Description: In the news this week, we saw a couple of versions of President Donald Trump’s behaviour. Early in the week, we saw a rather uneventful meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Then, later in the week, we saw a rather unusual news conference with what we might call bullying of the news media. How do you handle Trump-like characters in the work place? Carrie Gallant stresses the importance of preparation and asking the right questions.
Date: February 18, 2017;
1) What did you learn from reading this article?
2) Have you ever had to deal with an unpredictable personality in the workplace? What strategies worked in dealing with these difficult situations?
3) What role do you think group work on your university courses has in helping you prepare for the workplace?
Description: It might be Roll-up the Rim contest time, but Tim Horton’s parent company, Restaurant Brands International, is looking for more than free coffee and doughnuts. Restaurant Brands is looking to add to its roster of Burger King and Tim’s through acquisitions. Popeye’s was rumored to be on the take-over list, but talks may have broken off. Perhaps more attractive options are out there.
Date: February 14, 2017; updated February 16, 2017
1) Do you have an interest in working in the mergers and acquisitions business when you graduate? What do you think will be some of the key skills you will require?
2) Are you a roll-up the rim contest winner yet this year? How well do you think this annual contest ranks as a marketing tool?
3) Where can you find discussion of Tim Horton’s in Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making? How has Tim’s changed since that vignette?
Description: In a move that challenges rival Air Canada, WestJet has announced it is expanding operations in the Province of Quebec. Westjet is adding over 100 new flights to its roster there, hoping to draw both business and leisure travelers through lower fares. Air Canada is expected to fight back, though low fares will be a challenge in the face of rising fuel prices.
Date: February 13, 2017
1) What is your opinion on Westjet’s expansion in Quebec as a strategic move?
2) If you were a management accountant at Westjet, what might be some of the cost information you would be analyzing to help with this strategic move?
3) What can you learn about Westjet’s approach to its fleet of aircraft in Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making?
Description: A lawyer friend of mine – who also happens to be a chartered accountant – has told me that roughly every 20 years or so, it seems that the Supreme Court of Canada deals with a case on auditor liability. Well, the 20 years must be up as on February 15, 2017, the Supreme Court is set to hear case 36875 – Deloitte & Touche v. Livent Inc., Through its Special Receiver and Manager Roman Doroniuk. Deloitte has been found liable at a previous trial for over $80 million in damages. The Court’s decision could revisit an earlier 1997 ruling on the Hercules Management case that seemed to vastly reduce the scope of auditor liability.
Date: January 31, 2017;
1) In addition to the Globe and Mail link, search for the Supreme Court of Canada’s website to check out the information on this case. (http://scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/info/sum-som-eng.aspx?cas=36875)
2) Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach discusses the Hercules Management decision. What are some of the main points from this case regarding auditor liability?
3) What decision do you think the Court will make?
Description: This week the Globe and Mail reported that the Minister of Finance did not include information on government expectations regarding future deficits in his November 1st financial updates. Instead, the information projecting decades of future deficits was released to the public somewhat quietly, two days before Christmas. While deficits are expected to continue for some time, the federal government does expect the federal debt to decline as a share of GDP.
Date: February 10, 2017
1) If you were the Finance Minister, when do you think you would have released this information?
2) What would have been the downside to releasing such information earlier?
3) What risk would the government run by not releasing this information in its November update?
Description: Perhaps it should not surprise us when government departments fail to implement a recommendation from the auditor general. But this one seems to defy imagination. In 2011, the federal auditor general informed the government that a consultant hired to manage First Nation finances had been part of an alleged fraud the previous year. Yet the First Nations employing the consultant were not informed until 2016.
Date: February 10, 2017;
1) How do you think this situation occurred?
2) Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach discusses the so-called Fraud Triangle. Do you see any parts of the fraud triangle as having played a role in this failure?
3) As a citizen and taxpayer, what do you think can be done to improve these communication issues?
Description: Snapchat is looking to raise up to $4 billion in an initial public offering (IPO). Snapchat lost over $500 million in 2016 and $382 million the previous year. Yet, the company is expected to have a market value of up to $25 billion.
Date: February 2, 2017;
1) Are you a regular user of Snapchat? How do you think it stacks up against competitors like Facebook and Twitter?
2) Which chapter of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making teaches accounting students about IPOs?
3) Snapchat seems to be losing all kinds of money, but it has an incredible market value. What do you think accounts for this situation?
Description: Internal control is important in preventing and detecting fraud and theft. The Royal Canadian Mint found out recently that metal detectors were not sufficient to prevent or detect an employee from stealing over $150,000 in gold by hiding it in a body cavity. Lawyer Gary Barnes noted that controls over the precious metals were surprisingly weak, indicating that “they had pails of gold just sitting around and people could walk by and actually just pick things out of them.”
Date: February 2, 2017;
1) Were you surprised by the ease with which this employee was able to smuggle out the gold?
2) Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach discusses the so-called Fraud Triangle. After reading this story, can you see how one or more elements of the fraud triangle may have been in play?
3) What controls might you recommend to help improve security at the Mint? Hint: Check out Chapter Seven of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making.
Description: We often hear of corporate mergers in reading the financial press. But it’s not every day that we hear of the merger of two large charitable organizations. That did happen this past week, however, when the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation joined forces. With declining revenues, the merger will help the new combined entity direct funds to research by reducing administrative costs.
Date: February 1, 2017; updated February 2, 2017
1) What do you think about this merger strategy?
2) Many students may have studied consolidations of profit oriented enterprises. But what would be some differences to consider in preparing the consolidated financial statements of not-for-profit organizations?
3) Do you think the merger of these two major charities may signal the start of a trend?
Description: On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, the Dow Jones Index busted through the 20,000 barrier for the first time ever. In March of 2009, the financial crisis drove the index to 6,440. But growth has been consistent for several years and the election of Donald Trump seems to have boosted investor confidence.
Date: January 25, 2017;
1) What is the significance of busting through the 20,000 barrier?
2) Which chapter of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making teaches accounting students about shares and shareholders?
3) Do you think the stock market will continue this upward trend?