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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)

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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)

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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)

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What do you remember about Valentine’s Day in elementary school? Cards and Valentine’s Day candies with different sayings? But not this year!
The cute, chalky little inscribed hearts will not be produced or sold this year after a 153-year tradition.

Questions:
1. According to Kyle, how old was the company that made the Valentine’s candy when it was sold at auction after bankruptcy? What were some of the reasons for its bankruptcy?
2. What does NECCO stand for? (See Wikipedia for NECCO.)
3. What is the story of the assets of Necco? Did all the brands stay with one company? (See Kyle and Wikipedia for NECCO.)
4. Is this the end of Sweethearts (also known as conversation hearts)? (See Wikipedia for Sweethearts and Gray News.)
5. The UK has a similar type of candy. What is it called? (See Wikipedia for Sweethearts.)
6. What does Round Hill Investments have to do with the history of Necco? (See Carlock.)

Sources:
Anonymous. (2019). NECCO. Wikipedia, Jan. 26 (Retrievable online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necco).
Anonymous. (2019). Sweethearts. Wikipedia, Jan. 26 (Retrievable online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweethearts_(candy)
Carlock. (2018). New NECCO buyer emerges — and it also owns Hostess and the Playboy Mansion. Boston Business Journal, June 1 (Retrievable online at https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2018/06/01/new-necco-buyer-emerges-and-it-also-owns-pabst.html)
Gray News Staff (2019). So long, Sweethearts: Candy hearts not available for Valentine’s Day. Tucson News Now, Jan. 24 (Retrievable online at http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/2019/01/24/so-long-sweethearts-candy-hearts-not-available-valentines-day/)
Kyle, W. (2018). BE MINE: Necco, Maker Of Candy Hearts And Its Well-Known Wafers, Sells At Auction. The Associated Press, May 23 (Retrievable online at https://www.wbur.org/news/2018/05/23/necco-candy-hearts-wafers-sold)

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While retailers want shoppers to pick up online orders in stores in order to save on shipping costs, Buzz Feed notes that this new method has led to an increase in fraudsters trying to steal orders.

Questions:
1. How many more shoppers chose to buy purchases online and pick them up in stores during the 2018 holiday season as compared with the previous season?
2. How many more scammers attempted to hack into online accounts and use them for “buy online, pick up in store” purchases between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018 as compared to the previous year?
3. What is two-factor authentication?
4. If you were explaining good security hygiene to a friend, regarding consumer accounts, what would you include?
5. If the retailers save shipping costs, who ends up paying the costs of the merchandise lost to scammers?

Source:
Miranda, L. (2019). The Option To Pick Up Online Purchases In Stores Is A Boon For Scammers. Buzz Feed News: Tech, Jan. 17 (Retrievable online at https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/leticiamiranda/hacking-retail-accounts-stealing-online-in-store-pickups)

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According to the New York Times, this coming year marks the first time in two decades that a large body of copyrighted works will lose their protected status — a shift that will have profound consequences for publishers and literary estates, which stand to lose both money and creative control.

Questions:
1. Where can this sudden deluge of available works be traced back to?
2. Why is the law referred to as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act?
3. Do you agree with the intellectual property expert at Harvard, who said, “The copyright term is way too long now.” Why or why not?
4. What did you find to be the most interesting issue in the article?
5. Ultimately, do you think this will make books much cheaper?
6. How would you record a transaction for a copyright that loses protected status?

Source:
Alter, A. (2018). New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out. The New York Times, Dec. 29 (retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/29/books/copyright-extension-literature-public-domain.html)

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According to the New York Times, these are the less-than-elegant last days of what, in the days when department stores were destinations, was one of New York City’s most elegant: Lord & Taylor, a fortress on Fifth Avenue.

Questions:
1. What was the guilt about?
2. Was the article really about the store?
3. What was the most interesting thing you read in the article?
4. How is this article similar to the previous Sears article? Identify at least two things that the articles have in common.

Source:
Barron, J. (2018). At Lord & Taylor, Everything Must Go. A Daughter’s Guilt Will Remain. The New York Times, Dec. 30 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/nyregion/lord-taylor-closing.html)

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

According to the New York Times, Sears may be struggling to survive after filing for bankruptcy in October, since its rundown and empty stores symbolize a has-been company that failed to adapt. But across the country, legions of former Sears workers like Mr. Atwood, a retired truck driver, gather regularly to reminisce about their long careers in retailing. With brands like Kenmore and DieHard that lasted for decades, there were years of limitless creativity of shoplifters and the impossible task of selecting the women’s shoe inventory.

Questions:
1. How many employees did Sears have at its peak?
2. Who was the Sears Chairman that sold off many of its most valuable stores and laid off thousands of workers?
3. At the end of the article, one of the retirees is quoted as saying,”No one makes time for these types of things anymore….This way of life is almost gone.” How would you explain this in a different way, when telling a friend about Sears?
4. What did you find to be the most interesting issue in this article?

Corkery, M. (2018) Sears Is Dying, but Workers’ Loyalty Lives On. The New York Times, Dec. 28 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/business/sears-retirees-alumni-meetings.html)