Description: She saw the company through a rough spot. And now Loblaws has rewarded Sarah Davis and named her as president of the huge grocer. Davis has been described as strong with both operations and the numbers side of the business. One of her challenges may be continuing to integrate the Shoppers Drug Mart acquisition, including a marriage of Shoppers’ and Loblaws’ customer loyalty programs.
Date: January 19, 2017
1) Ms. Davis is described as having strengths in both operations and in the numbers. What type of training do you think may help build those strengths?
2) The article discusses customer loyalty programs. How would a company account for the rewards customers have built up but not yet claimed?
3) Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making talks about both Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart. Where can you find information on these companies in your accounting text?
Description: Donald Trump has put pressure on US automakers to keep manufacturing jobs in America. But what about Apple? The wealthy computer maker doesn’t actually make its devices in the United States. Globe and Mail columnist Eric Reguly points out that many of Apple’s products owe a debt to government funded technological advances, so perhaps it should face some pressure to build things at home.
Date: January 20, 2017
1) What do you think of the arguments posed by Eric Reguly?
2) If you were a financial advisor to government, what steps would you take to encourage manufacturers who have benefited from government-funded technology advances to create jobs in their home country?
3) The article talks about Apple’s responsibility to shareholders. In what chapter of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making can you find discussion of a shareholder’s rights?
Description: On a cold winter’s morning if you are getting set to walk to your early class, you may be one of the many Canadians enjoying the comfort of a warm Canada Goose garment. Of course, at $900 a pop, it often takes the intervention of a generous parent to bring one of these coats into a students’ life. Now, Canada Goose is valued at around $2 billion and is looking at trading up to 15% of the company in an initial public offering (IPO).
Date: January 13, 2017;
1) What are some of the requirements a company has to deal with in an IPO?
2) How do you get to your classes in the morning? Do you have to walk outside in the cold? Do you or any of your friends wear Canada Goose clothing?
3) Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making refers to two major frameworks for accounting: IFRS and ASPE. If Canada Goose goes public, which framework will it be required to use?
Description: The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is on the trail in British Columbia, trying to pursue millions in unpaid taxes. A court document indicates that an initial audit shows up to $17 million in unreported income may have been hidden by a Canadian company using offshore firms in the Caribbean and Hong Kong. This may be an example of the Canadian government’s announced intent to spend an additional $444 million on finding tax evasion and tax avoidance.
Date: January 13, 2017
1) What interested you most about this story?
2) What strategies might the government use to encourage tax compliance?
3) As someone training to be an accountant, have you ever thought about a career with the CRA?
Description: With more and more banking transactions being handled on line, Canadian banks are looking to close branches after years of growth up to about 2014. The Globe and Mail newspaper reported “dozens” of branches would be closing. Approximately 55 % of Canadians say they do their banking on the internet.
Date: January 11, 2017
1) What was the last transaction you carried out at a physical bank branch?
2) As a student perhaps staying far away from home, what part does a bank play in your financial life?
3) What are some of the challenges banks might face from the so-called Fintech sector?
Description: Ford Motor Company has changed gears on its plans to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico. In the face of incoming U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to invoke a border tax, the auto builder decided to rethink its position. Canadians may be wondering about what all this means for the automakers’ plans to invest in assets in our country.
Date: January 3, 2017; updated January 4, 2017
1) What might be some of the impacts of these proposed border taxes on companies shifting jobs out of the United States? Will other companies follow the Ford gear change?
2) If you were in charge of implementing such a tax, how would you structure it?
3) As an accountant, how would you provide advice on capital budgeting decisions in the face of a possible border tax?
Description: This year represents the 150th anniversary of confederation for Canada. And both the previous Conservative administration and the current Liberal government have been piling up the cash to help the celebration along. All told, $500 million has been budgeted to commemorate the anniversary in various forms. Meanwhile, the Department of Finance is predicting the federal government will not return to surpluses until the 2050s.
Date: January 6, 2017
1) Were you aware that this was Canada’s 150th birthday?
2) What do you think of the plan to essentially borrow $500 million to celebrate the sesquicentennial while forecasting deficits for years to come?
3) How would the Government of Canada account for this $500 million in spending in its financial statements?
Description: It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that CEOs are well compensated. But did you realize that shortly before noon hour on January 3, the second work day of the year, the CEOs at the top rung in Canada will have earned more than the average Canadian worker will earn for all of 2017? That’s a bit of an improvement for the CEO class who took until a little after noon on day 2 to reach the average worker’s annual pay last year. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives developed the report that uses the clock analogy to show the growing income inequality in Canada.
Date: January 3, 2017
1) What do you think of this clock analogy to illustrate the point of income inequality? What are some other techniques accountants can use to make numbers more understandable?
2) The article discussed how the current Trudeau government has backed down on its intention to increase the tax rate on stock options which often form a significant portion of CEO compensation. What is the difference in tax treatment of salary versus stock options ?
3) What are some lessons from accounting theory about constructing executive pay packages?
Description: It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most of us: digital advertising is continuing to profit while print is in trouble. But television advertising is also seeing its numbers slipping. TV execs are placing some hope in the arrival of “addressable TV” where each home would receive ads based on its profile.
Date: December 8, 2016
1) Do you think television has a chance of surviving the digital advertising onslaught with this addressable TV option?
2) Do you think that the advertisers’ efforts to make Google and Facebook more transparent in sharing data will be successful?
3) What surprised you about the list of the ten biggest advertisers in Canada?
Description: This past Thursday one of the world’s biggest steel manufacturers, ThyssenKrupp, revealed that earlier this year it had been hit by cyberattacks. The hackers, from somewhere in Southeast Asia, stole valuable trade secrets from ThyssenKrupp. The company delayed informing the media about the attack until new security features were put in place.
Date: December 8, 2016
1) What are some steps users can take to prevent unauthorized access to data?
2) If were an auditor at a company that had suffered a major data theft like this, how might it affect the way you would plan your audit?
3) Where can you read about internal controls to prevent unauthorized access to data in Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach?