed space. This provided better acoustics, except in the case of Epidauros, and crowd control. The Romans preferred to build their own foundation using concrete, instead of earthen works, allowing the creation of vaulted corridors under the seating, which provided easier, safer and faster access to different sections of the auditorium.
This transformed the theater into a structure within itself. The foundation allowed the theater to be built within the city limits and on completely flat ground. These differences in design provide insight within each culture. The integration of the theater within the landscape tells us that the Greeks embraced nature more so than the Romans. The Romans enclosed and shaped nature. From the beginning, Romans wanted to control and shape their rituals while ancient Greeks reveled in a drunken frenzy. Greece’s annual theatrical festivals exhibits the preservation and importance of tradition and respect for their history, religion and culture.
Vincent Scully concludes, “Roman architecture both pursues its own ancient objectives and adapts those developed by post-Classic Greece… Rome changes the Greek relationship to nature by enclosing it within a hollow shell”. The complexity of Pompey’s design prompted changes in the theater’s function. In Roman society, uses of the theater expanded from a performance venue to a gallery and meeting place (the crypta). The enclosure of the theater and the added circulation space under the seats provided crowd control and structure. The religious importance was more lavishly displayed through the Temple of Venus sitting at the top of the cavae.
On the other hand, at Epidauros, a large stone with a hole in the middle lies in the center of the orchestra or the ideal center of the theater, representative of where the altar used to be. Ancient Roman society has a complexity about it that seems to be resulted from a need for control and enclosure of nature. Ancient Greek society finds complacency and inspiration from nature. “They put their instinctive trust in the abstract, geometric works of man”. The interesting notion about ancient Greek civilization is that they combined nature’s fact with human’s desire very eloquently, thus, achieving balance and harmony.
In analyzing the architecture of the theater at Epidauros and the Theater of Pompey, differences in cultural values in Ancient Greek and Roman society became evident. Vitruvius states that, “The architect should be equipped with knowledge of many branches of study and varied kinds of learning, for it is by his judgment that all work done by the other arts is put to test. ” The study and practice of Architecture requires many different kinds of knowledge to be exercised; knowledge of proportion, knowledge of nature, knowledge of theory, knowledge of history, knowledge of philosophy, knowledge of culture and arts.
Architects that are well educated in theory and practice have the potential to tell timeless stories through their buildings, potentially leaving a lasting remembrance of everything the building embodies from its era. Bibliography Berve, Helmut and Gottfried Gruben. Greek Temples, Theatres, and Shrines. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. , 1963. Chao, Tom. “Mystery of Greek Amphitheater’s Amazing Sound Finally Solved. ” Live Science. http://www. livescience. com/7269-mystery-greek-amphitheater-amazing-sound-finally-solved. html (accessed 10/4, 2011). Fossum, Andrew. “Harmony in the Theatre at Epidauros. American Journal of Archaeology 30, no. 1 (1926): 70-75. Packer, James. “The Theatre in Antiquity – I. ” King’s College in London. http://www. pompey. cch. kcl. ac. uk/Historyofthe_Theater. htm (accessed 9/20, 2011). Polster, Joshua. “The Theater of the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus ” Whitman College. http://www. whitman. edu/theatre/theatretour/epidaurus/commentary/epidaurus. commentary. htm (accessed 9/20, 2011). Richardson, L. Jr. “A Note on the Architecture of the Theatrum Pompei in Rome. ” American Journal of Archaeology 91, no. 1 (1987): 123-126, http://www. jstor. org/stable/505461 (accessed September 15, 2011).
