Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Student life.

Description: Lots of people love to play Wordle – the daily game featured by the New York Times. And because of the game’s popularity, as might be expected imitators have flocked in on the action. But now the Times is fighting back with take-down notices to the duplicators. The Times is seeing the imitators as violating its trademarks and copyrights.

Date:  March 12, 2024

Source:  ctvnews.ca

 Link: https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/the-new-york-times-is-fighting-off-wordle-look-alikes-with-copyright-takedown-notices-1.6805091

Discussion points:

1) Do you or any of your classmates play Wordle?

2) If you were an employee at one of the publishers of the look-alikes, what strategy would you advise your management to adopt in face of the take-down notices?

3) Pages 8-29&30 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting discusse both trademarks and copyrights. What are the difference between these two types of intangible assets?

Posted by & filed under Financial Accounting, Student life.

Description: Last week a judge at the British Columbia Supreme Court approved Apple’s offer to pay up to $14.4 million to settle a class-action suit regarding its iPhone 6 and 7. At the heart of the case was a contention that Apple used software updates that deliberately slowed down the old phones once the iPhone 8 was on the market. Those who may have one of these old models ‘Tucked away in the sock drawer’ can hope to receive up to $150 if their phone matches the criteria.

Date:  March 4, 2024

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/apple-settlement-british-columbia-supreme-court-1.7098096

Discussion points:

1) How many of your classmates owned an iPhone 6 or 7? How many are planning to go after their piece of the settlement?

2) The story notes that Apple did not admit any wrongdoing. Why would a company adopt this strategy?

3) Page 11-21 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making discusses Apple’s practice of stock splits. Why is no journal entry required for a stock split?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Financial Accounting, Student life.

Description: Business insolvencies in January were about double of what they were in January 2023. One factor cited for the problem was the requirement to pay back loans of up to $60,000 under the Canada Emergency Business Account program by January 18. Simon Gaudreault of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says that “Insolvencies are just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately” as some businesses simply close down without filing the paperwork.

Date:  March 5, 2024

Source:  ctvnews.ca

 Link: https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/canadian-business-insolvencies-more-than-double-in-january-led-by-bankruptcies-1.6795358

Discussion points:

1) Have any of your favourite businesses in your campus town gone insolvent in recent months?

2) Do you have any interest in pursuing a career dealing with business insolvency cases?

3) Pages 2-8 and 2-9 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting discuss the going concern assumption. What type of action must a company take with respect to its financial statements if the going concern assumption is no longer appropriate?

Posted by & filed under Auditing, Student life.

Description: The Auditor General of New Brunswick, Paul Martin, has decided that his Office will examine contracts for travel nurses paid for by the taxpayer. The contracts came under scrutiny after a national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, published an article on the use of high-cost travelling nurses in a number of provinces during the staffing crisis associated with the pandemic. The New Brunswick Nurses Union had called for an audit earlier, noting that some of these contracted nurses were billed at over $300 an hour. That rate is about six times the wage paid to a local nurse.

Date:  March 6, 2024

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/travel-nurses-audit-new-brunswick-paul-martin-private-cost-1.7135256

Discussion points:

1) Did that original Globe and Mail article find the travel nurse issue in your province? https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-how-canadian-hospitals-grew-dependent-on-expensive-out-of-town-nurses/

2) Do you know any students graduating from nursing on your campus? Are any of them pursuing jobs as travelling nurses?

3) Page 14-35 of Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach tells us of the two categories of assurance engagements. Which of these two do you think the Auditor General of New Brunswick will be pursuing in the travelling nurses audit?

Posted by & filed under Data security, Student life.

Description: The University of Waterloo has asked for all 29 vending machines from Swiss company Invenda be removed from campus following word that the machines have a type of facial analysis capability. The matter came to light when one of the vending machines displayed an error message relating to “facial recognition,” prompting student responses on Reddit and in a campus journal. For its part, Invenda says that no data was being stored and that the primary use of the cameras was to move machines from a standby mode to a sales mode by detecting when a consumer was standing in front of one.

Date:  February 27, 2024

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/vending-machine-facial-analysis-invenda-waterloo-1.7126196

Discussion points:

1) Are the vending machines on your campus watching you?

2) Would you be concerned if a vending machine like this was placed on your campus?

3) Page 6-5 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting lists five key limitations of internal control. Even when a company has controls in place to protect customers’ data, which of these limitations do you see might pose a problem and allow customer information to be compromised?

