Implementing a University-Wide Activity-Based Costing (ABC) Model

Implementing a University-Wide Activity-Based Costing (ABC) Model

October 16 - 17, 2017
Orlando, FL



Be better equipped to implement a university-wide activity-based costing model on your campus. 

Learn how you can take a phased approach to building a university-wide activity-based costing (ABC) model. This practically-focused training is designed to allow you to take an in-depth look at ABC and help support your steps in activity analysis, revenue attribution, and systems readiness. We will discuss:

  • How the model is built and works
  • Cost, Revenue, and Activity Analysis
  • How to attribute revenues given complex course and program structures
  • How it’s used for program review and margin analysis
  • How ABC can be used for strategic decision-making
  • Resources for phased implementation

During the event you will have the opportunity to consult with our subject matter experts to get questions unique to your institution answered. Each attendee will leave with a full conference workbook that includes numerous resources to jumpstart your efforts on campus.


Complimentary Online Training Included with Registration

Our recorded webcast, Preparing for a University-Wide Activity-Based Costing Model, is included with your registration. This webcast will help you and your colleagues understand the foundational components and significance of the activity-based costing model.


Post-Conference Workshop: Using Activity-Based Costing Data in Planning, Budgeting, and Predictive Analytics

In this workshop, you will learn how ABC can help you make mission centered decisions in a financially sustainable way. Through examples accompanied by thought provoking group discussions you will learn how ABC can help with:

  • Scenario planning in a way that goes beyond typical forecasting tools
  • Simulating consequences of planning alternative scenarios in quantitative terms
  • Maximizing mission attainment in a financially sustainable way


Bring Your Team

This program was specifically designed for senior administrators who are looking to implement an ABC model. We encourage teams that include academic administrators, financial officers, and institutional researchers to attend. When you register two people, a third can attend for 50% off!


Monday, October 16, 2017
8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Introductions: Prioritizing ABC on Your Campus
9:00 - 9:45 a.m.
This opening session will provide an opportunity for you to meet the instructors and exchange ideas with your peers. You will share on how ABC aligns with your strategic and operational priorities. You will also preview the framework for the conference and receive an orientation to how the resources can support your implementation process back on your own campus so you can get the most out of the program.

Data-Informed and Right-Motivated Decisions as a Result of ABC
9:45 - 11:00 a.m.

Through the example of a recent ABC initiative, this session will go deeper into the strategic and operational decisions made possible after implementing a university-wide activity based costing model focusing on the course level of analysis. You will examine how this level of analysis can support decisions involving:

  • Faculty splits
  • Filling courses
  • Location specific enrollment caps
  • Determining phase-outs
  • Office and classroom space decisions
  • Strategic investment of savings

All of the above factors are built into the model to motivate unit leaders in support of both quality and cost reduction.

11:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Data Play: Exploring the Underlying Components and Logic Behind the Model
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Now that you understand the impact of the model on financial, academic, and administrative decisions, this working session will provide you with a tool to get an up-close look at how it works. Through an illustrative model built in Excel, accessible on your laptops, you will dive deeper into the key components and computational logic by working through a series of exercises to expand on what you learned on the webcast recording (included in your registration). This activity may be done individually or in groups with support from our experts.

Lunch (included in your registration)
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Determining Cost Allocation: Case Study on Activity Analysis
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Now that you’ve had an opportunity to explore the components of the model, this session will highlight the impact activity-based costing had on recent initiatives from two institutional perspectives including a two-year community college and a four-year comprehensive university. You will get an in-depth look at some of their early discoveries and innerworkings that validate this undertaking. Our experts will share insights on:

  • Ways they determined their cost drivers
  • How they conducted their activity analysis
  • How they integrated their current source systems
  • Key findings and possible interventions

Application: Determining Your University Specific Cost Drivers and Expense Allocation Methods
2:00 - 2:45 p.m.
This interactive working session will provide a framework for conducting an activity analysis on your campus. You will work through a process in groups to decide how you will drive activities to end-points resulting in fully loaded unit level costs. This will replicate the levels of decisions you will need to make to implement your activity-based costing model. You will also receive the tools you need to start your own activity analysis that you will continue on your campus.

