Posted by & filed under Financial Accounting, Student life.

Description: Blackberry, that Canadian company once known for its namesake phones, is now rebranded as a software and messaging security organization. Consistent with this outlook, Blackberry has sold-off patents it no longer considers part of its core business for the tidy sum of $900 million. Part of the compensation is based on future royalties of up to $700 million.

Date:  March 21, 2023

Source:  thestar.com

 Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2023/03/21/blackberry-strikes-new-deal-to-sell-portfolio-of-non-core-patents.html?source=newsletter&utm_email=760BE779956395955CFBBA5C497D22A3

Discussion points:

1) Have you ever used a Blackberry handset?

2) What is your opinion of how this Canadian company has transformed itself in the face of the collapse of its once-famous cellular device?

3) Page 8-29 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting discusses patents. How long does patent protection last in Canada?

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Strategy, Student life.

Description: Canada will be getting its first Shake Shack in 2024. The American burger joint has targeted Toronto for its entry into our Canadian market, but it has said it plans to have 35 stores here by 2035. The fast food market in Canada reports growing sales, with the number up 9% in 2022 and 11% in 2021.

Date:  March 22, 2023

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/shake-shack-expansion-1.6786716

Discussion points:

1) Have you or any of your classmates ever dined at Shake Shack? How does it stack up against the competition?

2) Have you ever thought about opening a restaurant franchise after you graduate?

3) On page 13-66 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making we see a problem that compares data between two burger giants, McDonald’s and Wendy’s. Do a bit of research to see if you can determine the top five burger competitors Shake Shack will have to face in our market.

Posted by & filed under Managerial Accounting, Marketing & Strategy, Student life.

Description: Intel co-founder Gordon Moore has died at age 94. In 1965 Moore made a famous prediction that became known as Moore’s Law: essentially, it states that the capacity of computer chips would double every 12 months or so. His rule was expanded to a broader range of technology, sparking the notion that the next generation of technology will make the current one obsolete every 18 months. Moore was known for his modesty, despite his intellectual and business success. As well, he established a charitable foundation that has donated over $5 billion since it began at the start of this century.

Date:  March 26, 2023

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/gordon-moore-intel-obituary-1.6791176

Discussion points:

1) Were you aware of Moore’s Law or Gordon Moore?

2) When you consider a life like that of Gordon Moore, do you ever pause to think about how it might impact your career story after your graduation?

3) Page 9-3 of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making we read about a unique competitive advantage Intel has. What strategic advantage does this give the chip-maker?

Posted by & filed under Financial Reporting and Analysis, Student life.

Description: Canadians are paying 45% more in interest costs than they were last year at this time. With the Bank of Canada raising interest rates to help control inflation, Canadians are facing financial risks unknown to them since the 1990s. The Bank of Canada is keeping an eye on households falling behind on their debt, noting that the volume of arrears on both car loans and credit cards have reached levels at, or above, the pre-pandemic situation. Another area of concern is the number of debtors reaching out to unregulated private lenders for help. On a positive note, overall household net worth is up slightly, primarily due to stock market valuations.

Date:  March 14, 2023

Source:  financialpost.com

 Link: https://financialpost.com/executive/executive-summary/debt-costs-grow-record-pace

Discussion points:

1) How many of your classmates are having to worry about rising interest costs?

2) Have you ever calculated your net worth?

3) Page 10-28, of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting speaks of a ratio that can help us determine a company’s ability to handle interest payments. What two names does this ratio go by?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Contemporary Business Issues.

Description: In the early days of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic, many Canadian companies responded to the requests from the federal and various provincial governments to help fill the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for our health care workers. But now 90% of those businesses have collapsed as Canadian governments and hospitals have inked contracts with large providers. The president of the industry association representing PPE business owners says “We’ve got an industry that is just running on fumes.”

Date:  March 16, 2023

Source:  ottawacitizen.com

 Link: https://ottawacitizen.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/the-rise-and-fall-of-canadas-domestic-ppe-market/wcm/15152465-be2b-4d0e-acba-651362d26854

Discussion points:

1) Do you feel our governments should show some loyalty to manufacturers who responded to provide PPE early in the pandemic?

2) Given that we have had the original SARS crisis earlier in the century, followed by the Covid waves of the last three years, how much extra should Canadians be willing to pay to ensure suppliers of PPE are still around for the next crisis?

3) On page 1-7 of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making we read of the various roles of the chief financial officer. If you were a CFO at a government or a hospital purchasing essential supplies, what criteria would you consider in addressing this issue of PPE procurement?

Posted by & filed under Canadian governments, Financial Reporting and Analysis.