Scully, Vincent. Architecture: The Natural and the Manmade. 1st ed. New York City: St. Martin’s Press, 1991. Sear, Frank B. “Vitruvius and Roman Theater Design. ” American Journal of Archaeology 94, no. 2 (1990): 249-258, http://www. jstor. org/stable/505952 (accessed September 15, 2011). ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Berve, Helmut and Gottfried Gruben. Greek Temples, Theatres, and Shrines. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. , 1963. [ 2 ]. Polster, Joshua. “The Theater of the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus ” Whitman College. http://www. whitman. edu/theatre/theatretour/epidaurus/commentary/epidaurus. com
Middle Eastern Wedding Traditions
Across the Middle East, ancient civilizations have maintained wedding customs for generations, honoring various traditions among different groups of people. Yet, there is a shared cultural essence that unites the region. One prevalent tradition in numerous areas of the Middle East involves hosting an engagement party as part of a series of five celebratory events leading up to the wedding ceremony.
The engagement party marks the start of the wedding festivities. It brings together the bride and groom with their loved ones for a joyful celebration filled with delicious food, lively dancing, and melodious singing. These parties often last late into the night. Additionally, it is customary for the bride to change her attire multiple times during this event, sometimes up to five times. Moreover, signing the marriage contract adds even more jubilation to the occasion.
The second celebration takes place at the courthouse when the couple officially signs their marriage contract. Once again, family and friends are invited to join in on this festive event that includes merriment, musical performances, and exuberant dancing.
The bride typically changes her dress several times during the party, sometimes as many as five times. The Hena party is a traditional event held one day before the wedding to safeguard against evil spirits and ensure the happiness of the newlywed couple. It is considered the second largest celebration after the wedding itself. During this gathering, Hena, a dye commonly utilized for designing distinctive tattoos on the bride’s hands and feet, is applied as a means of protection against negative forces. Furthermore, it is also when the ritual of “grinding” occurs.
In many parts of the Middle East, during wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom are seated while unmarried girls hold a white cloth on their heads. The “grinding girl” then grinds together two lumps of sugar above the couples’ heads, praying to God (Allah) to protect them from evil spirits. It is customary for the bride to wear a green dress at the Hena party, which often lasts until dawn on the wedding day. The wedding reception follows, along with the tradition of presenting five pieces of almond as a token. After the wedding ceremony itself, where the couple exchanges wedding rings, it is believed that the practice of wearing wedding rings originated.
The Middle East hosts the biggest party of all, known as a wedding celebration. This event closely resembles the receptions following weddings in the United States and Europe, consisting of speeches, dancing, singing, and traditional Middle Eastern music. It is common for each guest to receive five almond pieces, representing the five sacred wedding wishes: health, happiness, wealth, fertility, and longevity. The final celebration, called Sabaa in Arabic meaning “Seven,” takes place seven days after the marriage. In many respects, the Sabaa party is equivalent to a wedding shower in the United States or Europe.
The Sabaa ceremony is a women-only event that occurs at the bride’s mother’s home. Women guests bring gifts for the bride, and traditionally, the bride’s mother presents her daughter with either gold or diamonds. Although similar customs exist in various Middle Eastern regions, they are not universally practiced.
Middle Eastern weddings showcase diverse cultures, each with their own distinct traditions, yet they all share the common element of a joyous and celebratory atmosphere marking the start of a couple’s new journey together.
Bridgestone Behavioral Health Center: Cost-Volume-Profit (Cvp) Analysis
Bridgestone Behavioral Health Center: Cost-Volume-Profit (CVP) Analysis INTRODUCTION In June of the current year Dr. Thomas Russell, Executive Director, and Susan Smyth, Accountant, at the Bridgestone Behavioral Health Center were discussing the necessity of gaining a better understanding of how to monitor the Center’s operating and financial performance. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Bridgestone provides prevention, intervention, and treatment services for individuals with substance abuse problems.
Bridgestone’s management is concerned about its financial performance after realizing a loss in the prior year although a small profit was projected. Despite management’s concern and attention of Bridgestone’s profitability troubles, the Center’s annual budget once again contains a projection for a meager profit of $6,300 (see Exhibit 1). Thomas: According to the financial reports that you have prepared, we have been fighting to reach breakeven over the past three years. We have been able to just get past breakeven recently, but I am worried—it seems like only a slight variation in our operations could throw us into an operating loss.