2:45 - 3:15 p.m.

Attributing Revenues Into Your Model That Reflect Your Institution’s Values
3:15 - 4:15 p.m.

Revenue allocation decisions will vary based on institution type and mission. It’s important to consider how your revenue attribution will impact the way the model will work for you from an academic quality and financial management perspective. This session will provide you the framework to understand the impact revenue allocation decisions may have on unit leader motivation so you can align your model with your strategic budget and institutional values. You will learn how the following may impact your fully-loaded cost analysis:

  • Institutional aid/endowment
  • State appropriations
  • Weighting credit hours to support enrollment management
  • Considerations for cross-listed courses
  • Parameters involving overhead and administration
  • Research

Incorporating and Attributing Revenues Into Your Model
4:15 - 5:00 p.m.
This session will be an opportunity for you to work with your team and peer group to come up with strategies for attributing revenues across your campus units. You will work in like groups to discuss the various revenue allocation methods and decisions. This session will include working and consulting time as needed and time for questions and wrap-up.

Networking Reception (included in your registration)
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Continental Breakfast (included in your registration)
8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Recap Day 1
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
This session will provide the opportunity for you to ask your remaining questions about yesterday's session to ensure that everyone is receiving the content and support they need.

ABC Data In Action: How the Data Is Used
9:00 - 10:15 a.m.

This session is a unique chance to see first-hand how this level of unprecedented data can inform strategic decision-making impacting all aspects of the campus. Our expert will navigate through scenarios based on several real institutions who have participated in a recent ABC initiative. You will learn strategies to support:

  • Program review
  • Impact of treatment of overhead
  • Factoring in geographical attributes for multiple campuses
  • Resource allocation supporting growth and innovation

10:15 - 10:45 a.m.

Panel Discussion: ABC Implementation Readiness
10:45 - 11:45 a.m
You will hear from our panel of experts one last time as they provide you strategies for your implementation. Themes will include campus culture, technology, and resources necessary to approach this analysis in the most impactful way. Our speakers will also revisit the tools and resources now available to you for your next steps towards implementation.

11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Lunch (for post-conference workshop attendees)
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Registration for Post-Conference Workshop
12:30 - 1:00 p.m.

Post-Conference Workshop: Using Activity Based Costing Data in Planning, Budgeting, and Predictive Analytics
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Because Universities are facing so many unknowns, there is pressing need for data-informed planning tools to simulate the consequences of their decisions. This workshop is a unique opportunity to learn how ABC provides the inputs required for scenario planning and how you can make mission-centered decisions in a financially sustainable way. Through examples accompanied by thought provoking group discussions, you will learn how ABC can help with:

  • Scenario planning in a way that goes beyond typical forecasting tools
  • Simulating consequences of planning alternative scenarios in quantitative terms
  • Maximizing mission attainment in a financially sustainable way

As part of this workshop registration, you will receive a beta-model built in Excel that shows how to apply consistent criteria when allocating resources.

October 16 - 17, 2017

Orlando, FL

The event will be hosted at the Rosen Shingle Creek:

Rosen Shingle Creek
9939 Universal Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819

The Rosen Shingle Creek is sold out! Don't worry, we have secured an additional room block at a nearby hotel:

Rosen Centre Hotel
9840 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819

Room Rate: $189 + Tax

Room Block Dates: Nights of October 15 and 16, 2018

Rate Available Until: September 25, 2017

Please book early – rooms are limited and subject to availability

Reserve Your Room: Call 1-800-204-7234. Please indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.


Len Brazis

Len Brazis

Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Helping higher education find the balance between academic effectiveness and operating efficiency to provide the greatest benefit to students and to the institution—this has been the mantra for Len Brazis throughout his 15+ years in higher education. Building on his experience gained in financial and operations management in the airline and railroad industries, he spent his years prior to entering the University realm developing proven innovative techniques for complete systematic analysis of the institution. He holds an MBA and BSBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he currently holds the position of Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis. He has also taught courses in General Management, Airline Management, Strategic Management, and Computer Based Systems. Len is presently working on his Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership with Nova Southeastern University.


