Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Uncategorized.

Did you know that roughly 50 percent of employees have no retirement savings at all?  In an effort to increase the number of Americans who are saving for retirement, a bill known as the Automatic IRA Act of 2010 has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and in the House by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA). The bill establishes IRA accounts for all employees and sets up automatic payroll deductions. The rationale for the legislation is based on the success of the automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans of a few years ago. When these accounts were established by law, there was a dramatic increase in participation, by about 90 percent of eligible employees. The belief is that, by establishing automatic IRA accounts, tens of millions of workers will be eligible for these plans, and an expected $15 billion will be added to savings annually.

 

Questions:

1.  According to the article, will there be any exemptions for the new Act, if passed?

2. According to the article, will there be any incentives for businesses to promote this?  Do you see this as a weak or a robust plan? Explain.

3. Based on the article, what types of journal entries will accountants have to make with respect to the features of this legislation, if passed?

 

Source:

 

Staff (2010) Democrats seek to legislate retirement savings, AccountingWeb, August 31.

(Retrievable at http://www.accountingweb.com/topic/accounting-auditing/democrats-seek-legislate-retirement-savings)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Uncategorized.

While reviewing the proposed expansion of the International Financial Reporting Standards for accounting, Tim Bush, a member of the “Urgent Issues Task Force” that scrutinises the work of the Accounting Standards Board (ASB), claims to have uncovered “fatal” and “dangerous” flaws in the system.  Mr. Bush alleges the regulations, and specifically the way they have been implemented in the U.K. and Ireland, have led to “mistakes [that are so severe] that it is difficult to overstate”.

Questions:

1.  What severe mistakes does Mr. Bush allege?

2. What does he propose would fix these problems?

3. Who does Mr. Bush claim are the first victims of IFRS standards and who will be the secondary victims?  Based on your understanding of the issues, do you agree or disagree?  Why?  

Source:

Armistead, Louise. (2010). UK Bank Accounting “Fatally Flawed” Warns Influential Watchdog, Telegraph.co.uk, August 26 (Retrievable online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/7964816/UK-bank-accounting-rules-fatally-flawed-warns-influential-watchdog.html)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Uncategorized.

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, shareholders have won a victory in obtaining greater clout to place directors on corporate boards.  This is part of the the “shareholder rights” movement that has been chipping away the power from top executives in U.S. run corporations. However, the Journal also predicts skirmishes ahead by public companies that hope to strike down the SEC rule, which they say will be used to distract management and advance special-interest agendas.

Questions:

1. What was the SEC vote in favor of the “proxy access” rule?

2. What does the “proxy access” rule require?

3. What are the costs and benefits of this new rule?

4.  How could this new rule impact you as an accountant?

Source:

Holzer, Jessica and D. Berman. (2010). Investors Gain New Clout, The Wall Street Journal, August 26. (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703632304575451572616571774.html?mod=ITP_pageone_0)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Video Updates.

There has been recent momentum in art market investments, despite the recession. The art market is scouring the world for undervalued works by major artists and museums are seeking new material for blockbuster shows.  Amid this, artistic works by Dalí and others are getting longer looks. Interestingly, few artists could reap more from a late-period revival than Dalí. The artist created at least 1,200 paintings between his art-school years in the 1920s and his death in 1989.

Questions:

1. The article mentions that over the past five years, the average price paid at auction for a late-period Dalí has risen from $108,634 to just over $1 million, based on reports by Art Research Technologies, a New York-based consulting firm that tracks auction prices.  Using this information, what percentage increase is this?

2.  As the video mentioned, many corporations invest in these artworks.  Use the information in Question 1 and assume that these average numbers  represent a sale of one Dalí painting from one corporation to another corporation.  What journal entry would the selling corporation make?

3. Use the information in Question 1 and assume that this is an exchange of one corporation selling a Dalí painting to another corporation.  What journal entry would the buying corporation make?

Sources:

Crow, Kelly. (2010). The Lust for Late, The Wall Street Journal, August 13. (Retrievable online at  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704017904575409732613402068.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read#project%3DDALI-TL100805%26articleTabs%3Darticle)

WSJ Video with Kelly Crowe (2010). The Lust for Late, August 13. Retrievable online at  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704017904575409732613402068.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read#project%3DDALI-TL100805%26articleTabs%3Dvideo)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Uncategorized.

According to the New York Times, Hulu is approaching investment banks to underwrite an IPO this fall valuing the company at $2 billion. What is Hulu? Hulu is an online video service that offers a selection of hit shows, clips, movies, and more at Hulu.com and numerous destination sites online and across four screens — PCs, TVs, mobile phones and tablets.
Questions:

1. Based on Yarrow’s article, draft a simplified income statement for Hulu in 2009. Assume a year-end of December 31.

 
2. What is an IPO? Why does Atkinson see problems ahead with this?

 
3. How does Hulu generate revenue? What accounts do you think would be associated with this business model?

Source:
Yarrow, J. (2010). Hulu Wants To IPO At A $2 Billion Valuation, Business Insider SAI, August 16. (Retrievable at http://www.businessinsider.com/hulu-ipo-2010-8)

Atkinson, Claire. (2010). Hulu Faces Hurdles to Stock Offering. New York Post, August 17. (Retrievable online at http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/hulu_faces_hurdles_to_stock_offering_2O1mh3F3PhtbXXbyrQ7QoO)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Video Updates.

The recession has bred a new type of coupon: the group coupon. In recent months, several Web sites have launched nationwide giving customers discounts on restaurant meals, sporting events, spa treatments, golf outings — pretty much any expenditure that many people give up during economic downturns. The catch is that the coupon only applies if a certain number of people use it.

