Description: In Nova Scotia, the RCMP have now laid charges against James Edward Marlow, for allegedly misappropriating at least $243,000 from the Coady Institute. The Coady Institute, on the campus of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, is known for its work in training for international development efforts. The fraud was detected by an auditor who investigated a situation where a supplier received payment despite having not issued the related invoice. Apparently, the payment had been designated “hold for pickup” but somehow it found its way Into the mail. It would seem that cheques in the “hold for pickup” category were “picked up” by the perpetrator of the fraud and deposited to his own account. See additional details at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/st-f-x-coady-institute-jim-james-marlow-misappropriation-of-funds-1.4808643
Date: October 25, 2018
1) Why do you think the auditor followed through on this issue of the supplier receiving payment for an invoice that they had never sent out?
2) What type of lessons do you think an organization can learn from such an incident?
3) In Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach you can read about the fraud triangle. How might the three sides of the fraud triangle been in play in this situation?
Description: In Canada right now there are about 33,000 cellphone towers. That may seem like a lot, but with telecommunications providers moving towards 5G networks, estimates have it that Canada will need over 270,000 so-called small cells in the next few years. These devices, about the size of a briefcase, are intended for placement in Canadian towns and cities. With municipalities and the federal government both having some say in what goes where, it will be interesting to see how the costs for 5G will add up.
Date: October 19, 2018
Source: financial post.com
1) Have you ever seen one of these 5G small cells? Have you ever been on the campus of UBC, for instance?
2) How would a managerial accountant go about costing the implementation of a new 5G network? Based on the article, what would be some costs that would have to be included?
3) Take a look at Chapter 9 in Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making. What might you see as the way to determine the useful life to be used in calculating depreciation of a 5G network?
Description: In many locations in Canada last Wednesday lines formed outside retail establishments as customers queued up to purchase marijuana on the first day of legal sales. One enterprising Edmonton Girl Scout spotted an opportunity. Nine year old Elina Childs visited the line with her Girl Guide cookies and quickly sold out her supply to those standing in line.
Date: October 18, 2018
1) What do you think of Elina’s big sales day? Why do some people seem to see entrepreneurial opportunities where others don’t?
2) Was marijuana available Wednesday in your university town? What were the lines like?
3) How will Canadian governments account for this new marijuana revenue stream? Hint: Check out Module 3 in Wiley’s Advanced Accounting..
Description: One of the big factors in pension accounting is the discount rate. For the last couple of years, the Auditor General of Canada has expressed concern that the federal government may be using a rate that is too high. The government has decided to respond to his concerns by adopting a higher rate, meaning that the federal deficit will be higher than expected.
Date: October 19, 2018
1) As you look forward to your career after graduation, what employee benefits are you looking for?
2) The article notes a government executive stated “We are modernizing our accounting to make it more businesslike, per the auditor general’s recommendations.” Do you think governments should use the same accounting rules as business?
3) Where do pension obligations fit on a company’s statement of financial position? Check out page 62 in Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making.
Description: Roughly 100 years after it was criminalized, later this week the Canadian government is ending its ban on marijuana. The provinces have developed various retail methods to place the product in the hands of consumers. But when the doors open on October 17, some are predicting product shortages. Part of the problem is a labour shortage.
Date: October 12, 2018
1) What do you think of Canada’s move to become one of the few nations to legalize marijuana?
2) How do you think Canadian governments should disclose the revenues and expenses associated with this new program in their financial statements?
3) The article notes there are supply chain problems in the marijuana category? Find the definition of “supply chain” in Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making.
Description: Rob Carrick, the Globe and Mail’s personal finance columnist, has helped a lot of Canadians improve their financial literacy. In a recent column, he answered a question from a grandmother wanting to know what personal finance book to purchase for her grandson. Carrick’s answer: David Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber. The book is almost thirty years old, but it is known for its straight-forward discussion of financial matters with a story-teller’s flair.
Date: October 11, 2018
1) Have you ever read The Wealthy Barber? If so, what lesson stuck with you the most?
2) Think back to when you were 15 years old. How would you have reacted to a gift of The Wealthy Barber?
3) In what way has studying introductory accounting via Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making helped you with your own financial decisions and in thinking about your future career?
Description: It’s one list a company does not want to lead. But Nestlé Pure Life, Tim Horton’s, McDonalds, Starbucks and Coca-Cola are the top five identified brands in Greenpeace’s annual trash identification exercise on Canada’s beaches. Greenpeace gathered trash items on September 15, World Cleanup Day, on four separate beaches in various parts of Canada. The fact that much of the trash was recyclable indicates that there seems to be a flaw in the system. Making something recyclable does not keep it out of the ocean.
Date: October 10, 2018
1) How would you recommend we keep garbage out of our oceans?
2) If you were an executive at one of the five companies on the list, how would handle questions from the media on this matter?
3) Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach discusses something called a Corporate Social Responsibility Audit. How would this form of audit help a company address the concerns raised by the Greenpeace survey?
Description: A report this week in the Toronto Star discussed the disturbing findings of a survey showing that principals don’t have time to dedicate to improving education. It appears that too much time is eaten up by the day-to-day management of buildings and other administrative tasks. According to the Star, Annie Kidder of the group People for Education said “One would hope that principals would say the task on which they spend the most time would be leading the instructional program, and it is not that.”
Date: October 3, 2018
1) Think back to your days of public school. Was the school principal involved on the education side?
2) Why do you think principals are reporting these results? What are the causes?
3) Part of the training as accountants is in the area of performance measurement. Using the information in Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, chapter 12, think about how you might develop a balanced scorecard for a public school, one that could help deal with the problems discussed in the article.
Description: Last week this blog featured a story on how Blackberry had turned a profit by transforming itself from a handset company to a software vendor with a valuable automobile industry component. This week, the Washington Post featured a story on how Toys R Us – a company that had shuttered its US retail operations – may not be down for the count. The plan: the hedge fund that owns Toys R Us is examining the possibility of restructuring as a branding company.
Date: October 3, 2018
1) Toys R Us still operates traditional bricks and mortar stores in Canada. Were you aware that the US version had been shut down?
2) Do you think the move to create a branding company has potential?
3) The article notes that the owners have kept the names Toys R Us, Babies R Us, and the company mascot. What category might these assets be classified as on the balance sheet? Hint: see chapter 10 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making.
Description: It’s controversial. But in a 7-2 vote Moncton city council voted to provide $100,000 of taxpayers’ money to an upcoming UFC card in the city’s new entertainment complex. The use of public money on a sporting event is drawing lots of media attention. Those that voted for the move relied on staff reports talking about the economic benefits of such an event.
Date: October 3, 2018
1) What do you think of a city government subsidizing an event like this?
2) If you were an accountant providing advice to the city council, how might you go about calculating the costs and benefits of such funding?
3) Where can you read about accounting for municipal governments in Wiley’s Advanced Accounting?