Mark C. Hampton

Vice President for Planning, Analytics, and Decision Support
New York Institute of Technology

In his current role, Mark provides high-level, analytically-based and data-driven advice to leadership at all levels, as well as leadership and oversight to the planning, assessment, accreditation, and institutional research activities of the university.

Prior to joining NYIT in 2016, Hampton served as Vice President for Finance and Administration at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., where he oversaw all finances, technology, facilities, human resources, and business operations. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Vice President for Budget and Financial Planning at the University of Virginia, where he directed the development and implementation of its Academic Division’s operating and capital budgets, and helped lead efforts to develop a new activity-based internal financial model.

Hampton has also held strategic planning, institutional research, and faculty positions at the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and the University of Utah. In addition, he has served as a board member for several organizations and foundations.

Hampton holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy, a Master of Statistics in Mathematics, and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Utah.


Lea Patterson

Pilbara Group

Lea is an electronics and computer engineer and former Australian Navy Officer. While in the Australian Navy, Lea was engaged in his first Activity-Based Cost model as part of a project to build a large enterprise-wide model covering the entire Australian Navy. After leaving the navy, Lea was a foundation employee of what would become Pilbara Group, with clients primarily in the Australian defence force. The U.S. Navy saw the model completed for the Australian Navy and requested the same. This took Lea and the team to Pearl Harbor, HI and eventually Norfolk, VA. About 10 years ago, during this time in the U.S., the company began receiving requests from Australian universities to build ABC models, which kick started the higher education practice. Now, higher education is a primary focus for Pilbara Group in Australia and the U.S. and Lea is currently heading up both companies servicing clients in Australia, the U.S., Mexico, and the United Kingdom. His recent initiatives include working closely with public, private, and community colleges in the United States on designing and implementing activity-based costing.


Anthony Pember

Senior Manager, Decision Analytics Service Line
Grant Thornton LLP

Anthony has extensive consulting experience leading a variety of business, modeling, and information technology initiatives within the higher education, commercial, and not-for-profit sectors. Anthony has supported and advised higher education, federal government, and commercial clients with their cost management and performance improvement projects in the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and Great Britain. Anthony’s areas of expertise include activity-based costing, cost allocation models, predictive modeling, performance management, and cost analysis. Within the higher education sector, Anthony has worked with multiple universities in both the United States and Australia building cost models, performing critical data analysis, and advising clients in areas associated with their cost management and strategic resource alignment needs. Some of Anthony’s recent experience in the higher education sector includes: Rutgers University, Georgetown University, University of California Riverside, University of Maryland College Park, Bentley University, Johnson County Community College, New York Institute of Technology, Arizona Board of Regents, University of Southern Queensland (Australia), Deakin University (Australia), and Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. Anthony has published several articles on the use of management accounting principles to drive environmental performance—a novel approach to using traditional management tools in a new way. Anthony currently serves on the Board of the Consortium of Advanced Management-International (CAM-I), a preeminent non-profit cost, performance, and process research organization.


Susan Rider

Director, Accounting Services and Grants
Johnson County Community College

Susan Rider has 18+ years of experience in the financial services area of Johnson County Community College. Currently, Susan oversees the day-to-day accounting functions, payroll, and the annual external audit. Prior to this role, she held the position of Bursar on campus. During her tenure, she has remained close to student support and related services. Part of that priority has been understanding the cost of higher education. In 2015, Susan helped lead the development of an Activity-Based Costing model at JCCC, and she continues to gain expertise in using this model as a decision support tool. Susan holds both a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas.

Main Conference + Free Webcast Only

$1,195 through Sept 29$1,295.00

Be better equipped to implement a university-wide activity-based costing model on your campus.

Post-Conference Workshop Only

$395 through Sept 29$495.00

Learn how ABC provides the inputs needed for scenario planning and how to make financially sustainable and mission-centered decisions.

Can't Attend? Buy the
Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?

Grace Spivak
Associate Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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