Horniman Horticulture – This case captures the problems concerning cash flow and working-capital…

Case 8 Report Instructions

CASE 8: Horniman Horticulture

Case Introduction/Overview

This case captures the problems concerning cash flow and working-capital management typical of small, growing businesses. At the end of 2015, Bob and Maggie Brown have completed their third year of operating Horniman Horticulture, a $1-million-revenue woody-shrub nursery in central Virginia. While experiencing booming demand and improving margins, the Browns are puzzled by their plummeting cash balance. The case highlights the difference between cash flow and accounting profits, as well as the common negative effects of growth on cash flow. It also provides a forum for instilling appreciation for the relevance of free cash flow to business owners and managers, introducing financial-ratio analysis, developing the concept of the cash cycle and working-capital management, and motivating the use of financial models.

Case Report Instructions

This is a “Use a set of provided questions to prepare a formal case report” assignment. For this case study, you must write a professional report as per the guidelines in “Learning with Cases and Writing Case Reports.” You should create an action-oriented advisory report that presents concisely your analysis and recommendations. The questions below should help you analyze the case and identify the specific issue(s) raised. These are not questions that you should directly answer in your report; instead these questions are designed to help you frame your report with specific focus on the last question: “What is the problem?”

1. What is your assessment of the financial performance of Horniman Horticulture?

2. Do you agree with Maggie Brown’s accounts-payable policy?

3. What explains the erosion of the cash balance?

4. What do you expect the financial position of the business to be in 2016? Extend the financial statements through 2016, assuming that Bob Brown grows revenue by 30%. Note: To make the balance sheet balance, define cash as equal to (Curr. liab. + Net worth) – (Accounts receivable + Inventory + OCA + Net fixed assets).

5. What is going right with this business? What concerns you?

6. Where is the cash going?

7. Will strong business performance in 2016 improve the cash position?

8. Do you agree with Maggie Brown’s accounts-payable policy?

9. What are the alternatives for solving the business’s cash problem?

10. What is the problem?

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