Questions:

1.  After watching the video and accessing http://www.groupon.com, explain the company’s business model. 

2. Do you think that the group coupon trend will continue?  Why or why not?

3.  Go to the “recent deals” in your area at http://www.groupon.com.  Pick one of the deals. If you were a company offering this deal and using the services of Groupon, what accounts would be affected by the  deals you provide?

Sources:

Eklund, Kevin. (2010) Best Social Group Buying Sites For Killer Daily Deals And Deep Discounts. Tomuse.com (Retrievable online at 

http://tomuse.com/group-buying-sites-coupon-deals-discount-savings/#ixzz0wt6rxlKihttp://tomuse.com/group-buying-sites-coupon-deals-discount-savings/)

Trejos, Nancy (2009). The Humble Coupon Joins Social-Media Web, The Washington Post, September 1 (Retrievable online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/31/AR2009083103837.html)

CNN Video. (2010). Group Coupon Business Soars, August 13. (Retrievable online at  http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2010/08/13/am.group.coupon.business.cnn?iref=videosearch)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Video Updates.

Chelsea Clinton and investment banker boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky married on July 31 in a highly secretive affair that cost approximately $3 million. To avoid the media, the event was held on a posh private estate 90 miles north of Manhattan.

Questions:
1. What was one of the least expensive items at the wedding?
2. What percentage of the total costs (assuming that the $3 million total is correct) was paid for portable potties?
3. Using all the information presented in the video and article, itemize each cost and calculate a total. How close do you come to $3 million? What costs could be missing or do you believe the estimate is too high?

Source:
YouTube.com (2010). Chelsea Clinton Wedding Could Cost $5 Million, July 29. (Retrievable online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0J8w0Nsl8Y)
Staff. (2010) Clinton Wedding Cost to Top $3 million. KTLA News, July 27 (Retrievable online at http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-clinton-wedding-costs,0,106194.story)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting.

Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Mark Hurd resigned as chief executive officer after an investigation found he had a personal relationship with a contractor who received numerous inappropriate payments from the company. Hurd submitted receipts for expenses ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 over two years, including meals and travel, that should have been labeled as personal and not related to business, said a person familiar with the situation.

While an investigation didn’t find a violation of the company’s sexual-harassment policy, Hurd “demonstrated a profound lack of judgment that seriously undermined his credibility and damaged his effectiveness in leading HP,” General Counsel Michael Holston said. The shares plunged 9.3 percent in late trading after the announcement.

Hurd will get a severance payment of $12.2 million, plus other benefits that include a prorated vesting settlement of 330,177 restricted HP shares. He received $30.3 million in compensation in 2009 and $42.4 million the year before.

Questions:

1.  Who was the CEO of Hewlett Packard before Hurd?  Why did she leave the company and what is she doing now?

2. What has been one of HP’s recent acquisitions and who are their competitors?

3. The company’s stock-market value increased $44.6 billion, rising to $108.1 billion, since Hurd took the helm on April 1, 2005.  What percentage increase is this since April 1, 2005?

Source:

Guglielmo, Connie, Ian King and Aaron Ricadela. (2010). HP Chief Executive Hurd Resigns After Sexual-Harassment Probe, Bloomberg Business Week , August 7 (Retrievable online at http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-08-07/hp-chief-executive-hurd-resigns-after-sexual-harassment-probe.html)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting.

Who can you trust? 

In a recent examination by Audit Integrity, an independent financial analytics company in Los Angeles, the company assessed the true quality of corporate accounting and management practices by looking at more than 100 factors beyond the balance sheet and income statement. Their aim was to identify the measures most highly associated with fraud and to quantify the risks of drops in stock prices, that could force managers to restate financials or could potentially result in securities lawsuits. Audit Integrity has back-tested its proprietary metrics to 1996 to establish correlations between corporate behavior and negative events. Audit Integrity’s measures have been used over the past seven years by institutional investors, insurers, auditors, regulators and corporations to identify risk.

Questions:

1. How many public companies typically make Audit Integrity’s Most Trustworthy Companies list?

2. What industry or region of the country has a concentration of the most trustworthy companies?

3.  Who are the companies with the most impressive records and why?

4.  Speculate on what metrics are used by Audit Integrity and list at least 10 factors that would be important to include.

Source:

Weinberg, N. (2010). The Most Trustworthy Companies. Forbes.com, August 6 (Retrievable online at http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/05/most-trustworthy-companies-personal-finance-audit-integrity.html?partner=daily_newsletter)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Intermediate Accounting, Managerial Accounting.

Lots of people are curious about the price of liposuction (which is also referred to as lipoplasty and suction lipectomy). Although the procedure sports a somewhat hefty price tag, it is among the cheaper cosmetic surgeries available. Some the of the cheapest areas for liposuction are the arms, buttocks, female back, hips and outer thighs. These areas could cost around $1,500 to $5,000 to treat.

Questions:

For the following questions, pick an area of the body discussed in the article and answer questions 1-3.

1.  What factors can affect the overall cost? What qualitative issues are important before you chose the lowest costs in lipoplasty?

2.  What costs do you think are fixed costs relating to these procedures?

3.  What costs do you think are variable costs relating to these procedures?  What costs are mixed?

Source:

Heftel, Christian. (2010). What Would it Cost Me to Get Liposuction? MzoneArticles.com, July 30 (Retrievable online at http://www.mzonearticles.com/Art/28071/84/What-Would-It-Cost-Me-To-Get-Liposuction.html)