Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers.

Equal pay for equal work

Equal pay for equal work

Male only Corporate World?
From male-only corporate jets to guys’ golf outings and hunting trips, Francine Katz says her time in the Anheuser-Busch executive suite was rife with exclusion, intentional slights and outright discrimination.
In a 20-year career that saw her rise from a young corporate lawyer to a job as vice-president, key strategist and the beer maker’s top female executive.
Sex Discrimination
Now she’s accusing Anheuser-Busch of sex discrimination, arguing in a 2009 lawsuit that went to trial this week that top male executives — including former CEOs August Busch III and his son, August Busch IV — purposely paid her less solely because she’s a woman.
Systemic discrimination
“This was a company run by men who were unaccustomed with working with women at high levels,” Katz’s attorney, Mary Anne Sedey, told the jury of seven women and five men in opening arguments of a trial expected to last several weeks.
The trial comes amid growing national attention to gender discrimination in the workplace. In March, the White House Council on Economic Advisers issued a report noting that on average full-time working women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Critics of the report said that figure oversimplifies the situation, but even they concede that women with advanced degrees in fields such as medicine and law face a persistent wage gap as their careers advance.
Bonuses & Stock Options
Counting bonuses and stock options, Katz earned more than $1 million annually after her 2002 promotion to vice-president of communications and consumer affairs and elevation to the company’s influential strategy committee. Her predecessor, former National Urban League President John Jacob, earned four times that amount in his final year, Katz’s lawyer said. Katz said she didn’t realize the pay gap until reviewing tax filings connected to the sale to InBev.
‘Significantly underpaid’
“Make no mistake about it. Francine Katz earned a lot of money at Anheuser-Busch. “But like so many women in this country, Francine Katz was significantly underpaid.”
Katz deserves at least $9.4 million she was entitled to from 2002 to 2008, plus punitive damages. In 2008, her final year with the company, Katz reported more than $14 million in income on her federal tax returns, an amount that includes stock options she cashed in.
Counter Argument
Lawyers for Anheuser-Busch counter that Katz’s salary, benefits and bonuses compared favourably to those in similar positions at Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble and other large U.S. corporations. They suggested that her primary duty involved public relations, while Jacob had far more substantive responsibilities, including as August Busch III’s trusted confidant.
“Francine Katz was paid based on her job, not her gender,” said Anheuser-Busch attorney Jim Bennett. “There was a fair process used, a rigorous process used.”
Culture of exclusion
Katz testified that Busch and another company executive forced her to fly on a separate corporate plane when the group travelled to Columbus, Ohio, so Katz could meet with the state’s attorney general while her boss convened with Ohio’s governor. On other occasions, she was excluded from corporate golf tournaments and other social functions, she said.
“I felt invisible,” Katz said.
Discussion Questions
1. After reading this article, do you agree that women are underpaid?
2. What is your experience with salaries, are they arbitrary?
3. When will the culture of equal pay or parity begin to exist in the market place?

Read the complete article from Associated Press

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles.

Accounting error

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone says he is “angry” after learning that an ICBC (British Columbia Insurance Corporation) computer mistake led to billing errors totalling an estimated $110 million in optional insurance coverage.

The Crown corporation estimates it owes its customers $36 million and an additional $3 million in interest for overcharging them.

At the same time, it lost an estimated $71 million when the same computer error led to some customers underpaying their premiums.

CBC says the mistake occurred as part of its move to a new computer system that caused incorrect vehicle descriptions to be applied to some optional insurance coverage for at least the last six years.

Six years is as far back as its computer records can “accurately recalculate historical premiums,” it said.

 System Errors

ICBC says the error affects the optional insurance coverage of 40,000 drivers in each of six years for a total of 240,000 motorists over the six year period, resulting in an average yearly overcharge of $21.

ICBC says that’s less than two per cent of its customer base is affected by the overcharges.

It said the same error caused another three per cent of its drivers to underpay an average $34 per year.

Stone said ICBC will not be able to claim the estimated $71 million it lost.


ICBC will be audited

Stone said he is also ordering an outside audit of ICBC’s numbers, as well as an examination of its handling of the issue.

