Description: Lululemon and Peleton have settled their dispute. Lululemon had been seeking compensation for Peleton’s alleged swiping of some of Lululemon’s clothing designs. The two companies had a co-branding relationship from 2016 to 2021. After the agreement ended, the “copycat” trouble started.
Date: September 30, 2022
1) Are you a fan of Lululemon or Peleton?
2) What do you think might have caused the co-branding arrangement to end?
3) Which chapter of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making starts with a vignette about Lululemon? What are some things we can learn about the company in this short feature?
Description: The price of crude oil has been dropping, with the price per barrel down about twenty per cent in the last thirty days. Then why are prices at the pump still so high, with drivers in British Columbia paying up to $2.39 per litre, the highest in North America? Part of the problem stems from refinery shutdowns, including one in Ferndale, Washington, impacting the supply in B.C. With demand at high levels, price pressures are strong.
Date: September 30, 2022
1) How is the price of gas in your university town?
2) Have you changed your driving patterns in the face of high gas prices?
3) At the start of chapter nine of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making the feature vignette discusses a number of points about WestJet. How have fuel prices impacted the airline industry?
Description: The inflationary trends on food prices have hit students at Canadian universities, where some have had to turn to campus food banks for relief. Erin O’Neill of the University of Alberta’s campus food bank reports that hundreds of students have registered with the program. Mount Royal University faculty produced survey results reporting food insecurity as an issue for 10 per cent of its students. Campus features a number of care cupboards that allow hungry students to acquire a snack for free.
Date: September 28, 2022
1) Does your campus have a food bank or a care cupboard?
2) What do you think are the root causes of this food insecurity issue?
3) In chapter three of Wiley’s Audting: A Practical Approach we find a story Conrad Farrel of Calgary, founder of a kombucha producer. He notes that margins in the food industry “are razor thin.” Have margins been changing at all during this inflationary period? Do a bit of research to answer this question.
Description: Canada Jetlines took off this week. That gives Canada four discount airlines, the other players being Flair, Lynx, and Swoop. Customers love the bargains that discount airlines offer. A number of experts, however, wonder if there is room for all the discounters. Will an airline bankruptcy be in the offing?
Date: September 24, 2022
1) Do you travel with discount airlines? Why or why not?
2) What do you think are some of the key factors creating openings for discount airlines?
3) Chapter 9 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making opens with a vignette on WestJet airlines. Which of the four discounters was started by WestJet?
Description: Less than nothing? That was how the CBC described the situation where the government of New Brunswick seems to be paying forestry companies to harvest pulpwood on Crown lands in the province. The new government rate charges harvesters $3.40 per cubic metre of certain softwoods. But the government then pays the forestry companies $3.90 per cubic metre harvested for provision of management services on the Crown land.
Date: September 23, 2022
1) If you were a senior financial officer in the government of New Brunswick, what advice would you provide in this situation?
2) Why would a government be willing lose money on the harvest of these Crown assets? Is there anything similar in your home province?
3) On page 9-17 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making tells us about the accounting for natural resources, like pulpwood. What term is used instead of “depreciation” when referring to natural resources?
Description: Since the federal auditor general first earned the so-called value-for-money audit mandate back in the 1970s, auditors general in Canada have greatly expanded the scope of their work, moving far afield from the traditional accountancy matters of public finance and internal control. This expansion has sometimes earned the criticism of observers, such as noted public policy expert Donald Savoie. A recent example of this growing scope was last week in Nova Scotia, where the auditor general criticized the nutritional quality of school lunch programs. But generally, the press and public seem to accept the results with open arms.
Date: September 20, 2022
1) How was the school lunch at your last public school?
2) Do you think auditors general should have a broad audit scope or restrict themselves to areas traditionally within accountancy?
3) In chapter one of Wiley’s Audting: A Practical Approach we learn about several types of audits. Which type of audit mentioned in this chapter would be the best fit for this audit of school nutrition policy?
Description: It’s probably no surprise that with inflation cranking up the food prices in the grocery stores that it would also cost us more to eat out. According to Restaurants Canada, we will see the cost of dining out increasing by 7.8 per cent by the time we say “goodbye” to 2022. Rising costs for food and fuel, as well as a shortage of labour, are eating away at restaurateurs’ bottom line.
Date: September 15, 2022
1) Have you noticed the cost of eating out rising in your university town?
2) Have you and your friends changed your habits in eating out to deal with these costs?
3) Page 5-24 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making discusses the use of the gross margin in financial ratio analysis. What do you think would be a target gross margin for a sit-down restaurant?
Description: Canadians are taking on more debt with Statistics Canada telling us that debt per household in Canada is now 181.7 per cent of income. This figure is up from just under 180 per cent in the previous quarter. According to Ksenia Bushmeneva, an economist with TD Bank, “the selloff in financial markets earlier this year combined with a decline in house prices manifested in the largest drop in household wealth on record.”
Date: September 12, 2022
1) Do you know your own ratio of debt to disposable income?
2) Why do you think the debt ratio is rising?
3) On page 2-16 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making we learn about an important measure of a company’s ability to handle debt. What is this measure and what does it tell us?
Description: The Government of Canada is directing financial relief to citizens with lower income to help them deal with this current inflationary environment. One measure is the doubling of the Goods and Service Tax Credit (GSTC) for those with family incomes under $39,826 in 2021. A second measure, the Canada Dental Benefit, will provide cash to assist children in families with income under $90,000 and no other dental plan. Finally, the Canada Housing Benefit is designed to help families earning under $35,000 with their rental costs.
Date: September 14, 2022
1) Will you qualify for any of these programs?
2) Which of these do you see as the most helpful measure for students at your university?
3) Chapter one of Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach discusses several different types of audits. What type of audit would the Canada Revenue Agency perform to verify the income of applicants for these programs?
Description: It’s September, and that means there’s going to be some sort of product announcement heading out of Cupertino California, Apple’s HQ. This past Wednesday, Apple introduced four new iPhone models, updated AirPods Pro, and, an Ultra Apple Watch oriented towards extreme sports types. Unfortunately, f you are a user who enjoys a smaller screen, bad news: Apple cut the iPhone Mini from its lineup.
Date: September 7, 2022
1) Do you use an iPhone? What percentage of your classmates are Apple fans?
2) What do you think of the strategy of making product announcements at a set time each year?
3) Page 5-26 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making discusses costing of an iPhone. Conduct some research to see if you can find any cost estimates for the new models of iPhone announced last week.