Posted by & filed under Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Ethical Dilemma, Financial Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Uncategorized.

According to the FTC, Vizio used 11 million televisions to spy on its customers. The television maker agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a case with the FTC and the New Jersey attorney general’s office after the agencies accused it of secretly collecting — and selling — data about its customers’ locations, demographics and viewing habits.

Questions:

1. What is the sensitive information and how does it violate privacy laws?
2. How can regulators be sure that Vizio did not pair the information?
3. What was the settlement? Why do you think they settled?
4. How much of the market does Vizio have and how does that translate into number of sets and people?

Source:
Tsukayama, H. (2017). These smart TVs were apparently spying on their owners. Feb. 6 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/02/06/these-smart-tvs-were-apparently-spying-on-their-owners/?utm_term=.87fa6d2202fe)

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Investors sent shares in a little known startup called SNAP Interactive Inc., ticker STVI, surging 164 percent in the four days since Snap Inc. filed for a $3 billion initial public offering. What is wrong with this?

Questions:
1. What industry is SNAP in?
2. Why is it thought that this is a case of mistaken identity?
3. Is mistaken identity of tickers in equity markets a common occurence?
4. How would you suggest that this be avoided? Be creative in your answers.

Source:
Renick, O. (2017) Mistaken Identity Sends Snap Sound-Alike Up 140% After IPO News. Bloomberg, Feb. 8 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-08/mistaken-identity-sends-snap-sound-alike-up-140-after-ipo-news)

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It seems as if young Americans are showing less interest in buying lotto tickets than their parents. As a result, lottery officials worry about the odds for future growth.

Questions:
1. What is the current trend seen in lottery buying? Include percentages and demographic information quoted in the article.
2. What are the key reasons for these trends?
3. How are states trying to make lottos more attractive to “next generation” players?
4. What is lottery revenue typically used to fund?

Source:

Dobuzinskis, A. (2017). U.S. lottery operators worry as fewer millennials line up to play. Reuters, Feb. 10 (Retrievable online at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lottery-idUSKBN15P16U)

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A large number of pets are abandoned at shelters when their senior owners die or go to a nursing home. This article discusses a new legal consideration.
Questions:
1. How many Americans over 55 have wills?
2. Why is there negative association with putting pets in the will?
3. How much does it cost to set up a trust for your pet?
4. Why is this important?

Source:
Pinsker, B. (2016). Your Money: How to protect your prized pet with a trust. Reuters, Dec. 13 (Retrievable online at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-money-retirement-pettrust-idUSKBN1422AV)

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Hatchimals was dubbed the hottest toy of 2016. So, what are they and why are they in the news?

Questions:
1. What does the class action lawsuit allege?
2. Where was the lawsuit filed?
3. What do you think your damages would be for this type of suit? Please speculate and discuss.

Source:
Shen, L. (2017). A Woman Whose Hatchimal Didn’t Hatch Is Suing the Toy’s Maker. Money, Jan. 25 (Retrievable online at http://time.com/money/4648772/hatchimals-sue-spinmaster/)

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The questions asked each year are whether Super Bowl advertising is worth it and what the network is charging. This year Fox charged $5 million for a 30-second spot, last year CBS charged about the same, and Comcast NBC charged about $4.5 million for a 30-second spot.
Questions:
1. How much is the per second charge for this year’s Super Bowl?
2. How do the spots this year compare with the three highest priced show 30-second spots?
3. What would be secondary exposure to the ads that this article talks about?
4. Do a cost benefit analysis of the risks associated with a Super Bowl ad, basing it on one of your favorite companies or products. Be sure to include a conclusion.
5. What costs do companies have to incur besides paying the networks for these advertisements?

Source:
Kline, D. (2017) Super Bowl Commercial Prices Rarely Pay Off for Advertisers. Newsweek, Feb. 5 (Retrievable online at http://www.newsweek.com/super-bowl-commercials-rarely-pay-advertisers-552217)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Ethical Dilemma, Financial Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Video Updates.

The Feds claim that the nation’s largest student loan servicer gave rushed and costly advice.

Questions:
1. What is the amount or size of the U.S. government’s student loan program in dollars?
2. What is Navient?
3. How would you describe the structure of Student loan servicing?
4. What are some of the claims about Navient and the legal challenges?

Source:
Nasiripour, S. and J. Lorin. (2017). Behind the Dizzying Student Loan Game Navient Allegedly Played. Bloomberg, Jan. 26 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-26/behind-the-dizzying-student-loan-game-navient-allegedly-played)

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At Starbucks, customers are now able to order and pay for coffee via their phones, so many of them now head directly to the part of the cafe where beverages are handed out. Various snags contributed to company’s lower-than-expected sales and the coffee giant is working to correct problem, according to its Chief Operating Officer.

Questions:

1. Describe the congestion that Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson is explaining about Starbucks.
2. How much of Starbucks sales are generated via Phone app?
3. Describe Starbuck’s current financial position (in your own words).

Source:

Patton, L. (2017). Starbucks Mobile Orders Bring Traffic Jams to Pickup Counter. Bloomberg, Jan.27 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-26/starbucks-mobile-ordering-brings-traffic-jams-to-pickup-counter).

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Donald Trump met with Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son and soon news of 30,000 to 50,000 new U.S. manufacturing jobs were part of Trump’s boasts. Now Taiwanese manufacturer, Foxconn, appears to be reneging on claims that it is preparing to build a $7 billion factory in the U.S.

Questions:
1. How did Foxconn’s chief executive officer, Terry Gou, explain its plans for U.S. facilities?
2. Why have the negotiations with the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer become more complicated?
3. Has Gou mentioned building a facility in the U.S. prior to the Trump promise and if so, what happened?

Source:
Thielman, S. (2017). Foxconn backpedals on US factory plans: ‘It is not a promise. It is a wish’

Posted by & filed under Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Income Taxes, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting.

All-day breakfast is beginning to lose its novelty for McDonald’s Corp.

Questions:
1. What happened to last quarter’s domestic same-store sales?
2. In your opinion, what will be McDonald’s next big source of growth?
3. Are the profit potentials the same for McDonald’s globally? Explain.

Source:
Giammona, C. (2017). McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Push No Longer Fueling Growth. Bloomberg, Jan. 23 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-23/mcdonald-s-profit-beats-estimates-as-turnaround-gathers-steam)