 The Crown corporation said updates to vehicle descriptions will be made in the coming months. As well, it’s implementing new technology that will use vehicle identification numbers (VINs) provided by manufacturers to automatically capture each vehicle’s make and model.

The vast majority, or 95 per cent, of ICBC’s three million customers are not affected.

Discussion Questions

1.      How should the accounting error be accounted for?

2.      Should revenue be accrued for the under billing of $71 million.

3.      Should the expense to refund the  $36 million and $3 million in interest be accrued in the current period or prior period?

To read  the complete article , click CBC news

Posted by & filed under eCommerce.


The “light-bulb moment” that sparked Dayna Boyer’s entry into the sharing economy came when she wanted a juicer.

She loves cooking, but as someone who has lived much of her adult life in small apartments and condos, she’s never had an overabundance of space for specialty kitchen appliances. Nor had she the finances to buy the pricier ones.

Still, she had her eye on a juicer. Anyone she talked to told her the same thing, though: “You’d use it for a month and then it would sit in your cupboard collecting dust, taking up space and you’d never use it again.”

Then the light bulb went off. Maybe there would be virtue in offering a service where people could borrow or share for a time — for a modest annual fee — kitchen appliances they might not have the space to store, the money to buy or the need to possess full-time on their own.

“Finances and space don’t need to be barriers to healthy cooking,” says Boyer, founder of the Kitchen Library, which opened its doors in east-end Toronto last fall and now has about 50 appliances on its roster.

In launching the Kitchen Library, Boyer became a participant in what has become the sharing economy, a worldwide phenomenon that has turned the age-old practice of sharing into an internet-fuelled economic juggernaut worth many billions.

“Anything connected to the sharing economy is very exciting,” says Boyer. “It’s such a growing industry.”

Share a pooch

From car and bike sharing services that now dot some of the world’s larger cities to the high-profile Airbnb that helps travellers find overnight rooms in homes worldwide, the sharing economy has become an economic entity the Economist magazine and others have noted could be worth $25 billion or more.

 Sharing of underused assets

Other initiatives are more institutional, like perhaps helping municipal governments or downsizing corporations find ways to share underused assets such as space. Still others give people a chance to share skills or outsource errands.

“There isn’t a single sector that hasn’t been affected by this,” April Rinne, chief strategy officer of the consultancy the Collaborative Lab in San Francisco, said in an interview on CBC’s Metro Morning earlier this year.

In Vancouver, the three-year-old Tool Library has grown to include more than 800 members who have access to more than 1,000 tools.

“I think people really got behind the idea that they didn’t need to own the tool, they needed access to it,” says co-founder Chris Diplock, who has led research into the sharing economy in Vancouver.

Blame the internet

Recently, however, there has been some debate over whether the sharing economy is a good thing, whether sharing goods and services is a practical, money-saving venture, or merely a way to exploit those who need to rent some of their belongings out of economic need, particularly since the economic downturn in 2008.

But whatever its merits, there’s no doubt the rise of the modern sharing economy is a result of an evolution in the way people communicate.

“This idea goes back a long way in terms of the internet. Now, we think about the sharing economy as being about hotels and car services and that kind of thing. But if you think about the early days of eBay, in many ways it was the same idea, which was that people had junk in their basements and they went to eBay to sell it to other people who might have found value in that junk.”

Tax Evasion

Last year, for example, two Quebec homeowners were ticketed for renting out rooms to tourists without a permit.

“It’s a worrying trend…we should be thinking about protecting the hotel industry and preventing tax evasion,” Quebec’s tourism minister at the time said. “But, at the same time, we have to realize that people want to travel in different ways.”

(Thousands of people list their apartments or homes for short-term rentals on Airbnb. And in New York, it’s especially popular. But while renters and travellers love the service, many people do not, and they’re all trying to figure out how to navigate the law. Hear Colleen Ross’s report on Airbnb on The World This Weekend on Sunday, April 20 at 6 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Radio One or on Sirius at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.


Discussion Questions

1.      What do you think of the new sharing economy?

2.      Do you think this trend will continue?

3.      Is sharing a good idea for business? How should we account and keep track of sharing costs?

Article written by: Janet Davison, read the complete article on CBC News

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, eCommerce.