Description: Several media reported this week on a recent Fraser Institute study on the extent of corporate welfare in Canada. The various business subsidies “come with huge costs to government budgets and taxpayers while doing little if anything to stimulate economic growth,” according to Tegan Hill, a co-author of the report. From 2007 through 2019, the federal government tallied up over $75 million in subsidies, while the provinces kicked in more than to $220 billion. Even municipalities were a big player, with that government sector contributing another $52.1 billion. The study points out that a number of provinces could have cut out their corporate taxes with no impact on the public purse if they had also eliminated their business subsidies.

Date:  March 14, 2023

Source:  yahoo.com

 Link: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/fraser-institute-news-release-federal-090000810.html

Discussion points:

1) Were you aware of the corporate welfare phenomenon? What is your opinion of these subsidies?

2) Have you ever looked around your university town to think about what subsidies might be going to the various businesses around the area?

3) Chapter Thirteen of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making deals with the Statement of Cash Flow. How would a subsidy from government show up in this statement?

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Strategy, Student life.

Description: If you ever thought of heading west for a summer job in tourist locations like Banff, Canmore or Lake Louise, this might be the year for you. Worker shortages have employers scrambling to meet their staff needs in the hospitality industry in these Rocky Mountain resort areas. Wages are heading up to help attract workers. And the federal government has launched a campaign for you to “Find your dream job at Parks Canada.”

Date:  March 12, 2023

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/alberta-mountain-towns-summer-employment-hiring-1.6775512

Discussion points:

1) How many of your friends and classmates have found their summer job already?

2) What would it take for you to be heading west for a summer job in the Rockies?

3) Pages 6-1 and 6-2 of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making contains an interesting vignette describing Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts approach to discounting rooms. What interesting lesson do you see there for the practice of discounts?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Financial Reporting and Analysis.

Description: When Luc Massé of Shediac, New Brunswick, rolled up his rim for the first time this year playing Tim Horton’s annual contest, he was surprised to see a big win of a $10,000 American Express prepaid card. Massé smartly took a screen shot of the prize notification and began to dream of a trip to Ireland to help him and his wife celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. But Tim’s told Massé that there’s only supposed to be one $10,000 winner a day in Canada – and that day it was not him. The chain put the blame on a “technical error” that caused a small number of problems for other users with similar experiences to Luc Massé. Dalhousie University marketing professor Hamed Aghakhani said that while Tim’s lengthy terms and conditions may protect them financially, it doesn’t stop the damage to the firm’s public image.

Date:  March 8, 2023

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/tims-roll-up-the-rim-mistake-prize-shediac-nb-1.6771968

Discussion points:

1) How many of your classmates play “Roll Up The Rim?” How does the online game compare with the pre-pandemic days of physically rolling up a cup rim?

2) If you were a financial executive at Tim Hortons, how would you advise your management colleagues to respond to this publicity problem?

3) On page 3-20 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting we read of the notion of more appropriately naming our accounting system as a double “double-entry system.” What problem might this cause for the proponents?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Student life.

Description: The Air Miles customer rewards program has been purchased by Bank of Montreal, following financial problems that resulted in Air Miles parent company, LoyaltyOne, entering creditor protection. Losing the Sobeys grocery chain as a program participant in 2022 was a major blow to Air Miles. But a few years earlier, in 2016, Air Miles had a major publicity faux pas when it announced – then reversed in the face of an outcry – a plan to have an expiry date on customer points.

Date:  March 10, 2023

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bmo-air-miles-1.6774434

Discussion points:

1) Are you a loyalty points collector? If so, which programs do you participate in?

2) Have you ever had a bad experience in trying to redeem loyalty points?

3) Chapter Ten, page 10-10, of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making mentions the Air Miles program. In what context is Air Miles mentioned in this chapter on reporting and analyzing liabilities?

Posted by & filed under Canadian Government, Personal Tax.

Description: Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employees and the Government of Canada are currently at a collective-bargaining impasse. Strike votes are taking place between now and April 7, right in the heart of tax season, when individuals and businesses are normally flooding the CRA call centres with taxation questions. Union President Marc Brière has noted that a strike at this time would “could certainly disrupt the service to taxpayers.” Some might call that an understatement.

Date:  February 27, 2023

Source:  ottawasun.com

 Link: https://ottawasun.com/news/local-news/how-a-canada-revenue-agency-strike-could-impact-the-2023-tax-season/wcm/eb6f9820-eb69-4e1f-8494-4d54b2b10fb8

Discussion points:

1) How do you think this possible strike will influence Canadians trying to do their tax returns?

2) Have you ever had to phone the CRA for assistance in completing your tax return? How would you rate the experience?

3) Chapter One of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making notes that CRA uses information from financial statements of Canadian companies when it assesses income tax returns. Do you think that a strike could create any compliance problems for CRA?