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McDonalds is trying to mix it up. No all-day breakfast but cheap drinks. Will it work?

Questions:
1. What are the profit margins on drinks?
2. Who is McDonalds’ CEO? How long has he been there?
3. When does the drink promotion begin?
4. What is happening in the fast-food restaurant industry overall in terms of profit margins? Give examples as part of your answer.

Source:
Patton, L. (2017). McDonald’s to Cut Prices on Drinks as Industry Slumps. Bloomberg, Feb. 22 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-22/mcdonald-s-to-cut-prices-on-drinks-as-fast-food-industry-slumps)

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

A number of companies have entered living rooms in recent years, emerging with new, granular ways for marketers to understand how people are watching television and, in particular, commercials.

Questions:
1. Why has the appeal of this information increased?
2. How do they do this?
3. How much do companies spend on TV ads in the U.S. each year?
4. Who are Symphony and TVision?

Source:
Maheshwari, S. (2017). For Marketers, TV Sets Are an Invaluable Pair of Eyes. The New York Times, Feb. 25 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/25/business/media/tv-viewers-tracking-tools.html)

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.

According to the New York Times, about 45 million Americans lack traditional credit files. Now the federal government is investigating whether alternative credit scoring models could bring more of these consumers into the financial mainstream.

Questions:
1. Which agency of the government is interested in the phenomenon of using alternative credit data?
2. Who created FICO scores?
3. What are the bureaus that compile FICO scores?
4. Why is this an important issue?

Source:
Carrns, A. (2017). Little Credit History? Lenders Are Taking a New Look at You. The New York Times, Feb. 24 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/24/your-money/26money-adviser-credit-scores.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, Managerial Accounting, Uncategorized, Video Updates.

Almost half of people in their early 20s have a secret, one they don’t usually share even with friends: Their parents help them pay the rent.

Questions:
1. What is the average amount that about 40% of 22, 23, and 24 year-olds receive from their parents, to help with the rent?
2. How do career choices impact this amount?
3. Do data explain whether this is getting better over time or worse? Discuss.
4. What other demographic factors impact this assistance from parents?

Source:

Bui, Q. (2017). A Secret of Many Urban 20-Somethings: Their Parents Help With the Rent. The New York Times, Feb. 9 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/upshot/a-secret-of-many-urban-20-somethings-their-parents-help-with-the-rent.html)

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According to this article, lawmakers in California have introduced a bill into the State Assembly aimed at increasing voter turnout by making Election Day a paid holiday.

Questions:
1. What would be the costs of this bill? Also provide any accounting journal entries that might be required.
2. What would be the benefits of this bill?
3. What do you see as the main arguments either for or against this bill?

Source:

Walsh, J. (2017). Election Day A Holiday? California Bill Looks To Give Workers Paid Vacation To Vote. Feb. 18 (Retrievable online at http://www.ibtimes.com/election-day-holiday-california-bill-looks-give-workers-paid-vacation-vote-2494022)

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.

Healthcare companies have increasingly offered cash promotions and discounts to users who provide their Fitbit data. But could this be used by insurers rather than to improve customer health?

Questions:
1. In what types of negative ways could this data be used, according to the article?
2. What issues in Congress could promote the negative use of the data?
3. What types of pilot programs have already been combined with FitBits?
4. Do privacy issues and wearable demand for data worry you? Discuss the implications.

Source:
Chiu, E. (2017). Could you get health coverage denied because of a Fitbit? International Business Times, Feb. 18 (Retrievable online at http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/could-you-get-health-coverage-denied-because-of-a-fitbit/)

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)