The Heartbleed bug dilemma: Disclosing a web problem also means alerting hackers


Online Security Breach

The Heartbleed software bug is not only one of the most serious online security breaches in recent memory, it has also demonstrated how difficult it is for websites to tell their customers whether they’re at risk or not.

The Heartbleed revelation “happened very rapidly, and it happened on such a big scale, that some sites have handled it better than others,” says Eric Skinner, vice-president of market strategy for the Tokyo-based internet security firm Trend Micro.

When to disclose?

“This is a classic problem with computer security vulnerabilities, which is: When do you disclose? How do you disclose?” he says. “Because when you disclose, you’re obviously giving people an opportunity to fix the problem, but you’re also providing hackers with an opportunity to exploit the problem.”

The Heartbleed bug was revealed on April 7 by Google and Finnish security firm Codenomicon, and affects Open SSL, a software program used to encrypt Internet communications. It has been estimated that two-thirds of web servers were vulnerable.

 Loss of financial information, without leaving a trace

Security researchers say the breach allows hackers to access small bits of information at a time that could lead to personal and financial information stored on a website and steal that without leaving a trace. The Heartbleed breach is particularly risky for sites that handle e-commerce or  

 The Heartbleed bug exploits a vulnerability in a version of the Open SSL security software code that is installed on two-thirds of the active servers connected to the internet. (Sean Gallup/Getty)

 Amazon said it wasn’t affected by the breach, while AOL said it was not running that version of the Open SSL software. It took Apple almost three days before issuing a statement Thursday that none of its mobile, desktop or web services would be affected by the Heartbleed bug.


“The nature of the vulnerability here is you don’t know if there’s a breach or not,” he says. 


Google, for example, made its statement after patching its vulnerabilities. In a statement released Apr. 9, Google said, “We fixed this bug early and Google users do not need to change their passwords.

Heavy fines for non-disclosure

The Canadian government, however, is in the process of introducing a bill that would levy heavy fines on companies that do not report data breaches. 


Discussion Questions

1.      Do you agree that all security breaches should be disclosed to the public, even if the problem is quickly solved?

2.      Is eCommerce safe, when hackers are able to obtain information without leaving a trace?

3.      Are our computer software designers not doing a good job in designing safe software?


To read the complete article written by Andre Mayer, CBC News

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Taxation, Taxation & Planning.


From the time of my first job, I did my own taxes — first, with the guidance of my parents; then later on my own.

I initially filed paper returns by mail and later joined the growing number of Canadians who use Netfile. 

All that changed, however, about two years ago when my wife incorporated a business. We turned everything over to an accountant and joined the ranks of Canadian tax filers who pay somebody else to do their returns.

According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), half of the almost 28 million tax returns filed in 2013 were filed using EFile, the system tax preparers use to file electronically on behalf of clients.

With so many Canadians opting to use somebody else to do their taxes, here’s a quick look at some things to consider when you hire a tax preparation service or an accountant:

1) Understand your circumstances

Do you have a simple return with a T4 and not many deductions, or do you have a myriad of other items to report, such as income from rental properties or a small business or estate issues? Take a good look at the qualifications of the tax preparer you are thinking of hiring and find out what kind of returns they can prepare.

 2) Know what you want from the preparer

Decide if you just need someone to fill out your tax return or if you also expect to get some advanced tax planning.

 3) Compare prices against services

Some tax preparation services have set fees that can vary according to the complexity of the return while the services of a professional accountant can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

A tax planner who does preparation of returns will generally cost more than someone who just does preparations.

“You pay a little bit more, but you also hope to reap the benefits of tax savings because of taking that approach,” he said.

Find out what is included in the fee for preparing your return. For example, does it involve year-round support if you wind up being reviewed by the CRA?


Discounters can take no more than 15 per cent on the first $300 of the refund and five per cent after that. Charging more than that is illegal, Hamel said, so taxpayers should be keenly aware of what is allowed and keep track of what they are being charged. 

4) Be prepared

If this is your first time filing a tax return, call and make a preliminary appointment with your tax preparer. Ask questions, and give the preparer some information about yourself. You may find you have more information and documentation to gather before the preparers can start doing your return.

If you have filed before, look at the line items on your prior year’s return to give you an idea of what you’ll need this year. Most people’s taxes don’t change dramatically year to year, and it will give you a good review of your tax situation, Hamel said.

