Description: Lots of Canadians love their MEC – the Mountain Equipment Co-op. MEC’s stores and online outlets offer Canadians the opportunity for well-made and reasonably priced sport gear and clothing, as well making many Canadians shareholders of the co-op for a nominal fee. But the model no longer seems to be working well, and after some financial reverses, MEC is being sold to Kingswood Capital Management. MEC hopes to keep at least 17 of its stores open while offering employment to 75% of its staff.
Date: September 15, 2020
1) Have you been a MEC member and shopper? If so, how do you feel about these changes?
2) How might the COVID-19 crisis have impacted MEC’s sales?
3) Chapter 1 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, tells us about the four financial statements and the basics of what they are about. Examine the 2019 MEC financial statments with your classmates and determine what stands out for you. http://meccms.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2019-02-24-Mountain-Equipment-Co-Op-FS-AR_digital-signatures.pdf
Description: This seems like quite a surprise: a group of young and wealthy Canadians wants to pay more in taxes. There are approximately 200 of these Canadians in the so-called Resource Movement, and they are arguing for the government to tax them – and others in the 1% class – with higher rates or new measures, like an inheritance tax. Professor Patrick Leblond, who teaches in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa suggests another measure. He recommends that the full amount of capital gains be subject to taxation, rather than the current 50% exemption.
Date: September 16, 2020
1) What did you find interesting about the Resource Movement?
2) Why is it that only 50% of capital gains are currently taxed in Canada? Do you think the policy should be left as it is?
3) Chapter one of Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach, talks about several types of audits or assurance engagements, such as financial audits, comprehensive audits, and internal audits. What type of audit would an auditor from the Canada Revenue Agency perform to determine the accuracy and completeness of a taxpayer’s capital gains?
Description: It’s the largest tech company Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the history of the TSX. Montreal payment processor Nuvei raised a whopping $700 million on Thursday on the TSX. A large portion of Nuvei’s customers are centered around the sports-betting industry, a growing part of the online world.
Date: September 17, 2020
1) Had you ever heard of Nuvei before you read this story?
2) What factors do you think drove the price of the shares so high?
3) Read the Accounting Matters inset box “IPOs Can be a Mixed Brew” on 11-6 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making. After reading it, and thinking about this story of Nuvei, do you think you would have purchased shares in this IPO?
Description: Canadians want businesses to change direction, placing more emphasis on stakeholders and less on shareholders. A survey sponsored by the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation (CCPC) shows Canadians want more focus on issues of income inequality, the environment, and discrimination. Canadians are interested in working for companies that pursue these important societal goals.
Date: September 11, 2020
1) Are you planning to look for employment with a socially-minded company when you graduate?
2) What do you think of this concept of balancing goals of profit and social factors?
3) The article discusses shareholders and stakeholders. Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, tells us about four financial statements in Chapter One. Which statement will tell us about how much shareholders have invested in a company?
Description: The corona virus pandemic has certainly been bad news for a lot of businesses. But the guitar industry has seen an impressive uptake in sales during this crisis. Fender says it is heading for a record sales year while Gibson is also enjoying a fine year.
Date: 10 September, 2020
1) Are you one of the many who has purchased a guitar during this pandemic? What about your classmates?
2) What do you think prompted this sales increase? How can the guitar manufacturers use it for longer-term growth?
3) In Chapter One of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making you will read about four financial statements. Which one would show users the increases in sales at Fender and Gibson?
Description: Much of the summer news featured the controversy of the federal government’s decision to award a sole-source contract for $43.5 million to the WE charitable group to deliver a student grant program. The backlash over the controversy has cost WE major sponsors such as Telus, RBC, and Virgin Atlantic. All this financial hit has prompted WE to announce that it will be winding down its operations and delivering the proceeds of asset sales to an endowment fund to support ongoing operations.
Date: September 9, 2020
1) Have you ever attended a WE Day event? If so, what are your memories of it?
2) What was your opinion of the controversy that arose over possible conflicts of interest in the granting of the contract to WE?
3) Page 1-4 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, talks about standards of ethical behaviour. What ethical standards may the government officials involved in granting the contract to WE have broken?
Description: April 22 marked the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. This year’s celebration did not see the usual events; these gatherings were shut down by the COVID-19 crisis. Swedish activist Greta Thunberg took the opportunity to point out that humanity is now fighting two crises at the same time: COVID-19 and global warming.
Date: April 22, 2020
1) Did you participate in any online events for Earth Day 50?
2) What progress have we made since that first Earth Day? What has gotten worse?
3) In the “Business lnsight” on page 554 of Wiley’s Managerial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, we read about the environmental goals of the organization managing the major airports in Montreal. Read the “Business Insight,” then answer its question: “In what ways could an airport measure whether its expenses to help the environment are providing a return on its investment?”
Description: On April 22, the Prime Minister announced $9 billion in assistance for students who have found their summer employment options limited, or eliminated outright, by COVID-19. With summer camps shuttered, and traditional opportunities disappearing, students will be eligible to receive $1250 per month. While some will obviously appreciate the government’s action, others may question why the government did not just make students eligible for the $2200 per month Canada Emergency Response Benefit. https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-student-benefit-covid-cesb-1.5541522
Date: April 22, 2020
1) Are you planning to apply for this benefit?
2) Some people are suggesting that this would be a good time for Canada to move forward with the concept of a guaranteed annual income, rather than a suite of different benefit programs. What do you think of this concept?
3) Page 382 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, talks about cash budgeting, one of the important principles of cash management. Have you prepared a cash budget for the upcoming academic year? Have you factored in this new benefit?
Description: The Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo) – the organization that manages the public sector pension funds in the western province – is coming under criticism for investing over $1 billion in the Alberta oil patch. A number of these investments have lost money, with one company collapsing despite a $60 million investment by AIMCo. Critics point out that unlike the Canada Pension Plan, AIMCo is subject to political influence, such as a clause allowing the Minister of Finance to assign chunks of the portfolio to another fund manager.
Date: April 22, 2020
1) Do you know anyone from Alberta who may be impacted by AIMCo’s investment strategy?
2) Why do you think the story seems to suggest that the Canada Pension Plan has a better governance model than AIMCo?
3) Wiley’s Understanding Financial Accounting identifies three types of pension plans on pages 455-457. Which type do the provincial employees in the province of Alberta have?
Description: For those in the early stages of their careers – with birth years of 1980 through 1996 – the COVID-19 virus has introduced them to their third recession. The CBC interviewed three Canadians in this category to get some perspective and advice. One of those interviewed, Jessica Moorhouse, transitioned from an educational background in film into a career providing financial counseling. One important perspective she provides: “It’s the first time it’s happened to you, but not the first time in history.”
Date: April 14, 2020
1) Have you been concerned about how this current crisis might impact you in the job market?
2) What piece of advice from the article do you find the most useful? Why?
3) In chapter one of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making, you can read about several prominent Canadians who have started their careers in accountancy. (See page 4). Where do you see your career heading?