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)

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In one of the most recently uncovered Ponzi cases, a former hedge-fund manager has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in an investment scam in which he bilked as much as $900-million from investors, including four university endowments. According to investigators, the Paul R. Greenwood and his partner Stephen Walsh spent at least $160-million on mansions, horses, rare books, and an $80,000 collectible teddy bear. Mr. Walsh has pleaded not guilty, and Mr. Greenwood will testify against him at trial.

Questions:

1. What did the investors find out about their assets?  Explain why this was a bad sign.

2.  What do the articles say could have prevented the university investments in this scheme?

3.  What potential penalties does Mr. Greenwood face?

Sources:

Fain, Paul. (2010). Hedge-Fund Manager Pleads Guilty to Multimillion-Dollar Swindle of Four Universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 29 (Retrievable online at http://chronicle.com/article/Hedge-Fund-Manager-Pleads/123713/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en)

Fain, Paul. (2009). Two Universities Seek Answers After $114-Million Vanishes in an Alleged Swindle. The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 5 (Retrievable online at http://onnidan1.com/forum/index.php?topic=24965.0)

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.

If accounting has the Big 4, then social media has the Big 3: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Still, many accounting firms and businesses consider LinkedIn as their sole source of social media because the site helps form relationships that often result in more business and turn into referral sources. But what are the benefits and drawbacks to using the other two main social media sources.  As this article and video show, taking time to investigate and manage social media outlets may help a firm’s marketing and ultimately its bottom line. 

 

Questions:

1.What were the 5 tips in the video for using social media to boost your firm’s income or presence?

2.Based on the video and article, what would you say are the biggest benefit(s) for accounting firms that use social media to promote their practices?

3.Are there any drawbacks for accounting firms who use social media?  How would you design a policy that would help in preventing these issues?

 Sources:

Cytron, Scott. (2009). Just a Tweet Away: Social Media in Accounting Firms. The CPA Technology Advisor, November.  (Retrievable online at http://www.cpatechnologyadvisor.com/publication/article.jsp?pubId=1&id=2609&pageNum=4)

CNN. (2010). How to Make Money with Social Media, CNN videos, July 24. (Retrievable online at http://www.cnn.com/video/)