5) File electronically

Cestnick expects electronic filing will be mandatory for individuals soon, so he encourages people to start doing it now, if they are not doing so already.

Not only does it mean getting a faster refund, but it also starts the “three-year clock” sooner, he said.

Under the Income Tax Act, the CRA has three years from the date of your notice of assessment to audit or reassess your return, provided you haven’t done anything illegal, such as tax evasion — in which case, you could be audited beyond that period.

“You start that clock ticking sooner when you electronically file because your notice of assessment comes faster,” Cestnick said.

6) In the end, it’s your return

If you neglect to provide a piece of information to your preparer, there may be negative consequences.

“Regardless of who does your tax return … when you sign that tax return, you’re accepting full responsibility for it, and if anything comes back to bite you in the butt, it is you, not the person who did your return for you,” Hamel said.

“If you find a place that is not as reputable because you got a great price on [your return], if it does come back, you might be on the hook.”

Discussion Questions

1. Do you prepare your personal taxes or do you have them done?

2. Are you aware that you may be eligible for certain GST and QST credits?

3. Are you considering a career in personal income taxes?

Read the complete Article written by By John McHutchion, CBC News

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Corporate Restructuring.

Turnaround Specialist

Turnaround Specialist

Steep drop in Revenue

BlackBerry reported a steep drop in revenue and a widening loss as sales of its smartphones continue to slide.

The smartphone maker says it lost $423 million US in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, as revenue for the three-month period fell to $976 million — a 64 per cent decline from $2.68 billion a year earlier.

It’s the first time since late 2007 that the company’s quarterly revenue has dipped below $1 billion.

The smartphone maker said the loss amounted to 80 cents a share compared with a profit of $98 million or 19 cents per share a year ago.

But excluding several one-time items, BlackBerry said it had an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $42 million or eight cents per share for the quarter. That beat analyst expectations, which called for a per share loss of 57 cents

Shares up to $9.38

At the start of trading on the Nasdaq, BlackBerry shares were up 3.6 per cent to $9.38 US, a 33 cent jump.

The smartphone maker reported $6.8 billion in revenue for the fiscal year, down 38 per cent from $11.1 billion in the previous year.

However, the company said its margins grew to 43 per cent, an increase from 34 per cent in the third quarter.

But sales of phones continued to slide. The company sold 3.4 million smartphones to customers in the fourth quarter, and of those 2.3 million phones were BlackBerry 7 devices, not the company’s newer Z10, Z30 and Q10 devices.

BlackBerry sold just 1.1 million of its newer devices, lower than analyst expectations of 1.3 million.

Looking to break even

In its outlook, BlackBerry says it is targeting break even cash flow results by the end of its 2015 financial year — next March. Over the past quarter, the company’s cash reserves shrank by $500 million.

At the beginning of March, the company says, it had $2.7 billion US in cash on its books, down from $3.2 billion at the end of November.

Cash inflow from the sale of assets

Earlier this month, BlackBerry announced it would sell the majority of its Canadian real estate, which should bring a temporary cash infusion in June, when the sale is expected to close.

Faced with mounting losses and high costs, the company cut 4,500 jobs in September — 40 per cent of its workforce.

In November, Chen took over and quickly implemented a two-year turnaround plan.

In an interview with Amanda Lang on CBC’s The Lang & O’Leary Exchange, Chen says he’s committed to the turnaround.

Watch the Video

“I hope you see that in the last few months, we’ve been very focused on trying to tell our story, talking to the press, doing media interviews,” Chen said.

“Normally I shouldn’t be doing this. But I figure this is very important that the market knows that we’re here and we want to fight.”

 In the conference call, Chen said the plan is on track, and may even be ahead of schedule. Use of cash for operational costs are down 30 per cent in the past quarter alone.


Discussion Questions

1.      After watching the video, have your expectations about Blackberry changed?

2.      Would you consider purchasing shares in Blackberry today?

3.      Mr John Chen is a turnaround specialist and he knows he is good at his job? How long do you think it would take to turnaround a company of Blackberry size and what does he have to do today to make the turnaround efficient?

To read more visit CBC business news, article taken from the Canadian Press











Posted by & filed under Corporate Restructuring, Corporate Social Responsibility, Marketing & Strategy.

