Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers.

Description: When Henry Ford and others brought in the eight-hour work day, it seemed like a great deal for workers. But many knowledge workers would be happy to see their day stop when eight hours had been clocked. Freelance writer Lizzie Wade offers an interesting perspective in such an environment, questioning if a knowledge worker can do it all in a five-hour day.

Date:  November 21, 2019

Source:  wired.com

Link: https://www.wired.com/story/eight-hour-workday-is-a-lie/?bxid=5bd6743724c17c104800c5b3&cndid=33552549&esrc=CM_CRM_2014&source=EDT_WIR_NEWSLETTER_0_DAILY_ZZ&utm_brand=wired&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_mailing=WIR_Daily_112119&utm_medium=email&utm_source=nl&utm_term=list1_p4

Discussion points:

1) What do you think of the author’s arguments for a five-hour work day for certain creative occupations like writing?

2) What are some of the challenges faced by people who work from a home office versus people who go to an office to work?

3) On page 16 of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, there is a section on the accounting profession in Canada. How do you think the profession would respond to the five-hour day?

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

Description: In last week’s Wiley Accounting Weekly Updates you would have seen a story on the new Apple credit card. This week it’s Google hitting the news, with its announcement that it will be moving into chequing accounts. Google is adopting a strategy of putting its banking partners up front in this venture, differentiating it from Apple with its ads that the Apple credit card was “designed by Apple, not a bank.” Apple’s approach was not well received by its banking partner Goldman Sachs.

Date:  November 13, 2019

Source:  thestar.com; wsj.com

Link: https://www.thestar.com/wsj/business/2019/11/13/next-in-googles-quest-for-consumer-dominancebanking.html?source=newsletter&utm_source=ts_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_email=760BE779956395955CFBBA5C497D22A3&utm_campaign=wsj_17897&utm_content=a&source=newsletter&utm_source=ts_nl&wul=tre&utm_medium=emailutm_email=760BE779956395955CFBBA5C497D22A3&utm_campaign=wsj_17897&utm_content=a07

 

Discussion points:

1) Why do you think the big tech companies are so interested to move into financial services?

2) If you were an accounting executive at a financial institution, what strategies might you recommend to deal with the threat posed by the tech companies entering their world?

3) P13-8B on page 755 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making asks the question “Why do you think Microsoft has paid out dividends while Google has not”? What do you think?

Posted by & filed under Data security, Ethics.

Description: It’s already happening. Last week, Disney launched streaming service DisneyPlus; this week user accounts and passwords started showing up on hacker websites. Now that’s what I call efficiency! Unfortunately, it’s the type of efficiency that comes by exploiting system weaknesses. Professor Paul Rohmeyer, from the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, said he was surprised that streaming services have not improved security by initiating two factor identification.

Date:  November 20, 2019

Source:  cbc.ca

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/disney-plus-hacking-1.5366010

Discussion points: 

 1) How does two factor identification improve security?

2) Would you consider purchasing an ID and password for $3 as an alternative to signing up for a $7 a month DisneyPlus account?

3) See Figure 10-1 on page 313 of Wiley’s Core Concepts of Accounting Information Systems. Assume the role of an accountant who is advising Disney on developing security policies. Which points in Figure 10-1 do you believe would be most important to stress to management?

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Strategy.

Description: In terms of a library of content, it probably makes great sense for Disney to have opened its own streaming service this week. It has already been a big hit, with millions of subscribers already signing on for the fee of $7 per month. Disney has already hit 10 million subscribers, a target some analysts thought it would take a year to reach. That’s pretty impressive in just a few days.

Date:  November 13, 2019

Source:  cbc.ca

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/disney-plus-subscribers-1.5358047

Discussion points: 

 1) Have you subscribed to the Disney streaming service? If so, what attracted you to it?

2) Streaming services are becoming concerned about multiple users on the the same streaming account via password sharing. If you were responsible for getting control over the problem at one of the streaming companies, what would you recommend?

3) On page 372, Illustration 9.1, of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, we see four key pricing factors that influence pricing decisions. Which of these four factors would have been most influential when Disney made the strategic decision to charge a $7 fee?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles.

Description: If you slip up, you could become a victim of zombie debt. What? Some debt is subject to a statute of limitations, meaning you can’t be taken to court to force payment after a certain period of time has passed. But if you acknowledge this debt after this period has passed, perhaps by responding to an inquiry by a collection agency, then the clock starts all over again. With Canadians carrying considerable levels of credit card and other consumer debt, this can be a significant issue for citizens who thought they may have escaped a past claim.