Posted by & filed under Financial Statement Analysis, Student life.

Description: This past week saw Canada’s Competition Tribunal holding hearings on Cineplex’s so-called “junk fees.” The Tribunal is looking at whether or not Cineplex can continue to charge movie-goers a $1.50 fee for purchasing a ticket online; or, will it declare that the fee meets the definition of a harmful business practice under the Competition Act? Since 2022, these junk or drip fees have generated $40 million in revenue for the movie firm.

Date:  February 29, 2024

Source:  globalnews.ca

 Link: https://globalnews.ca/news/10327620/cineplex-competition-tribunal-junk-fees-wrap-up/

Discussion points:

1) Have you noticed these junk fees on any of your movie ticket purchases? How about other students on your campus?

2) Were you aware that Canada has a Competition Bureau that can intervene on such matters?

3) Page 11-1 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making discusses Cineplex’s statement of cash flows. What are the three key activities shown on this statement?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Financial Accounting.

Description: Salaried workers may be wondering if they worked for free on February 29, the leap day. Since those on an annual salary receive the same pay whether the year has 365 days or 366, workers like Rohith Krishnan feel they are missing out for showing up for the extra day. Others, like Annie Boilard, a human resources consultant, believe extra hours come with the territory for salaried staff, and that salary compensation generally reflects the employee’s overall contributions.

Date:  March 1, 2024

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/leap-day-working-for-free-1.7127313

Discussion points:

1) Had you ever thought of this leap year issue before? What do you think employers should do?

2) For graduating students on your campus, what percentage of them would you say are receiving an annual salary offer?

3) Pages 9-17 and 9-18 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting discusses the four journal entries required to record a company’s payroll costs. What are they?

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

Description: Online message board site Reddit, with its 70 million users, is planning to “go public” in an initial public offering (IPO). This is despite the fact that Reddit has been a consistent money loser since its launch in 2005, counting up losses of US $90.8 million in 2023 and US $158.6 the year before. In an interesting twist from a typical IPO where large, institutional investors rule the day, Reddit does intend to reserve some of the share issue for its loyal users.

Date:  February 23, 2024

Source:  ctvnews.ca

 Link: https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/reddit-hasn-t-turned-a-profit-in-nearly-20-years-but-it-just-filed-to-go-public-anyway-1.6781043

Discussion points:

1) How many of your classmates are Reddit users? What is the best thing about the platform?

2) How can a tech company that has never made a profit continue to survive for twenty years?

3) Page 11-9 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting discusses the subject of an IPO. What is the process it outlines for an initial public offering on a stock exchange?

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

Description: Subway restaurants in Canada may have given a whole new meaning to the phrase “cut the mustard” as disappointed sandwich consumers are finding their favourite condiment is disappearing from the popular franchise. Dalhousie University’s Sylvain Charlebois notes that demand for the flavourful yellow topping has been declining while other sauces and marinades helped push overall condiment consumption up. Subway did not appear to respond directly to the CBC journalist’s inquiries, making it difficult to confirm aspects of this story. In a changing condiment landscape, it will be interesting to see if mustard disappears from Subway for good.

Date:  February 23, 2024

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/mustard-demand-canada-1.7123420

Discussion points:

1) Has anyone on your campus complained of this mustard crisis at Subway?

2) Do you think it would be a wise move to remove mustard from Subway restaurants? What would be some key factors to consider in such a decision?

3) Page 9-30 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making discusses intangible assets with indefinite lives. What is the key factor mentioned in this section that determines whether a franchise has an indefinite life?

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

Description: Low-cost carrier Lynx Airlines announced it would be shutting down February 26. Lynx informed its passengers travelling on later dates that they should seek refunds through their credit card provider rather than from Lynx. The discount airline got off the ground in 2022, but it blames such forces as inflation, high fuel cost, exchange rates and airport fees for its financial problems.

Date:  February 22, 2024

Source:  cbc.ca

 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/lynx-air-creditor-protection-airlines-canada-1.7123247

Discussion points:

1) Have you or any fellow students ever been left stranded by an airline shutdown? If so, what did you do?

2) If you were a senior financial officer, such as interim CFO Michael Woodward who is mentioned in the story, how would you explain the situation to your co-workers, your customers, and the media?

3) Secton 2.3 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making discusses the conceptual framework for the preparation and presentation of financial statements. Which assumption mentioned in this section speaks to the current situation Lynx Air finds itself in?