Description: Some Canadians are more than a bit shocked at the $68 sticker price on Lululemon’s Canadian Olympic Team winter mittens. Long gone are the $10 mittens offered to souvenir seekers by Hudsons Bay Company at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. But defenders of this year’s Olympic gear say Lululemon is offering a higher quality product, and that the retailer may be cultivating an exclusivity advantage through higher pricing.
Date: February 8, 2022
1) Do you know anyone who is wearing these Lululemon mittens on campus?
2) What lessons can you draw out of this story for marketing and strategy?
3) Page 8-29 of Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting speaks about the trademark name lululemon athletica inc. How often must the company renew its exclusive right to this trademark?
Description: You’ve seen the trucks on Parliament Hill. Now the protests have spread to the Ambassador Bridge connecting Canada and the United States at Windsor. With $300 million in international trade crossing this bridge every day, Canadians across the country are beginning to feel the impacts of this Ambassador shutdown. Auto manufacturers have already reduced production because of parts shortages, further adding to supply chain woes that have accompanied so much of the pandemic period.
Date: February 10, 2022
1) How are students on your campus talking about the protests? Has your university town been impacted by any local protests?
2) Imagine yourself as a senior accountant at a manufacturer impacted by this protest. What actions would you recommend the company take to deal with the shortages of inventory caused by the situation?
3) Page 1-19 of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making provides us with a concise definition of the term supply chain. What is that definition and how does the protest at the Ambassador Bridge fit into this definition?
Description: 1.42 Billion Chicken Wings: that’s a whole lot of chicken projected to be eaten in the United States on Super Bowl Sunday. Though prices are up over last year, the good news from the National Chicken Council (NCC) is that there are no fears of a wing shortage, unlike the situation accompanying last year’s big game. In a rather humorous twist for the NCC, its spokesperson is named Tom Super.
Date: February 10, 2022
1) What are your favourite foods for a Super Bowl party?
2) How has the pandemic changed things as far as campus events like Super Bowl parties?
3) Page 6-14 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making tells us something about how Maple Leaf Foods, a major Canadian food processor, accounts for its inventory. What inventory cost formula does Maple Leaf use?
Description: Have you ever wondered how an Uber ride can be so much cheaper than a taxi? Or how Netflix has fostered a creative war that seems like a boon for binge-watching? Or why Amazon really doesn’t make all that much money despite its massive footprint in our lives? These companies, and others such as Spotify, Pinterest, and Beyond Meat, have benefited from an investor philosophy that essentially says don’t worry about profit right now. Dominate your field and down the road the investment will pay off. But decreases in stock prices of several of these “non profits” may indicate that the party is over for them, and perhaps for us too.
Date: February 4, 2022
1) Have you and your fellow students benefited from any of these investor subsidies? Which are the most popular??
2) What forces may be prompting investors to move away from the ‘capital gain some day’ dream and driving down the share prices of the companies named in the article?
3) The inset box “IPOs Can be a Mixed Brew” on page 11-6 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, deals with the notion of an IPO, or Initial Public Offering of a company’s shares. As a class activity, look up the initial share price of the various companies named in the article, and then compare this IPO price to the current trading price of the shares. Are there any trends?
Description: Meta – that company you probably still think of as Facebook – scared off investors this week, with projections of weakening revenues and higher costs. The market quickly cast its verdict, driving the market value of Meta down $200 billion. It appears that the metaverse might be a costly venture. Analyst Debra Aho Williamson says that “there’s a lot of uncertainty about Meta’s investments in the metaverse and if or when they will have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.”
Date: February 3, 2022
1) How closely have you been following this Meta/Facebook transformation story ?
2) Have you or any of your classmates changed your Facebook usage pattern after hearing the disturbing accounts of Frances Haugen?
3) Chapter 11 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making, provides a description of the journal entries we use for recording stock dividends. How does the market price of a stock work into the recording of stock dividends?
Description: Blackberry has announced the sales of the bulk of its remaining patents related to its communications technology. Catapault IP Innovations has purchased this intellectual property for $600 million in a combination of cash and promissory notes. As Blackberry has moved itself from a mobile device company to a cybersecurity business, fans of the legendary handsets have had a slow lament for the good old days.
Date: January 31, 2022
1) How many of the students in your class remember the Blackberry? Did any of your fellow students ever use one?
2) What lessons can the Blackberry story teach us about business strategy?
3) Chapter 9 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making tells us how we are to account for long-lived assets, including patents. Where do we record patents on the balance sheet? How are they amortized?
Description: The Canadian economy continues to provide opportunity for job seekers. According to Statistics Canada, January showed 874,000 job openings. This number is down a bit from September, but still a very favourable statistic for potential employees. The Bank of Canada has stressed that the positive job market trend is one reason it is considering a raise in its benchmark interest rate.
Date: January 27, 2022
1) Are you and your classmates feeling good about your job choices for summer jobs and/or full-time jobs after graduation?
2) Why would the job market numbers be an influence on the Bank of Canada’s interest rate decisions?
3) Illustration 1.1 of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making provides a graphic showing the differences between financial accounting and managerial accounting. Which of these two streams are you more interested in as you project yourself towards a future accounting career?
Description: The C.D. Howe Institute released a report last week questioning the very idea that most Canadians should have to file an annual income tax return with the federal government. The report, Automatic Tax Filing: A Challenging Idea for Canada, compared our Canadian tax system to those of other OECD nations, looking at the feasibility of Canada adopting automatic filing for the annual income tax return. The report indicated that the Canada Revenue Agency would only have enough information already to allow for a “no file” option for only about 32% of Canadians. The tax system would need to undergo significant simplification to bring those numbers higher.
Date: January 27, 2022
1) How much time and money do you have to spend on your own tax preparation?
2) The story notes that the federal government did introduce the concept of auto filing of tax returns in a recent Speech from the Throne. What do you think will need to change to make this a reality?
3) Chapter 10 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making provides an overview of employers’ responsibilities to deduct income tax from employees and the related liability to the Government of Canada. How would this process feed into an auto-file for tax returns?
Description: It keeps on going. Going up that is: the price of gasoline. You are probably among the many Canadians giving a second look at the price on the pump when you’ve been filling your vehicle with fuel. Though gas prices dropped to almost ridiculous lows in the early shutdown phase of the pandemic, prices are certainly trending upward these days. The border tension between Russia and the Ukraine is noted as one factor behind the increase.
Date: January 28, 2022
1) How does the rise in gasoline prices impact you and your fellow students?
2) What impact will this rise in fuel prices have on our economy in Canada?
3) Professional Application Question 3.3, on page 3-28 of Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach, provides an audit planning scenario where changing gasoline prices figure as a factor in audit planning. Discuss this particular question with your classmates to determine how this and other factors impact your audit plan.
Description: Inflation in Canada is now at the highest it has been in 30 years! The December Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 4.8% is a rate Canadians have not seen since 1991. While many may have noticed rising costs for fruit such as oranges and apples, or a rise in meat prices too, anything with a computer chip also seems to be going up in the face of a supply shortage. A number of factors appear to be behind the increases.
Date: January 19, 2022
1) What price increases have you noticed the most in trying to manage your personal budget?
2) The article notes several forces at work in this inflationary push. Which one of them do you think is the most significant?
3) Chapter 10 of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making deals with the importance of budgetary planning. How might accountants have to adjust their budgeting techniques to deal with rising inflation?