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

Apple became the first U.S. company to top the $800 billion mark in market capitalization on Tuesday, slightly more than two years after it crossed the $700 billion threshold.

Questions:
1. How much have the iPhone maker’s shares have gained this year?
2. What percentage does Apple make up of the entire S&P 500 .SPX index?
3. How have stock buybacks boltered Apple’s stock?
4. What stake does Berkshire Hathaway have in Apple?

Source:
Reuters Staff. APPLE MARKET CAP PASSES $800 BILLION. Newsweek, May 10 (Retrievable online at http://www.newsweek.com/apple-market-cap-passes-800-billion-606628)

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According to the Washington Post, Purdue has acquired the for-profit Kaplan University to extend its reach into online and adult education, which some see as an unusual move for a public institution.

Questions:
1. What were the benefits to Purdue of acquiring Kaplan?
2. What are the potential downsides of this acquisition for Purdue?
3. What are the terms of the agreement?
4. What is the 90/10 rule mentioned in the article?
5. What are some of the past legal challenges against Kaplan?

Source:
Douglas-Gabriel, D. (2017) Purdue acquires for-profit Kaplan University. The Washington Post, April 27 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/04/27/purdue-acquires-for-profit-kaplan-university/?tid=hybrid_mostsharedarticles_1_na&utm_term=.a329d3c19334)

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Puerto Rico has been facing huge debts and population loss for some time. However, in a historic move that will likely trigger a fierce legal battle, the island territory declared bankruptcy.

Questions:
1. According to the article, what were the main debts it listed in its filing?
2. How many jobs and what amount of population has Puerto Rico lost since 2007?
3. What is the unemployment/under-employment rate and what amount of people are on Medicaid in Puerto Rico?
4. According to the article, What will happen to investors and pensioners in Puerto Rico?

Source:
Bomey, N. (2017). Puerto Rico declares bankruptcy. Here’s how it’s going to unfold. USA Today, May 3 (Retrievable online at https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/05/03/puerto-rico-bankruptcy/101243686/)

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According to Lydia O’Neal with the International Business Times, President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order urging the U.S. to “buy American,” in part by encouraging the Departments of Commerce and State to prioritize American firms when they dole out lucrative contracts.

Unfortunately, a report released last week found, that the direction may not fulfill Trump’s second stated goal, which is to “hire American,” because most of the top American companies winning government contracts outsource thousands of their jobs.

Questions:
1. Of the 50 U.S. companies given the largest government contracts, how many shipped jobs overseas between 1995 and 2015?
2. Of the top 100 companies given the largest government contracts, receiving $176 billion in taxpayer funding in fiscal-year 2016, how many of these relied upon offshoring over those two decades?
3. Discuss the various positions offered in this article that would allow President Trump to put more weight behind his promises.
4. Do you agree or disagree that the “Buy American, Hire Americans” is a good strategy for the country in our global economy?

Source:
O’Neal, L. (2017). Buy American, Hire Abroad: Top US Contractors Are Outsourcing Jobs, Study Finds. The International Business Times, May 5 (Retrievable online at http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/buy-american-hire-abroad-top-us-contractors-are-outsourcing-jobs-study-finds)

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According to Slate, last year, Congress authorized the Internal Revenue Service to use private debt collectors to go after unpaid tax liabilities—and this month, if you are one of the unfortunate, you may have already had the pleasure first-hand.

Questions:
1. What is the pleasure that this article is referring to?
2. Has this been done before? When and what happened?
3. What percentage will collectors keep and how should both parties account for this percentage? Give journal entries, if possible.

Source:
Chodorow, A. (2017). The IRS is using Private Debt collectors again. And it may not end well.

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 American Interest, local minimum wage hikes cause restaurants to leave or shut down and deter new ones from entering, according to a new Harvard Business School study of the San Francisco Bay Area restaurant industry that contradicts the orthodox liberal view that steeply raising the cost of unskilled labor will not affect jobs or hiring.

Questions:
1. What did the study show about WHICH restaurants were forced to leave or shut down due to the rise in minimum wages?
2. What does this say about the clientele for these restaurants and the price of a good meal?
3. Do you agree or disagree with a policy to raise the minimum wage? Why or why not?
4. Do you agree with the author of this article? Why or why not?

Source:
Staff. (2017). Gentry Liberalism in San Francisco. The American Interest, April 19 (Retrievable online at https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/04/19/gentry-liberalism-in-san-francisco/)

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The California State Auditor has delivered a damning assessment of the management practices at the single largest university system in the United States.

Questions:
1. What controls could have prevented this situation?
2. How does this affect costs?
3. According to the audit, how does the rate compare to other organizations within the California government agencies?
4. What type of audit did the state perform?

Source:
Staff. (2017). Cal State Can’t Explain Why It Needs So Many Bureaucrats. The American Interest, April 21 (Retrievable online at https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/04/21/cal-state-cant-explain-why-it-needs-so-many-bureaucrats/).

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The privacy protections, approved in the final days of the Obama administration, would have required ISPs to get permission from customers before collecting and sharing their data. However, President Trump signed off on a repeal of the Internet privacy protections before they were able to take effect — despite an outcry from consumer groups and privacy advocates.

Questions:
1. What is the “weird gray area” discussed in the article?
2. Why is the best hope for consumer protection at the state level and what states are currently involved in these regulations?
3. What issues concern you most about Internet privacy?
4. What are the advertising issues involved?

Source:
Fiegerman, S. and S. Larson. (2017) The uncertain future of Internet privacy. CNN, April 5 (Retrievable online at http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/05/technology/internet-privacy-future/index.html)

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Miss Kindergarten is in the million-dollar club. So are Lovin Lit, the Moffatt Girls and about a dozen other teacher-entrepreneurs who are spinning reading, math, science and social studies into gold by selling their lesson plans online to fellow teachers around the world.

Questions:
1. What types of things do these websites offer?
2. What are some of the negative aspects of these websites?
3. What are some of the positive aspects of these websites?
4. What is your opinion of these types of websites?

Source:
Thompson, C (2017). Teachers cash in Big time by putting lessons up for sale. AP News, April 13 (Retrievable online at https://apnews.com/3c2537fcbb2b470c8e652bf5481e4dc1/Teachers-cash-in,-big-time,-by-putting-lessons-up-for-sale)

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United Airlines, the Chicago-based giant at the center of a public relations storm for its forcible removal of a passenger from a weekend flight, has spent more than $41 million during the past decade to lobby the federal government, often battling consumer-friendly causes.
Questions:
1. What were some of these consumer-friendly causes that United lobbied against?
2. Is legal also ethical? Explain in terms of United’s current dilemma.
3. Perform a cost/benefit analysis on United’s current PR dilemma.
4. What have you learned about the passengers’ bill of rights for consumers since Dr. Dao’s ejection from United?

Bass, F. and D. Sirota. (2017). United Airlines Spent Millions Fighting Proposals To Protect Passenger Rights. The IB Times, April 12 (Retrievable online at http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/united-airlines-spent-millions-fighting-proposals-protect-passenger-rights-2524734