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According to StockNews.com, Amazon is becoming a player in the logistics and shipping industry.

Questions:
1. How many planes does Amazon have?
2. Where will its new hub be and how much does it cost?
3. How much did shipping costs increase for Amazon this year?
4. Which airport recently dethroned Atlanta as the top cargo shipper because of Amazon?

Source:
Schoolov, K. (2019). Amazon is rapidly adding planes to its fleet to handle more of its own shipping. Stock News.com, Feb. 15, 2019 (Retrievable online at https://stocknews.com/news/amzn-amazon-is-rapidly-adding-planes-to-its-fleet-to-handle/)

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

When millions of Americans began filling out their 2018 taxes, they were surprised to learn that their refunds will be less than expected or that they owe money to the Internal Revenue Service after years of receiving refunds.

Questions:
1. How are some people protesting via social media?
2. Why have refunds decreased?
3. How much has the average refund check decreased this year as compared to last year?
4. Based on the article, explain the difference between taxes versus your refund.

Source:

Long, H. (2019). Millions of Americans could be stunned as their tax refunds shrink. Washington Post, Feb. 10 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/02/10/millions-americans-could-be-stunned-their-tax-refunds-shrink/?utm_term=.222c14616eff)

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According to Bloomberg, Novartis AG is preparing for significant demand for its new gene therapy, a potential blockbuster targeting a disease that kills infants. Now the company is looking at the potential for installment payment plans for a treatment that could command a multimillion-dollar price.

Questions:
1. At what price does Novartis estimate that the drug Zolgensma could be cost-effective?
2. The treatment is a potential cure for what disease?
3. If Zolgensma is an alternative to Biogen Inc.’s drug Spinraza, what is the benefit of having two drugs for the same condition?

Source:
Paton, J. (2019). Novartis Sees High Demand for Possible Multimillion-Dollar Drug. Bloomberg, Jan. 31 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-30/novartis-prepares-for-significant-demand-for-new-gene-therapy)

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

According to the Guardian, the Trump administration plans to abolish key parts of an Obama-era rule that was aimed at protecting vulnerable borrowers from amassing untenable debts from payday loans.

Questions:
1. How high can the interest rate be from some payday lenders?
2. What is the Trump administration argument for scrapping the basic expense coverage?
3. Who and what do advocates for borrowers blame for the change?

Source:
Milman, O. (2019) Trump administration to roll back Obama-era payday loan protections. The Guardian, Feb. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/07/payday-loans-rule-consumer-financial-protection-roll-back)

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A Finnish nationwide experiment with basic income has not increased employment among those participating in the two-year trial, but their general well-being seems to have increased.

Questions:
1. How much did randomly selected, unemployed people aged 25-58 get in tax-free income each month? (U.S. dollars)
2. What were most people worried about related to any new venture?
3. What was the country’s unemployment rate in 2018?
4. What are your thoughts about this trial?

Source:
Olsen, J.M. (2019). Finnish basic income trial: creates happiness, but not jobs. AP News, Feb. 8 (Retrievable at https://apnews.com/f80234e1958e4635ba01c5aa83f09778)

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

According to Axios, listed companies, who previously provided detailed breakouts of information on earnings reports, are now paring down these disclosures.

Questions:
1. What is(are) the reason(s) for this minimalist reporting?
2. What changes did Ford Motors make and what may be a reason for this?
3. Companies say the old metrics are less appropriate as their businesses evolve, but what do market strategists claim?

Source:
Brown, C. (2019). Wall Street trend: Cutting back details from earnings reports. Axios.com, Feb. 8 (Retrievable at https://www.axios.com/get-read-cutting-back-on-how-they-report-earnings-1549633742-087c7687-159b-427e-a746-407f9bed96a0.html)

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

Herbalife’s chief executive has resigned over unspecified comments he made before taking leadership of the Los Angeles supplement maker.

Questions:
1. What did his previous remarks relate to?
2. Who is CEO Goudis’ replacement and what is the replacement’s background?
3. Why has Herbalife been in the news since 2015?

Source:
Pazzanghera, J. (2019). Herbalife chief Richard Goudis resigns over comments he made before taking the job. LA Times, Jan. 9 (Retrievable online at https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-herbalife-goudis-resigns-20190109-story.html)

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

According to the New Yorker, Wisconsin won’t see Foxconn’s first U.S. manufacturing facility and the prospect of significant prosperity that stirred the hopes of a region still with dreams of clawing back the middle-class factory jobs from the middle of the twentieth century.

Questions:
1. How long ago was the deal signed?
2. What were the headline grabbing numbers associated with the Foxconn deal?
3. What are the irreversible parts of the deal?

Source:
Lach, E. (2019). Wisconsin’s Foxconn Debacle Keeps Getting Worse. The New Yorker, Jan. 30 (Retrievable online at https://www.newyorker.com/news/current/wisconsins-foxconn-debacle-keeps-getting-worse)

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According to the ACFCS News, federal prosecutors have charged a Chinese company, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, a top official and two affiliates with fraud, money laundering, pilfering trade secrets, obstruction of justice and sanctions violations for hiding its dealings with Iran from partner banks.

Questions:

1. How did these hidden dealings come to light?
2. How long has the fraud been going on and how does this compare to the length of the average fraud as show in the 2018 ACFE Report to the Nation?
3. What is “Tappy” and how does it relate to this fraud?
4. Who is Meng and where was she arrested? Where does she face charges?

Source:
Monroe, B. (2019). DOJ Charges Chinese Telecom HUAWEI With Fraud, Sanctions, Money Laundering, Stealing Trade Secrets. ACFCS News, January 31 (Retrievable online at https://www.acfcs.org/news/436433/DOJ-charges-Chinese-telecom-Huawei-with-fraud-sanctions-money-laundering-stealing-trade-secrets-.htm)

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

According to Business Insider, a software company called Amenity Analytics (AA) reviews earnings call transcripts, press releases, company research and more to try and help hedge funds spend less time looking for important nuggets of information and more time trading. Now they have turned their attention toward truth-telling by CEOs.

Questions:
1. What type of techniques does Amenity Analytics use?
2. How does AA’s deception tracker work?
3. If you were talking to someone about this article, how would you define “alternative data”?
4. How much money does AlternativeData.org expect hedge fund managers will spend on alternative data by 2020?
5. Is AA expected to replace widely used data providers like Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters?

Source:
Saacks, B. (2019). A growing alternative data company helps hedge funds determine if CEOs are lying using CIA interrogation techniques. Business Insider, January 28 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/alternative-data-company-cia-interrogation-to-determine-which-ceos-are-lying-2019-1)