I’ve been actively involved in managing the Center, and I don’t understand how we avoid showing a loss! Susan: Unfortunately, I have no oversight with respect to monitoring performance since my job is to input the financial and units of service numbers into the accounting system as they occur. I am currently working more than 40 hours a week so I am not sure what else I could do. Maybe we can hire someone like a consultant to help us? Thomas: In reality, securing some outside assistance seems to be a good option to avoid future losses.
Since my training is in psychology, I don’t have the accounting background to take the task on myself. We need someone who specializes in financial management for nonprofit human service organizations. BRIDGESTONE BACKGROUND History and Mission Bridgestone is a comprehensive outpatient substance abuse treatment center located in the Midwest United States. Since 1985, Bridgestone has offered a continuum of outpatient services, including counseling, crisis intervention, detoxification, and methadone maintenance.
The Bridgestone mission is to be a leader in healing and changing lives by providing high quality behavioral health care and rehabilitation to all individuals in need. With this mission, the Center promises to advance behavioral healthcare through the creation of innovative services and enriching the lives of patients one by one. Executive Director and Supporting Staff Dr. Thomas Russell, Executive Director, has over 30 years of behavioral health addiction experience and holds a Masters of Social Work from Ohio University and a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization on Addiction Counseling from Northwestern University.
He is a fellow of the American College of Addiction Examiners and is a former faculty member of the Ohio University Department of Psychology. Dr. Russell is the author of numerous papers in the field of addictions and presents frequently at major conferences. In addition to a highly qualified Executive Director, Bridgestone has an outstanding support staff. They consistently maintain a low client-to-staff ratio with highly trained professionals who are well prepared to support patients in a large array of circumstances. The staff members at Bridgestone are like a family and are defined by their integrity and expertise.
They are the key reason for the Center’s success in terms of the thousands of lives that they have changed. Patient Testimonials Patient and family member testimonials include: “ I wanted to say thank you for helping my daughter! I know of lots of therapists…in fact I am one. After 20 years of practice I was very frustrated sending my daughter to treatment until Bridgestone. Yes there are therapists…but your folks are THERAPISTS, with a capital T. ” “ Today is my one year anniversary of sobriety, which would not have been possible without the help of the counselors at Bridgestone.
I can’t say thank you enough! ” “ I’m thankful to Bridgestone for the treatment I received. The road to recovery was not an easy road back. I still do the same elementary things today that I had to do to achieve recovery. I realized that honesty and open-mindedness was a must. I had to surrender all—I wanted real success. ” Behavioral Health and Addiction Services Bridgestone offers 10 services designed to treat a large array of substance dependencies from the point of detoxification to supporting long-term sobriety and preventing relapses.
Patient Assessment – Patient assessment is performed by an addiction counselor who uses a number of methods to determine if an alcohol or drug use problem truly exists. If such a diagnosis is established, it is necessary to determine the extent or severity of disease, if there is a need for medical detoxification, and the services or level of care required to safely and successfully achieve sobriety. Lab Urinalysis – Laboratory urinalysis services are performed for screening and intervention purposes. This is aimed at helping the patient withstand urges to use drugs.
Such monitoring also can provide early evidence of drug use so that the individual’s treatment plan can be properly adjusted. Case Management – Case management serves to monitor patient progress and compliance with recommended addiction treatment plans. Reports to outside parties such as courts, children’s protective services, licensing boards, and employers are provided as needed. Group Counseling – Groups are considered the most effective method of breaking patterns of isolation, which is typical of clients during their active addiction stage.
During group counseling, clients have the opportunity to examine their thoughts through sharing, listening, and receiving feedback from their peers. In a group setting, clients also learn to develop social skills. Individual Counseling – Individuals with addictions often consider their problems unique and, therefore, are best understood in a one-on-one session with their counselor. Individual counseling sessions focus on the patient’s progress in the educational process, group participation, drug monitoring, compliance, 12–step work, and identification of areas for improvement to achieve long-term sobriety.
