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

While demand for other white-collar jobs has grown substantially since the start of the recession, law firms and corporations are finding they can make do with far fewer in-house lawyers than before, squeezing those just starting their careers.

Questions:
1. What do the data show regarding new law graduates getting jobs?
2. Discuss the costs of attending law school. How is it changing?
3. What has changed in this industry as compared to its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s? Discuss in terms of applications to law schools, good students, law school capacity, and law school faculty.

Source:
Scheiber, N. (2016). An Expensive Law Degree, and No Place to Use It. The New York Times, June 17 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/business/dealbook/an-expensive-law-degree-and-no-place-to-use-it.html)

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Posted by & filed under Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Fraud Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Video Updates.

Due to the slow transition to chip credit cards by U.S. retailers, counterfeit credit card fraud will likely rise to $4.5 billion this year.

Questions:
1. What percentage rise will this year see as compared to last year’s credit card fraud?
2. Why are these thefts hurting retailers rather than issuing banks?
3. According to the article, what are the three types of Smart cards available?
4. Many retailers that have wanted to implement chip acceptance faster. Why couldn’t they do it?
5. What percentage of U.S. consumer credit cards now have chips?
6. When will the anti-fraud benefits be recognizable?

Source:
Kharif, O. (2016) Crooks rush to beat clock as U.S. retailers switch to chip cards. McClatchyDC.com, June 17 (Retrievable online at http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article84343102.html)

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

According to Stacy Cowley of the New York Times, only around 1.5 percent of self-employed taxpayers are audited each year. Audits are not random, because the IRS has a secret algorithm that calculates how likely each taxpayer is to have unreported income. In looking at sizing up the honesty of small-business owners, the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent office within the I.R.S., has found that there are certain geographic areas where tax dodging among sole proprietors is more prevalent.

Questions:
1. Where are the tax dodging clusters?
2. Where are the high tax compliance areas?
3. According to the article, what typically happens after an audit for a small business?
4. What finding from the research was most interesting to you and why?

Source:
Cowley, S. (2016). Why the I.R.S. Fails to Crack the Small-Business Tax Nut. The New York Times, June 15 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/business/smallbusiness/why-the-irs-fails-to-crack-the-small-business-tax-nut.html)

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

Questions:

1. Do you see this as a competition between Walmart and Amazon? Why or why not and are there any other players in the grocery war?
2. According to the video, why didn’t Walmart just create their own logistical team rather than use Uber and Lyft?
3. Would you be willing to pay $7 – $10 to have your groceries delivered? What kind of problems do you see associated with this service?
4. How many markets will be serviced? How large a market (in dollars) is the grocery delivery market estimated to be?

Source:
BBC Staff (2016). Walmart to test food delivery with Uber and Lyft. BBC.com, June 3 (Retrievable online at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36443107)

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

If a person who uses a prepaid debit credit card gets pulled over in Oklahoma, he/she now runs the risk that police can take all of the money loaded onto the card without arresting the person or even obtaining a warrant.

Questions:
1. What do the devices purchased by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety allow police to do?
2. Discuss why asset seizure criteria may be a bit fuzzy.
3. T. Jack Williams, president of ERAD Group, the company that makes and sells the card readers, argue that seizure is not the primary goal of the readers. So what is it?
4. What types of frauds are associated with gift cards and can police seize your gift cards?

Source:
Covert, B. (2016). Oklahoma Police Just Made It Easier Than Ever To Seize Someone’s Money. Think Progress, June 9 (Retrievable online at http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2016/06/09/3786458/oklahoma-cards-asset-forfeiture/)

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Posted by & filed under Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Managerial Accounting.

According to Matt Turner at Business Insider, passive investing is taking over the money-management world through exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which simply track an index.

Questions:
1. What are some of the advantages of ETFs for investors?
2. During April in the U.S., what amount of money was tied up in ETFs? And according to Credit Suisse analysts, what percentage of investments is this in the U.S.?
3. What was the advice in the article about how active traditional, mutual funds managers can fight back?
4. Explain the new kind of ETF.

Source:
Turner, M. (2016). Mutual funds are facing extinction. Business Insider, June 5 (Retrievable online at http://www.businessinsider.com/etfs-are-killing-mutual-funds-2016-6)
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Posted by & filed under Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Principles, All Articles, Auditing, Financial Accounting, Fraud Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Managerial Accounting.

Cher claims Sail Venture Partners and several of its principals defrauded investors to rake in millions in management fees, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in L.A. County Superior Court.

Questions:
1. When did this happen?
2. What did the managers do with the money?
3. Based on the information in the article, what do you anticipate that Cher will receive from the once $200 million empire, if she is successful in her suit?
4. What has happened to the 10 initial portfolio companies?

Source: Collins, A. (2016). Cher Sues Financial Firm for Fraud After $1.3 Million in Investments. MSN.com, June 9 (Retrievable online at http://www.msn.com/en-us/music/celebrity/cher-sues-financial-firm-for-fraud-after-dollar13-million-in-investments/ar-AAgOK6v?ocid=spartanntp)

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

Short-seller and hedge fund manager, Jim Chanos, contends that the Alibaba Group is as problematic in its accounting positions as the now-defunct, corrupt energy giant, Enron.

Questions:
1. What part of the company’s operations are most problematic and why?
2. What does cash flow have to do with this story?
3. What does Chanos claim is the problem with off-balance sheet entities and why is this like Enron?
4. As the video shows, this is not the first time that Alibaba has had problems with its accounting. What was the issue in the previous situation?

Source:
Gandel, S. (2016). Here’s Why Alibaba’s Accounting Is As Alarming As Enron’s. Fortune, May 12 (Retrievable online at http://fortune.com/2016/05/12/jim-chanos-alibaba-accounting/)

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

According to the New York Times, a federal appeals court ruled last week that companies cannot force their employees to sign away their rights to band together in legal actions. In doing this, they delivered a major victory for American workers and opened an opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in.

Questions:
1. What company is at the heart of this ruling? Discuss the specifics of the case and why the judges feel that the company violated the laws.
2. Why have arbitration issues increased over the last 10 years? Discuss both benefits and costs.
3. What decisions in 2011 and 2013 by the Supreme Court blessed the widespread use of arbitration? Discuss whether you think this appeals case is different.

Source:
Silver-Greenberg, J. and N. Scheiber. (2016). Court Rules Companies Cannot Impose Illegal Arbitration Clauses. The New York Times, May 26 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/27/business/dealbook/court-rules-companies-cannot-impose-illegal-arbitration-clauses.html)

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Posted by & filed under Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Principles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Uncategorized.

This article explains the latest spate of attacks on banks in Bangladesh and Southeast Asia, which security researchers say is the first time that a nation has used malicious code to steal purely for financial profit. The country is North Korea.

Questions:
1. Security researchers and American government officials have tied thousands of attacks to nations in the past, but why were these different?
2. How have security researchers tied several attacks together and point to them being from the same group?
3. What is Swift and how does it figure into this story?

Source:
Perlroth, N. and M. Corkery. (2016). North Korea Linked to Digital Attacks on Global Banks. The New York Times, May 26 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/27/business/dealbook/north-korea-linked-to-digital-thefts-from-global-banks.html).

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