The Mount Cook Group: A cash flow analysis and business history
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Business performance is frequently evaluated from reported data in published annual reports. This thesis uses a new cash flow-based analytical tool to derive an additional performance measure of a company, the Mount Cook Group. This analysis is compared with a traditional ratio-based analysis to test if the cash flow-based tool has provided any new information. The time period examined is 1930 to 1990, covering sixty years of significant changes, both within the organisation and externally. The changing environment helps to test the cash flow model in different circumstances. The quantitative analyses provided by the traditional ratios and the cash flow model are supported by an historical analysis which draws on documentary sources, and interviews conducted with past employees, and with members of the founder's family. Understanding financial performance requires an appreciation of the qualitative factors influencing the organisation. The success of the Mount Cook Group was attributable to the founder, and his son, who became the managing director, following the founder's death. The study therefore includes an examination of the influence of these people, and their entrepreneurship. There is a need to balance financial information with non-financial information, both from within the organisation and externally, from other influences, such as factors influencing the economic environment in which the organisation operates. The backward-looking perspective of accounting information puts accountants in a poor position to offer their skills as business experts, and this case study illustrates the importance of forward-looking entrepreneurial views.