Watch the following video

Charlie Rose interviews Google CEO Larry Page about his far-off vision for the company. It includes aerial bikeways and internet balloons … and then it gets even more interesting, as Page talks through the company’s recent acquisition of Deep Mind, an AI that is learning some surprising things.

Click on Where is Google Going Next.

The more you learn about technology, the more you learn what is possible!

A 21 minute interview with Larry Page, CEO of Google

Key Words to take note:

  • Computer is a mess?
  • The computer does not understand you?
  • Speak recognition still not very good!
  • Deep Mind
  • Computer learned to play games
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Study the Brain
  • A machine sees a cat!
  • Security and Privacy
  • Medical Records
  • Transportation Systems
  • Automated cars
  • Los Angeles is 50% cars and parking lots

Interview done by Charlie Rose, Visit TED at 

Discussion Questions

1. What possibilities do you see in using technology in education?

2. Do you see any changes in the way we do business?

3. What is your opinion of Google now?

Posted by & filed under Financial Accounting, Fraud.

$80K fraud case highlights caveats and conditions giving banks a backdoor for liability

$80K fraud case highlights caveats and conditions giving banks a backdoor for liability

$80K fraud case highlights caveats and conditions giving banks a backdoor for liability

Security of online credit cards in question

The case of an Ontario man who was charged more than $80,000 on his credit card for purchases he claims he didn’t make is raising new questions about the security of online and credit card transactions and whether banks are shifting liability for fraud to their customers.

Three years ago, Jason Monaco sued the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce after the bank insisted he was responsible for charging the cost of a custom-built race car to his bank-issued Visa card, a purchase Monaco says he never made.

Monaco, the founder and managing partner of a Toronto investment relations firm, alleges in his lawsuit that he discovered the charge of $81,276 “during a routine check of his Visa account balance” in June 2010.

After CIBC was alerted, the bank ultimately removed a second charge of $4,972 that Monaco also disputed. His lawsuit alleges that although both transactions bore the same fraudulent signature on the transaction receipts, CIBC is holding Monaco responsible for the car purchase because that transaction was completed using a personal identification number (PIN) in conjunction with the card’s embedded chip.

Fraudulent PIN transactions ‘impossible’

“It’s actually quite an old technology — between 15 and 20 years old.”

Several years ago Murdoch and his colleagues demonstrated a number of flaws in the system.

One allows criminals to use a bit of hardware to fool the card into accepting any random PIN entered on a merchant’s card terminal. That acceptance, and not the PIN itself, is then sent to the bank, making it appear that the correct PIN was entered.

“And sometimes as a result, customers are refused a refund,” Murdoch says. “Even though they’ve been the victim of fraud and they have not been negligent.”

Murdoch managed to shrink the hardware required to the size of a deck of cards, but he says criminals in France were able to put it on a microchip and embed it on counterfeit cards.

Caveats and conditions

But the Ontario lawsuit does more than raise questions about chip and PIN security.

CIBC’s lawyers say the caveats in Monaco’s cardholder agreement also make him responsible for the charge.

“The primary cardholder is liable for any transactions made on the Visa account” the language reads, “if any cardholder uses a PIN to make the transaction.”

CIBC also points to a condition that stipulates cardholders are responsible for all charges until the bank is alerted that a card is lost or stolen.

Monaco claims his card was neither lost, stolen nor did he divulge his PIN to anyone.

Further, his lawsuit claims that CIBC’s reliance on fine print and an “exclusion of liability clause is unconscionable.”

 Conditions ‘quite reasonable’

Maura Drew-Lytle, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Bankers Association, says the various conditions aren’t onerous.

“[The banks] are quite reasonable in my opinion,” Drew-Lytle said.

“Generally, if they don’t think you have knowingly contributed to the fraud, then chances are you will get reimbursed. Again, it’s case by case. They have to look at that.”

Last year, Canada’s six largest banks reimbursed clients some $9 million for fraudulent online transactions. The most recent statistics (2012) on credit card and debit card payouts top half a billion dollars.

But the banks don’t provide statistics on the value of fraud they don’t cover, or the number of clients they refuse to make whole.

Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments Douglas Melville says he isn’t seeing a significant number of clients complaining about caveat-laden agreements.

