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, Video Updates.

New survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 36.6% of us eat some kind of fast food on any given day. That includes 37.9% of men and 35.4% of women, according to a report published Wednesday by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Questions:
1. What is the main reason for so much fast food consumption?
2. How many men compared to women eat fast food for lunch on any given day?
3. Does the popularity of fast food varies by racial and ethnic group?
4. How does our taste for fast food change with age?
5. If you would do the survey in 10 years, what do you think the results will show? Discuss your opinion.
6. What is the monetary factor related to fast food?

Source:
Kaplan, K. (2018). More than 1 in 3 Americans eat fast food on a typical day, and we eat it all day long. The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 3 (Retrievable online at http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-fast-food-america-20181003-story.html)


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No cash for a child’s allowance. No worries. Now you can use a phone app to transfer it to their own prepaid debit card!

Questions:
1. What are the latest offerings of cards and apps and how do they work?
2. What are some of the things that parents can use the prepaid debit apps to do for the child cards?
3. What are some of the financial skills that kids can learn with these cards, if used wisely?
4. Are these cards free?

Source:
Carrns, A. (2018). Children’s Allowances in a New Form: Debit Cards Linked to Parents’ Phones. The New York Times, Oct. 5 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/05/your-money/childrens-allowances-debit-cards-parents.html)

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A woman from Azerbaijan who spent 16 million pounds ($21 million) on jewelry, wine and other goods at luxury London department store Harrods over the course of a decade has become the first target of a new British rule allowing officials to seize money from people suspected of getting their wealth through corruption.

Questions:
1. This case marks Britain’s first use of what rule?
2. According to this rule, Britain can seize assets over what amount?
3. Based on the article, do you think that the government will seize everything over the amount designated by the law? If not, what do you think will happen?
4. What is your opinion of the rule? Discuss.
5. What was the distinction between investigation and criminal procedure?

Source:
Lawless, J. (2018). Woman who spent $21M at Harrods fights UK wealth order. AP.com, Oct. 10 (Retrievable online at https://apnews.com/4779acdf5ca24f33bfb3c7b9e6e15d0f/Woman-who-spent-$21M-at-Harrods-fights-UK-wealth-order)

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Amazon’s latest retail concept looks a lot like your online shopping cart brought to life. It’s a physical store that offers only products with high customer ratings, including non-Amazon-branded merchandise. Items must be a top seller, have a four-star rating or above, or be new and trending on Amazon.com.

Questions:
1. How many brick-and-mortar bookstores does Amazon have around the US?
2. How many Amazon Go stores are there in the U.S. and what is the Go concept?
3. At the time of this article, what was the average rating of products in the Amazon 4-Star store?
4. Why do you think that Amazon is doing this?

Source:
Yurieff, K. (2018). Inside Amazon’s new store that only sells its highest-rated stuff. CNN.com, Sep. 27 (Retrievable online at https://money.cnn.com/2018/09/27/technology/amazon-4-star-store-opening/index.html)

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GE was led for two decades by Jack Welch, the chief executive both feared and revered for his management discipline. In a surprise move and after only a year in the job of CEO, John Flannery was let go on Oct. 8 amid GE’s long period of stagnation.

Questions:
1. In addition to firing the CEO, what happened regarding GE’s financial statements?
2. What is the underlying reason for GE’s problems?
3. What happened to GE’s position in the Dow?
4. What are the 2018 financial expectations for GE?

Source:
Heath, T. and J. McGregor (2018). General Electric, fallen icon of corporate stability, names first outsider as CEO. The Washington Post, Oct. 1 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/10/01/general-electric-replaces-new-chief-executive-announces-massive-billion-charge-amid-struggles/)

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Audits and criminal referrals are down sharply by the IRS since Congress cut the tax agency’s budget and management changed priorities.

Questions:
1. How many cases did the IRS’s criminal division bring last year?
2. How many cases did the IRS’s criminal division bring in 2010?
3. According to the IRS’s estimates, how much in taxes goes unpaid by businesses each year?

Source:

Eisenger, J. and P. Kiel. (2018) After Budget Cuts, The IRS’ Work Against Tax Cheats Is Facing ‘Collapse’. Talking Points Memo, Oct. 1 (Retrievable online at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/irs-work-against-tax-cheats-collapse).

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While it’s only September, holiday hiring is ramping up! With historically low unemployment rates plus projections of record-breaking holiday sales, retailers, from major chains to small businesses, are being forced to offer higher pay, catchier perks, and other discounts to attract temporary holiday workers.

Questions:
1. What are some of the perks that retailers are offering to new hires?
2. According to Deloitte, how much are holiday sales expected to rise?
3. What is the fear of employers if they cannot hire enough help?
4. How many temporary workers do Target, Macy’s, and UPS plan to hire?
5. How does the information in this article impact accountants?

Source:

Bhattarai, A. (2018). In holiday ‘war for talent,’ retailers offer turkey dinners and haircut deals to lure temp workers. Washington Post, Sep. 28 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/in-holiday-war-for-talent-retailers-offer-turkey-dinners-and-haircuts-to-lure-temp-workers/2018/09/28/84790d66-c1b5-11e8-b338-a3289f6cb742_story.html)

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A program intended to wipe away the student loans of qualifying public servants has rejected more than 99 percent of those who applied, according to a government audit that found that “fragmented” management and “piecemeal” operating instructions had contributed to the failure to forgive more debt.

Questions:
1. What does the Education Department say is the reason for the rejections?
2. What did lawmakers create after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released an analysis of the flawed program?
3. From an internal control standpoint, what did the program lack?
4. What is the Trump administration proposing regarding the program? What is the position of the Congress?

Source:
Cowley, S (2018). 28,000 Public Servants Sought Student Loan Forgiveness. 96 Got It. The New York Times, Sep. 27 (Retrievable online at www.nytimes.com/2018/09/27/business/student-loan-forgiveness.html)

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This article talks about the cost of an ambulance ride. With ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft far cheaper and now available within minutes in many areas, it shows how a significant amount of money for non-emergency situation would be better served using an Uber or a Lyft.

Questions:
1. How much was spent in the U.S. in 2011 on ambulance services?
2. According to the article, what are some of the costs and benefits of using non-ambulance services?
3. What is an example of fraud in the ambulance industry?

Source:
Frakt, A. (2018). Uber, Lyft and the Urgency of Saving Money on Ambulances. The New York Times, Oct. 1 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/01/upshot/uber-lyft-and-the-urgency-of-saving-money-on-ambulances.html)

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While the list of things not included with your plane ticket seems to be constantly growing, there is a new twist in ticket rates. As if it isn’t becoming difficult enough, now some airlines have started bidding sites for seat upgrades!

Questions:
1. What are the extra fees associated with airline transportation called?
2. What is it called when an airline separates all the little costs that use to be part of regular air travel?
3. Which airlines are now incorporating the bidding process?
4. What would you like or dislike about bidding? Discuss.
5. Do the airlines involved have minimum bids and if so, what are they?
6. What is the reason that these airlines started the bidding system?

Source:
Shrikant, A. (2018). Airlines’ latest customer shakedown? Making you bid for a seat upgrade. Vox, Sep. 14 (Retrievable online at https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/9/14/17856358/seat-bidding-first-class-flying-airline)