Enterprising Hospitality
Date PublishedDec 11, 2013

The annual AHFME (Association of Hospitality Financial Management Education) Research Symposium was held on Saturday, November 9, at NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate in New York City. Higher education institutions and other organizations from across the country participated in the full-day event.

M3 Accounting + Analytics, the national leader in hotel-specific accounting solutions and business intelligence – which has formalized its commitment to education programming via M3 University (more below) – was involved with several different aspects of the event.

As one highlight, M3 sponsored and presented prestigious Best Research Paper awards to graduate students Joonho Moon of Penn State University, and Conroy Hong Luan of the University of Houston. This was the first such honor at the annual AHFME event.

M3’s role in the conference was largely tied to its specialized hotel management education program, M3 University, which was co-developed and is implemented in a partnership with the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership. M3 and USFSM provide the M3 University software and curriculum complimentary to schools nationwide.

“Essentially, M3 University enables students to run a virtual hotel,” said Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, dean of USFSM College of Hospitality and Technology, which worked with M3 to develop the curriculum and tutorials for M3 University. Cobanoglu and USFSM have long-standing partnerships with the AHFME and its members.

PhD candidate Katerina Berezina, graduate student Gunce “Georgia” Malan, and other “M3 scholars” support faculty and help oversee M3 University implementation and training. Berezina said, “M3 University students perform such responsibilities as those of a night auditor and paymaster, and use analytics to make overall operational and management decisions.”

This hands-on experience includes analyzing data and making management decisions based on simulated scenarios. Presently 18 schools nationwide are using M3 University – triple the number since its launch about one year ago.

Scott Watson, vice president of sales for M3 Accounting + Analytics, says M3 University “brings textbook lessons to life – to practice the vital skills needed in hospitality accounting and management.”

Information about AHFME is available at: www.AHFME.org.