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.

Satyam Computer Services, a leading Indian outsourcing company that served more than a third of the Fortune 500 companies, was at the heart of a huge 2009 fraud perpetrated through the significant inflation of earnings and falsification of accounts and assets for a number of years.  Chairman, Ramalinga Raju, resigned  in January 2009 after revealing that 94 percent or about $1.04 billion in assets were nonexistent and revenue was actually 20 percent lower than that reported.

Questions:

1. Who were Satyam’s auditors? What are some of the audit procedures that should have helped in the detection of this fraud?

2. What prior incident led to scrutiny of the company in October 2008?  What does this indicate to you about the corporate culture of the company?

3. Is Satyam still in business?  Provide a brief summary of its demise. What happened to the Satyam’s Chairman?

Sources:

Khanzode, R. (2010). Satyam Not out of Woods, Likely to Seek Time for Audited Results. The Financial Express, June 7. (Retrievable online at http://www.financialexpress.com/news/satyam-not-out-of-woods-likely-to-seek-time-for-audited-results/630308/)

Video (January 8, 2009). Satyam Auditor PwC Under Lens. (Retrievable online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_TvuhOtln0&feature=related)

 Timmons, H. (2009). Satyam Chief Admits Huge Fraud, New York Times, January 7 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/business/worldbusiness/08satyam.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.

In an extended expose, the New York Magazine reported that Bernard Madoff described his scheme as a real nightmare to him, as if he were the real victim, and complained about little old ladies bugging him for money. The article goes on to describe his celebrity in prison among the other inmates and his “freedom” in prison.

Questions:

1.  What kind of scheme did Bernie Madoff use to defraud his investors? What is the estimated amount that he stole from investors?  What was his sentence?

2.  What did Bernie Madoff claim that the SEC failed to do that would have uncovered his scheme? Do you agree?

3. What trait does Bernie Madoff continue to exhibit that is common to fraudsters? Do you think the sentence fits the crime for this case?

Source: 

Fishman, Steve. (2010). Bernie Madoff, Free At Last, New York Magazine, June 6. (Retrievable online at http://nymag.com/news/crimelaw/66468/)

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, Managerial Accounting.

When the IASB and FASB began the convergence process in 2002, they considered R & D as a high-priority project, where differences between US GAAP and IFRS were seen as particularly straightforward. However, as this article notes, still no consensus has been reached because IASB’s R&D treatment  appears to defeat comparability in the eyes of the FASB.

Questions:

1. The author refers to SFAS 2 as support for R & D reporting under U.S. GAAP.  What is SFAS 2?

2.  What are the capitalization criteria from IAS 9 that became part of IAS 38 to distinguish research costs from development costs?

3.   Briefly summarize the article’s presentation of why FASB ruled  in the 1970’s that all R&D expenditures must go straight to the income statement.

Source:

Selling, Tom (2010). Failed Convergence of R & D Accounting: Only Politicians and Opportunists Would Have Downplayed the Implications, The Accounting Onion, June 5 (Retrievable online at http://accountingonion.typepad.com/theaccountingonion/2010/06/failed-convergence-of-rd-accounting-only-politicians-and-opportunists-would-have-downplayed-the-implications.html)

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

Over the next five years, Wal-Mart plans to donate about 1.1 billion pounds of food to food banks and provide $250 million to help them buy refrigerated trucks, improve storage and develop better logistics.

The plan to contribute $2 billion in cash and food to the nation’s food banks is considered to be one of the largest corporate gifts on record.

Wal-Mart began taking on hunger as a cause in 2005, when it distributed 9.9 million pounds of food to food banks; last year, it provided 116.1 million pounds of food. The company also has donated the services of its staff to help food banks improve lighting and refrigeration, and develop ways to increase the amount of fresh food on their shelves.

Questions:

1.According to Robert Midler, when are merchandisers eligible for enhanced deductions for a charitable contribution of inventory under the U.S. tax code?  Would Wal-Mart’s effort qualify?

2. Using the video, can you identify which accounts of a merchandiser would be affected when making the journal entries for donated inventory? 

3. Assuming that Wal-Mart’s revenue on the donated food would be $1.5 Billion, its cost would be $0.875 Billion, $250 million was donated for trucks and $250 million was donated through services of Wal-Mart staff, create the journal entries for the cash merchandise and service donation for the financial statements.

Source:

Midler, Robert (1993). Tax benefits of donating inventory – some donations may also qualify for enhanced deduction.The Tax Adviser, January 1 (Retrievable online at http://www.allbusiness.com/accounting-reporting/corporate-taxes/351023-1.html)

Strom, Stephanie (2010). Wal-Mart donates $2 billion to food banks, New York Times, May 13. (Retrievable online at http://www.postbulletin.com/newsmanager/templates/localnews_story.asp?z=7&a=452224)

Nerdenterprises.  (2010). “Accounting For Donated Inventory In QuickBooks video,” May 4 (Retrievable online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9-N2ZmUMhs)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Intermediate Accounting.

On Wednesday, May 26, 2010, the FASB released an exposure draft for the purposes of improving accounting for financial instruments. The new rules, projected to take effect in 2013, incorporate both amortized cost and fair value information about financial instruments held for collection or payment of cash flows.

Questions:

1. According to the article, how does the proposal plan to provide more timely information for financial statement users about anticipated credit losses?