Date:  November 11, 2019

Source:  cbc.ca

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/zombie-debt-canadians-1.5355333

Discussion points: 

 1) Have you ever heard of this statute of limitations on debt?

2) Do you know anyone who has avoided payment by taking advantage of the statute of limitations? What is your opinion of this as a strategy/

3) On page 423 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, is a section on collecting uncollectible accounts. What journal entries does a company make to record collection on an account previously written off?

Posted by & filed under eCommerce, Financial Reporting and Analysis.

Description: Is the new Apple credit card sexist? Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks so. Though he shares bank accounts with his wife, Woz said he was given ten times the credit limit she was. Some have claimed that the new card is exhibiting gender bias by granting higher levels of credit to males. Goldman Sachs, the financial firm behind the platinum card, says that there is no gender bias.

Date:  November 11, 2019

Source:  nypost.com

Link: https://nypost.com/2019/11/10/steve-wozniak-agrees-with-critics-who-say-apple-card-is-sexist/

Discussion points: 

 1) Have you ever been refused for a credit card or granted a lower credit limit than you applied for? What happened?

2) Why do you think this discrepancy between males and females may be happening with these Apple credit cards?

3) Starting on page 430 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, you can read the principles of sound accounts receivable management. Which one of these principles may be involved with this story?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Canadian governments.

Description: If a government plans to spend money through grants or other expenditures, it is normally clearly disclosed as part of the budget process. But there is another class of “hidden” expenditures known as tax expenditures, a combination of various measures that don’t show up in the financial statements. This week the New Brunswick government took the rather important step of trying to estimate the combined effect of these important policy decisions. The various deals are costing the province up to $1.5 billion.

Date:  November 6, 2019

Source:  cbc.ca

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/tax-exemptions-new-brunswick-foregone-revenue-1.5350250

Discussion points: 

 1) Have you ever thought of a tax break in the same light as a government decision to spend money?

2) What part of the story surprised you the most?

3) On page 475 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, we read how the Canada Revenue Agency does not allow companies to deduct depreciation expense, but rather uses a system known as capital cast allowance. Would this type of treatment meet the definition of a tax expenditure? What other types of income tax deductions might meet this definition?

Posted by & filed under Financial Reporting and Analysis.

Description: Clothing company Under Armour has admitted it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The investigation has been ongoing since 2017. Speculation is that the investigation may be looking at revenue recognition issues.

Date:  November 4, 2019

Source:  baltimoresun.com

Link: https://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-under-armour-invetigation-five-things-20191105-3a7dwxt3ujgabbitgq7rcjxwhu-story.html

Discussion points: 

1) Are you a user of Under Armour’s products? What do you like about their products?

 2) How might this news impact Under Armour’s business?

3) On page 485 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, we read about the world’s most valuable brands as ranked by Interbrand. Check out the most recent rankings for Apple and Google to see how things may have changed since Wiley published this edition.

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Strategy.

Description: Going for an environmentally friendly move, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is experimenting with a bamboo container for its poutine. If the trial is successful, the Colonel plans to go “all in” on bamboo, using it for its famous chicken. Bamboo is a bit more expensive than the traditional plastic-coated paper packaging, but it is more sustainable and the fact that it “breathes” enhances food quality.

Date:  November 4, 2019

Source:  thestar.com

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2019/11/05/kfc-hopes-to-avoid-a-hot-mess-with-new-bamboo-buckets-for-poutine.html?source=newsletter&utm_source=ts_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_email=760BE779956395955CFBBA5C497D22A3&utm_campaign=sbj_17446&utm_content=a01

Discussion points: 

 1) Have you ever purchased food in bamboo packaging? What did you notice?

2) What do you think prompted KFC to make this packaging experiment?

3) On page 554 of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, there is a section on the balanced scorecard. One common perspective for the balanced scorecard is the customer perspective. How might this experiment in bamboo packaging be reflected in KFC’s customer perspective?

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

Description: Google’s parent company has purchased Fitbit for approximately $2.1 billion. This puts Google back into the wearables game as it squares off with Apple. Rumours of the purchase drove Fitbit shares up over 40% in the days preceding the sale, making it a nice week for Fitbit shareholders.

Date:  October 28, 2019

Source:  cbc.ca

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/alphabet-google-fitbit-deal-1.5344159

Discussion points: 

 1) Have you ever owned a Fitbit appliance? What do you think of it?

2) What would be Google’s strategic interest in purchasing Fitbit?

3) On page 485 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, we read about the world’s most valuable brands as ranked by Interbrand. Check out the most recent rankings for Apple and Google to see how things may have changed since Wiley published this edition.