Crisis Intervention – Due to the volatile nature of the disease of addiction, Bridgestone provides crisis intervention or emergency counseling for stressful situations that may lead to relapse or to help patients work through cravings or urges that could lead to a relapse. Intensive Outpatient – Outpatient care focuses on education and counseling in both individual and group settings to achieve abstinence and to develop a self-responsible plan of addiction recovery for each patient. The program lasts six to eight weeks depending on individual progress and involves three three-hour sessions per week.
Medical Somatic – The service evaluates and monitors the needs of adults, children, and adolescents exhibiting symptoms associated with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, (DSM-IV) diagnosis. (DSM-V is expected in 2013. ) This consists of evaluating a patient’s need for psychotropic medications associated with psychotic disorders, severe mood disorders, impulse control disorders, bi-polar disorders, and other psychiatric conditions impairing daily functioning.
Methadone Maintenance – Patients with an opiate addiction are provided with individualized healthcare and medically prescribed methadone to relieve withdrawal symptoms, reduce the opiate craving, and bring about a biochemical balance in the body. Ambulatory Detoxification – Ambulatory detoxification (also known as outpatient detoxification) is designed to safely detoxify patients from drugs and alcohol without a hospital admission. Ambulatory detoxification as an outpatient treatment has the advantage of causing minimal disruption to a patient’s normal day-to-day life.
Medicaid for Behavioral Health Services Ohio is one of the few states that includes behavioral health services in its Medicaid benefits package, although it is not required to do so by federal law. States that cover behavioral health services must clearly define which services are covered by Medicaid. To facilitate receiving payment for Medicaid patients, the types of services Bridgestone offers are consistent with those defined as covered services by the state of Ohio.
When a Medicaid client receives mental health and/or alcohol and drug addiction services, the local Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ADAS) Board or the Community Mental Health (CMH) Board pays the provider. The Board is then reimbursed for 60% of the cost by the federal government, which flows to the Boards through the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) via an interagency with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The emaining 40% Medicaid match comes from both state and local sources. The Medicaid reimbursement rates for each service type and the respective level of service expected for the upcoming year are used in preparing the Center’s annual budget and quarterly budget as presented in Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2, respectively. Since there is modest fluctuation in the demand for services from quarter to quarter, the quarterly budget is roughly 25% of the annual budget. Although Medicaid reimbursement is the primary source of revenue for Bridgestone, a minimal amount of revenue is generated from private pay customers. Service Consulting Plus, LLC
As identified earlier, Bridgestone has experienced significant financial stress, and the Executive Director, Thomas, was inquisitive about how to stabilize financial operations above a break-even level. As well, he would like to gain the ability to measure and monitor the Center’s continuing performance. Faced with the lack of internal personnel who could help with this issue, Thomas contacted Service Consulting Plus, LLC, a local consulting firm with a reputation for working with nonprofit organizations. The firm is owned and operated by Sheryl Marshall, who is also an accounting professor at Cleveland State University.
Her firm specializes in the management of governmental and nonprofit organizations. At the end of their initial meeting to discuss the situation at Bridgestone, Thomas stressed that he didn’t simply want to hire Sheryl to get the job done for the current year, but rather that he wanted to learn how to measure and monitor the financial performance of Bridgestone on an ongoing basis. With this in mind, Sheryl explained that Cost-Volume-Profit (CVP) analysis would be useful to Thomas after he gathered some basic information about costs, revenues, and units of service.
She explained that CVP is a fundamental management accounting tool that is useful for planning, control, and decision making. It explores important relationships between costs, volume or activity levels, and profit. Sheryl asked Thomas to provide her with Bridgestone’s annual budgetary income statement in a contribution margin format. She explained that this format is the basic foundation for CVP analysis since it presents revenues and expenses based on their variable or fixed behavior in relation to service activity (namely, volume of services).
Sheryl’s understanding of Bridgestone’s operating environment and the contribution margin income statement will enable to provide suggestions regarding how to increase profitability. The three key suggestions include a focus on maintaining targeted service volume, reducing discretionary fixed costs, and offering off-campus programs to companies and nonprofits. ServiceVolume Sheryl’s prior experience consulting for health centers that rely on Medicaid reimbursement for revenue has taught her the importance of achieving projected levels of service volume in order to maintain profit targets.
Missing the projected levels of service will cause centers to pass up potential revenue and contribution margin. Service levels underscore the importance of monitoring the volume of delivered service and to ensure that it doesn’t fall behind the planned volume when Medicaid is involved. Thus, it’s margin and bottom line, it’s also important to ensure that the planned level of volume in achieved. The importance of meeting the project volume is further highlighted because Medicaid rates don’t increase and, as a result, aren’t a means of increasing revenue.
Further, annual Medicaid funding is capped, so attempting to increase volume over time to increase revenues isn’t possible. Discretionary Fixed Costs Sheryl mentions that another area to focus on to achieve profit targets is a reduction in discretionary fixed costs. In order to use this avenue, it’s necessary to understand the difference between committed fixed costs and discretionary fixed costs. Every organization has some costs to which it is committed, for example, costs for facilities, equipment, long-term debt arrangements, or organizational strategy.
Lease payments, interest payments on long-term debt, property taxes, and salaries of key personnel may only change if a major shift in the scope of operations occurs. These costs are viewed as committed fixed. The lease payments or interest payments, for example, have to be made in order for the organization to stay in operation. A failure to pay a lease payment may result in the loss of an asset or a failure to pay interest to bondholders may result in the bondholders taking over the business.
Depreciation, while an allocation of historic costs, usually follows a pattern set at the time of the asset acquisition. Discretionary fixed costs, on the other hand, are set because management has decided to incur these costs to meet organizational goals. These costs may vary at the discretion of management. Managers, in the short-run for example, could vary advertising, travel, employee training, office supplies, or research and development costs. In dire times, these costs could be decreased, and in abundant times they could be increased.
Usually the discretionary fixed costs may be changed to meet short-run cost concerns, but it’s usually unwise to reduce all discretionary completely or for long periods of time. Who would want to work for an organization that reduced its training costs to zero year after year just to improve the bottom line? While reducing advertising costs in the short-run might not hurt revenues, what about the long-run effects on revenues? Perhaps out-of-state travel could be trimmed in the short-run, but would the failure to attend national professional meetings out-of-state eventually have an unfavorable effect on organizational performance?
In the Bridgestone Behavioral Health Center case, depreciation or rent may be committed while others (such as salaries and benefits, consulting fees, transportation, office supplies, and other) may be discretionary. Sheryl encourages Thomas to identify which fixed costs are discretionary and which are committed. He then can make a modest reduction in the discretionary fixed costs to achieve Bridgestone’s profit objective. This will also give him an idea of how “discretionary” the identified fixed costs are in reality and whether the level can be reduced in the long-term or short-term.
Off-Campus Programs Other behavioral health centers that Sheryl has consulted for have increased revenue by offering off-campus programs to corporations, governmental departments, or other nonprofit corporations. Possibilities include employee assistance programs (EAP) to deal with alcohol or other drug disorders or behavioral health counseling or other kinds of programs. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, mental illness causes more days of work loss and work impairment than many other chronic condition, such as diabetes, asthma, and arthritis. Approximately 217 million days of work are lost annually due to productivity decline related to mental illness and substance abuse disorders, costing Unites States employers $17 billion each year. To provide services such as these, the idea is to use Bridgestone talent, but at the client’s premises or a location selected by the client (to ensure anonymity). These would be companies that could pay for these services. If the services are used on a regular basis, they could be a supplemental and steady source of revenue with high contribution margins.
