Posted by & filed under Canadian Economy, Student life.

Description: Friday the United States released its latest inflation data, showing that prices had climbed 6.8 percent over November 2020 This places inflation at rates not seen in about 40 years. Canadian results are expected to be somewhat similar. Canadians carrying debt need to take a look at their finances in the face of what are almost certain to be rising interest rates from the Bank of Canada.

Date:  December 10, 2021

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/us-inflation-1.6280794

Discussion points:

1) Are you carrying any debt? Does your personal budget have any flexibility built in to help you deal with rising interest rates?

2) What do you think that Canadians can do to cope with rising prices?

3) Page 2-25 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making deals with the fair value basis of accounting. Do you think a time of rising prices might influence the choice between the historical cost model versus the fair value basis of accounting?

Posted by & filed under Ethics.

Description: Well, they’ve gone and done it again. That’s three times in a row now that the Province of New Brunswick has gone ahead and appointed its Comptroller as its Auditor General, without the benefit of any cooling-off period. It seems very difficult to understand how this key financial officer in government – in this case, Paul Martin – could take over the audit of that same government while still appearing to be independent. But this appearance issue did not seem to bother a number of politicians in the province. Just exactly how they were able to assess this state of mind claim was not evident from their comments.

Date:  December 8, 2021

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nb-new-independent-watchdogs-1.6278203

Discussion points:

1) Do you know the name of the auditor general for your province? What job did they hold immediately before becoming auditor general?

2) What is your view on a comptroller becoming the auditor general?

3) In Chapter 2 of Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach we can read about the five threats to independence. Which of these five do you think it would be most difficult for Mr. Martin to have to deal with on a go-forward basis in his new role?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Student life.

Description: I suppose you could call it sweet news: the recent announcement that the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) will provide the supply chain with 22.7 million kilograms of its well-known product from its strategic reserve. Quebec dominates the world market for maple syrup, controlling over 70% of global production. QMSP’s reserve is a key part of its supply management strategy, allowing it to release stocks of syrup in years of low-production and build up an inventory in high-production years. Without the action by QMSP, consumers might not be able to find their favourite pancake topper, or they might only find it at very high prices.

Date:  December 1, 2021; updated December 3, 2021

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/maple-syrup-strategic-reserve-1.6268352

Discussion points:

1) Are you a maple syrup user on your pancakes? Is it available at your university cafeteria?

2) What is your view on Canada’s various supply-management programs?

3) Chapter six of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making tells us about three different methods of inventory cost determination. If you were an accountant at the QMSP, which method would you select to cost the maple syrup inventory?

Posted by & filed under Financial Reporting and Analysis.

Description: Two big Canadian banks, TD and CIBC, have upped their dividends by 10% after announcing their latest quarterly results. The banking sector has done quite well during the pandemic, and the market had anticipated some range of dividend increase. Until recently, the regulator had been restricting dividend payments by the banks during Covid-19 in an effort to safeguard capital, an insurance, so to speak, in case borrowers encountered loan difficulties.

Date:  December 2, 2021

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/td-cibc-1.6270764

Discussion points:

1) Are you or any of your classmates invested in dividend-paying shares?

2) Why do you think the banks mentioned in the article would want to increase their quarterly dividends?

3) Starting on page 11-26 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting we see a section “What Other Ratios Measure the Returns Shareholders are Earning?” Which of these ratios focus on a company’s dividend-paying behaviours?

Posted by & filed under Data security.

Description: When the City of Fredericton’s Instagram account was hacked recently, City officials knew where to turn. Enter Gray Wolf Analytics, a local cybersecurity company that had already been in talks with city hall regarding a pilot project. Gray Wolf used its cryptocurrency expertise to upend an attempted ransom demand and to provide valuable intelligence on the hackers that the City in turn could deliver to law enforcement. By using the public ledgers of the cryptocurrency, Gray Wolf was able to determine the perpetrators of the hack without violating various privacy issues for other crypto-owners.

Date:  November 26, 2021

Source:  financialpost.com

 Link: https://financialpost.com/fp-finance/cryptocurrency/when-hackers-hit-the-city-of-fredericton-these-crypto-sleuths-pilot-project-became-a-trial-by-fire

Discussion points:

1) Has your town or your university ever been hit by a hack?

2) What security procedures does your university have for student users of campus systems?

3) On page 6-7 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting we see five limitations of internal control. Which one(s) of these five do you think that hackers would be most likely to take advantage of?

Posted by & filed under Canadian Government.

