Hewett and Hefner, LLP is a regional public accounting firm with 34 offices throughout the southeastern United States. To provide employees with cost-effective continuing professional education, the company maintains an in-house education and training staff that develops and delivers one-day seminars on current topics in accounting and taxation. There is no charge to employees to attend these seminars.
a. Should Hewett and Hefner, LLP treat the training department as a cost center, a profit center, or an investment center? Why?
b. Suppose Hewett and Hefner, LLP has received numerous requests from smaller firms to participate in the seminars provided by its training staff. Some of the firms are willing to pay a fee and travel to a Hewett and Hefner office to attend the seminars. Others have expressed interest in engaging Hewett and Hefner's staff to deliver customized seminars at their own offices. If management decides to allow the training staff to provide external training for a fee, how should Hewett and Hefner treat the training department? Why?