The Learning Environment
BPFs are not an imitation of a real firm. Instead they are complex and dynamic models of economic systems arranged for the goal of learning.
In this environment, students have the opportunity to put theory into practice. The BPF is a perfect vehicle for a "capstone" course in many business curricula. The concept provides links and overlaps between all subjects; i.e., an accounting student will have the opportunity to put the entire "accounting" cycle to work in his or her position in the BPF.
The following chart of activities in four core departments within the firm provides a small sample of what students can experience throughout this course. This list is by no means complete. Student/teacher creativity can certainly enhance and expand the suggestions listed here.
- plan and monitor a budget
- process payroll
- prepare financial statements
- monitor exchange rates
- oversee foreign and domestic cash receipts and disbursements
- determine purchasing policies
- requisition the purchase of goods and services
- maintain inventory records
- update information on suppliers
- develop a marketing plan
- prepare advertising copy and promotional material
- organize a sales campaign
- promote an Internet presence
- conduct market research and analysis
- administer personnel interviews
- maintain employee records
- organize employee training
- conduct staff meetings