2. What is the deadline for comments and when does FASB plan to hold roundtable meetings?

3. How many members are on the AICPA’s Accounting Standards Executive Committee, that has weighed in on the proposal and who are those represented on the committee?

Source:

Lamoreaux, Matthew (2010). FASB Proposes Comprehensive Changes to Financial Instruments Accounting, Journal of Accountancy, May 26 (Retrievable online at http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/20102977.htm)

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

The head of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which sets U.S. accounting rules, said June 1, 2010, that he does not expect FASB to meet a June 30, 2011 deadline for convergence with international accounting rules, as requested by the G20 group of industrial and emerging countries. According to FASB chairman, Robert Herz, changes that delay the completion date by about six months will soon be announced to allow for greater public comment on the boards’ proposals.

Questions:

1. According to the article, what controversial proposal was released during the last week of May?

2. According to the article, how long would the boards have had available to release 10 standards and still meet a June 2011 deadline with final standards, given the due process typically followed?

3. According to the FEI, what is the maximum number of proposals that the FASB has ever released at one time for public comment?

Source:

Chasan, Emily. (2010) Accounting Rulemakers to Delay Convergence, Reuters, U.S., June 1 (Retrievable online at http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6505KE20100601)

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.

Unemployed Individuals can increase their attractiveness to prospective employers by knowing about  certain tax breaks that employers can secure by hiring them. One group , National Tax Credit Group, LLC, is promoting this advantage by creating a “Tax Credit Card” which they issue to prospective employees after screening them for hiring credit eligibility. This article presents information on how employees can highlight the applicable hiring credit on their resume, as well as work the issue into an interview to improve their chances of being hired.

Questions:

1.  According to the article, which states have the most attractive state-level tax credits for hiring qualified employees?

2. What is the range of tax credits per employee hired?

3.  From a financial accounting standpoint, which journal entries will be impacted by the tax credits? Explain.

Source:

Christian, Blake. (2010). “Unemployed can use tax laws to secure a job,” Education and Careers: Accounting WEB, May 21 (Retrievable online at http://www.accountingweb.com/topic/education-careers/unemployed-can-use-tax-laws-secure-job)

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

E-mails and other documents were presented as evidence at a hearing examining the causes of the financial crisis on Capitol Hill on April 23, 2010.  This hearing is part of an 18-month investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, led by Senator Carl Levin. Subcommittee assertions are that the rating agencies were well aware of the risks in the housing market and recklessly used rating models that they knew inflated the grades given to securities.

Questions:

1.  Briefly summarize the level of complexity and problems with Congress to regulate the ratings agencies, as noted by Arturo Cifuentes, former V.P of Moody’s (as shown in the video)?

2. What high profile investment firm was implicated as pressuring the ratings agencies? How do you think Congress can prevent this from happening in the future?

3. In 2007, what percentage of AAA-rated mortgage securities were downgraded to junk status?

Source:

Ellis, Blake. (2010). “How credit watchdogs fueled the financial crisis,” CNN Money.com, April 24 (Retrievable online at http://money.cnn.com/2010/04/23/news/economy/credit_rating_agencies_hearing/index.htm?postversion=2010042411)

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.

Launched in late April 2010, CPAbidding.com provides a new way for individuals and businesses to find and retain CPA-related services. This new Web site is free to use and helps connect individuals and businesses with CPAs. The goal of the service is to provide a more efficient and less expensive option for finding and hiring a CPA.

Questions:

1. Go to the CPAbidding.com website and look under the frequently asked questions (FAQs). What types of services do they show as being provided by CPAs? Which of these are the most interesting to you?
2. What was the website modeled after? Do you think that this service is good idea? Why or why not?
3. What are the three fee structures used for submitting bids?

Source:

AccountingWEB staff. (2010).“Do I Hear $1,000? CPAbidding.com Provides A New Way to Find a CPA.” Accounting and Auditing: Accounting WEB, May 20. (Retrievable online at http://www.accountingweb.com/topic/accounting-auditing/do-i-hear-1000-cpabiddingcom-provides-new-way-find-cpa)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, All Articles, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Intermediate Accounting, Video Updates.

If the merger is approved, United Airlines and Continental Airlines will also be merging their frequent flyer programs.  But what is their track record in terms of rewarding the miles versus actual requests?  Consulting group, IdeaWorks Company, said Continental awarded free tickets 71 percent of the time in response to requests, and United 69 percent of the time. While this might not sound that good, IdeaWorks says that these percentages place the two airlines third and fourth, respectively, among domestic carriers most likely to award free seats to frequent-flyer program members.

Questions:

1. According the article about the IdeaWorks survey, which domestic airline has the best track record and which one has the worst track record in granting free ticket requests? Based on these statistics, do the ideas from the video make sense in how you use your frequent flier miles? Why or why not?
2. Explain how airlines should account for frequent flier miles and their expiration in their financial records.
3. According to the video, you can donate your frequent flier miles.  Research who gets the tax deduction from the IRS for this. Do you agree or disagree with this policy?

Sources:

HowdiniGuru. (2009) Frequent Flyer Mile Programs: How to get the most from your miles (Retrievable online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W3WyqOQAkc)

Pacific Business News Staff. (2010). United Airlines, Continental Airlines among most generous U.S. carriers for free tickets, May 14 (Retrievable online at http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2010/05/10/daily44.html)