Description: The federal Department of Finance has reported the deficit for the first six months of this fiscal year is approximately $69 billion. Though this number is certainly high by normal standards, it is down from over $198 billion in the same six months a year ago. Big reductions in the Covid-19 relief payments such as emergency benefits and the wage subsidy help explain a big portion of the change.

Date:  November 26, 2021

Source:  thestar.com

 Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/11/26/finance-says-federal-deficit-hits-nearly-69b-over-first-half-of-fiscal-year.html?source=newsletter&utm_content=a08&utm_source=ts_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_email=760BE779956395955CFBBA5C497D22A3&utm_campaign=sbj_88560

Discussion points:

1) Has anyone in your class received assistance from the government’s various Covid relief programs?

2) Has anyone you know ever invested in Government of Canada bonds?

3) Exercise 10.11 on page 10-47 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making talks about a series of Government of Canada bonds and the price the bonds were trading at. Do a bit of research to find out whether the most recent series of Government of Canada bonds are trading at a premium or a discount.

Posted by & filed under Personal Tax, Student life.

Description: A Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) allows Canadians to save using a wide variety of investment vehicles. Young investors are finding out, however, that using their TFSAs for frequent trades may draw unwanted attention from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). RBC Direct Investing has advised its users “that TFSAs are registered accounts intended for investing and growing your savings over time.” Trading too frequently may prompt CRA to consider you as carrying out an investment business, making your investment gains subject to tax.

Date:  November 23, 2021

Source:  globalnews.ca

 Link: https://globalnews.ca/news/8392920/trading-tfsa-cra/

Discussion points:

1) Do you know any students on your campus using TFSAs for frequent trading?

2) Does your university community have an investment club?

3) Chapter one of Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach, describes several types of audits or assurance engagements. Which one of these audits would the CRA likely be conducting if it was examining a citizen’s TFSA activity?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Fraud.

Description: If you’re working for the City of Hamilton, watch out if you are getting too chummy with city suppliers out on the golf course. City Auditor Charles Brown’s latest fraud and waste report noted that two city employees were hanging out on the golf course during working hours with a vendor who was pursuing a major contract with Hamilton. The investigation started after a tip from a taxpayer, but the golfers weren’t the only ones fraternizing with vendors and suppliers. Another City employee took five unauthorized foreign trips with a supplier while Brown’s report also noted vendors provided drinks to an employee Christmas party. In all, the report revealed eight employees were let go as a result of the incidents of fraud and waste.

Date:  November 23, 2021

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/fraud-waste-report-golfing-with-vendors-1.6259423

Discussion points:

1) What would be wrong about employees accepting gifts from vendors?

2) Does your municipal government have a tip line for citizens to report potential theft or fraud by employees? Do you think it’s a good idea?

3) In chapter 7 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, you can find a diagram explaining the fraud triangle (see Illustration 7.2). How would this triangle be relevant to the situations we read about in this article regarding the problems at the City of Hamilton?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers.

Description: With all the work at home that Canadians have already been doing since 2020, some big city employees have up and moved to smaller, more livable locales. Alejandra McLatchie and her family have moved from the Toronto area to Upper Tantallon, N.S., taking her big city salary to a new home on a two acre lot near a lake, something way out of reach in Toronto. These sorts of moves have raised questions for employers on whether companies should have regional salary scales to reflect differing costs of living across the country.

Date:  November 20, 2021

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/costofliving/salary-location-pandemic-moves-1.6254276

Discussion points:

1) As you look towards employment post-graduation, does the option of working outside of a major centre appeal to you?

2) Do you think that employees who take their job with them to a smaller locale should be able to keep their “big city” salary, or do you think employers should use regional scales?

3) Chapter 7 in Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach tells us how the auditor needs to consider the control environment as part of assessing the system of internal control. What element of the control environment might be of particular interest with respect to this discussion of remote work and related compensation?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Marketing & Strategy.

Description: After sustained pressure from the so-called right to repair movement, Apple has agreed to make certain spare parts available to consumers who want to fix their own iPhones and laptops. Apple had previously resisted the notion of consumers repairing their own devices, though a couple of years ago, it opened its parts and tool inventory to independent repair shops. Because of Apple’s size and influence in the tech space, this move may be a major turning point for the right to repair campaign.

Date:  November 17, 2021

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/apple-repair-1.6252249

Discussion points:

1) Have you ever tried to repair your own electronic devices but met a wall in terms of parts availability?

2) Why do you think companies like Apple have been reluctant to market spare parts and repair tools direct to consumers?

3) On page 10-10 in Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, we read about provisions for warranties. Do you think this change in approach by Apple will have any impact on the calculation of the provision for warranties on Apple devices?