Really large companies may be able to afford EAP or counseling programs, but smaller ones can’t, so this type of contract would be attractive to boost employee benefits at a minimum cost. The cost to these companies could be a variable one (based on usage) without incurring the fixed cost of hiring permanent staff to do the counseling. It could be an advantage to Bridgestone because the Center is already incurring the fixed salary expense of the counselor. Various services that could be offered include: • Support management in addressing issues of productivity and absenteeism that may be caused by mental health or substance abuse problems. Support effective supervisory practices • Assist employees with deteriorating performance relating to behavioral or other health problems • Address work-related issues influencing disability or return to work • Assist in the identification of stress-related problems that may be a result of work organization • Assist the organization in its response to drug-free workplace policies and regulations and disaster and terrorism preparedness as it relates to psychosocial issues • Serve as an internal consultant to management regarding issues of employee behavioral health. Requirement:
You are required to answer the following questions. The weighted average contribution margin (WACM) is calculated as follows: The weighted average contribution margin (WACM) percentage is 70% [$5,000,000 (revenues) – 1,500,000 (variable expenses) ? 5,000,000 (revenues)]. Of every dollar that Bridgestone collects, 70 cents goes toward fixed expenses and then to profit. Questions: 1. What does a high weighted average contribution margin (WACM) percentage mean for the management of Bridgestone? 2. Is Bridgestone able to plan for breakeven or a modest profit for the next year?
If the Center achieves breakeven or a profit and you are concerned about events that could cause a potential loss, what would you try to change? (You may consider both on- and off-campus programs. ) 3. A useful component of CVP analysis is the margin of safety for service revenue that can be calculated as a dollar amount ($) or as a percentage (%). What is Bridgestone’s project margin of safety for next year? Interpret your answer in terms of what it means to Dr. Russell. 4. Fixed costs can be discretionary or committed.
Using your judgment based on the discussion in the case, identify which costs are likely to be discretionary. Assuming that management is able to decrease discretionary fixed costs by 10%, what would be the impact on Bridgestone’s break-even point revenues? 5. As Bridgestone operates during the next year, do some services deserve more attention than others? (Hint: What is their relative contribution to the WACM % and to the total contribution margin? Which services? ) 6. How can the budgetary weighted average contribution margin (WACM) percentage be used to help control the actual operations of Bridgestone? . If a budgetary weighted average contribution margin (WACM) percentage has been developed with an expected level of revenue and a planned fixed cost and the budgetary WACM percentage is in fact achieved in the next (future) time period, could the organization still face losses if the total revenue drops below the budgeted level or total fixed costs increase beyond the budgeted levels? Can you explain how losses still might occur even though the planned WACM percentage is being realized in the future time period? You can use numerical examples to explain) 8. Can you demonstrate with numeric examples how financial losses might occur? Describe the effects of the following three possible scenarios: a. What is the financial impact if Bridgestone’s group counseling unit of service volume decreases by 10% during the first quarter? b. What is the financial impact if Bridgestone’s reimbursement rate for group counseling service decreases by 10% during the first quarter? c. What is the financial impact if Bridgestone’s fixed costs increase by 1% during the first quarter? 9.
What are your overall recommendations for Bridgestone’s management regarding the use of CVP analysis? 10. As accountants, it is common to focus on quantitative tools such as CVP analysis to increase the profitability of a business. But it is important for accountants to think outside of the box to identify avenues of increasing profitability. What suggestions could you provide to assist Bridgestone in increasing profitability? Other requirements: 1. You may modify the exhibits (e. g. , adding columns) to help answer the questions, especially the “what if” analyses required in part 8.
However, you need to rename those worksheets and highlight the additional analyses you’ve done. You also need to interpret the results in words as to provide actual answers to the questions. 2. You are required to submit the Word file with all the answers. You may also submit the Excel file if applicable. If you choose to submit both files, please create a folder titled “ACC320-CRN#-Last Name-First Name” and upload the zipped folder on Moodle. If you only submit a word file, please name the word file exactly the same way and upload on Moodle.