Week 7: Teacher Created Materials

September 29th, 2013

John Srodulski ’14, Hanson Fellow in Finance

During my last week in Huntington Beach, all of the work that I accomplished and the concepts that I learned all tied together. I completed projects in each of the divisions of accounts payable, accounts receivable, and the general ledger. Many of the tasks that required a great amount of guidance and assistance at the beginning of my time at TCM became routine. For example, I was able to take over account receivable for a day with no review, and my mentor could now simply place journal entries on my desk for me to enter without any further instruction.
For the past year, the accounting department at TCM has been consolidating two separate companies into one. Teacher Created Materials sells educational products directly to schools, while Shell Education sells products to wholesellers and retailers. The companies have merged within the past two years, so the accounting department has needed to combine the two so that their financials will run together. In order for this to work, the “coding” needs to change, and the journal entries need to be consolidated into one company, TCM, rather than the separate companies that they had been working with, TC3 and SEP. Throughout my time here, my main project was going through all of the entries in TC3 and SEP, and reproducing them in TCM with their new coding. The reason for this change is due to the expansion of the Teacher Created Materials business. They have been selling a great deal of new products, and the new coding is a much more efficient way of distinguishing which products were sold, and which sales rep initiated the sale.
My last week was largely spent with the consolidation of the two businesses, but I also completed many tasks that I had not done since the first month of my internship. I worked with inventory invoices for accounts payable, and I took over for accounts receivable for one day. Remembering how to do these assignments on my own was extremely rewarding, and showed how much I truly learned during my time here. In addition to the typical accounting duties, I also talked a great deal with my mentor about the business. He told me how certain things ran through each of the departments, particularly with one problem that took them a week to solve. One of their main clients is the Baltimore Public Schools. There was an order discrepancy, which required production, customer service, sales, and accounting to all work together and compare records. I learned a lot about how small businesses are run, and the cooperation of everyone as a team is extremely important.
I had a great time working with TCM. I learned a great deal about accounting, received real-world experience, and made some great business connections. This was by far the greatest extracurricular experience that I have had so far at Cornell, and I know that it will be of great help to me in my future career. I feel that I will be able to incorporate what I have learned at TCM to better my education during my senior year at Cornell. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that I was given, and I highly recommend it to any Cornell student.

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