 Banks offered blanket assurances

Glenn Thibeault, the NDP’s consumer affairs critic, notes that a number of bank and credit card officials recently testified at finance committee hearings into mobile digital payments. He said they offered blanket assurances that clients are protected from electronic fraud losses.

“Zero-liability also has 10 asterisks beside it,” Thibeault said. “Zero liability isn’t actually going to be in effect if this is the way banks are doing this.”

The debate about what’s reasonable to expect from bank customers in the digital frontier will only become more pointed, said Larry Keating, CEO of NPC, an Ontario firm that helps professionals and organizations secure their computers.

He said efforts of cybercriminals to exploit security weaknesses can be brilliant, nasty and difficult for unsophisticated users to completely prevent.

Discussion Questions:

1.  Is the consumer responsible for the excess charge of $80,000?

2. Do you find that Credit Card companies over charge interest to their consumers?

3. How would you reduce or mitigate Credit Card fraud?

To read the complete article by Curt Petrovich, visit CBC news

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, Canadian Economy, Financial Accounting.

Tweed logo

From Chocolate to What!

 When Hershey’s had a plant in Smiths Falls, Ontario, you could smell chocolate from miles away. But not a single chocolate bar has rolled off the line since the plant closed in 2008, one of six employers to leave the town at the same time. 

Now, Smiths Falls, a working class town of about 10,000 in Eastern Ontario, has a new industry: medical marijuana. Health Canada is changing its medical marijuana rules, and Tweed, a licensed marijuana production company, has just received its license to grow medical cannabis there. Some are hoping the new plant will bring much-needed jobs to an area that’s had it tough for the last few years.


Tweed’s grow room is kind of like Willy Wonka gone 21st century. Except, instead of chocolate, it’s pot.

Row after row of small marijuana plants nestle in plastic nursery trays. It’s moist and bright – huge lights hang from the ceiling while standing fans whir quietly. Growers in lab coats, hair nets, and gloves glide through the aisles.

Master grower Ryan Douglas has me put on a lab coat, hair net and booties, an outfit I associate more with lunch ladies than with marijuana growers.

We walk along the rows of plants, and he tells me there are about 3,000 growing here.

“This is called L.A. confidential,” Douglas explains. “And that has a reputation for being good for things like chronic pain or insomnia. So if you’re having trouble falling asleep due to pain this is a strain we’d recommend for you.”

With Government Approval on April 1, 2014, this is a Joke!

The old Hershey’s plant is transforming fast. This just the first of 28 rooms where Tweed will grow marijuana for national sale. Construction workers are building walls and hanging up lights, in preparation for the day that Tweed can officially start business: April 1, when Health Canada’s new medical marijuana regulations go into effect.

Philippe Lucas researches medical cannabis access in Canada. He’s also a medical marijuana patient. He says industry is poised for a big role in the country’s medical marijuana future: “What’s happening in Canada is unprecedented anywhere in the world. We have a federal government that’s allowing theoretically an unlimited number of licensed cannabis to establish themselves and test the market.”

 Doctor Prescribed

But that will all change staring on April 1. Patients won’t have to get Health’s Canada’s approval to access medical marijuana. And they also won’t be able to grow their own anymore. Instead, if their doctor prescribes medical marijuana, patients will go directly to authorized suppliers, like Tweed.

 Jobs are coming, good time to apply

 As for the jobs, White says he’ll believe it when he sees it: “Well they’re bringing some jobs but I don’t know about a hundred. I can’t see it taking 100 people to grow some pot.”

And White wonders why, of all places, Tweed chose his home town: “What kills me is, why Smiths Falls? You know, like, this is just a little wee hick town.”

But for mayor Dennis Staples, the question is, why not? If it’s going to happen somewhere in Canada, why shouldn’t Smiths Falls do it?

Why not grow your own pot!

But not everyone is happy with the new Canadian system. A class action lawsuit has been filed against Health Canada in federal court. The plaintiffs claim that they have a constitutional right to produce their own marijuana or have somebody do it for them.

Tweed’s new production facility doesn’t look totally industrial yet, but companies across Canada are scaling up. Health Canada says the market is there, and that the number of people using medical marijuana could top 450,000 in the next ten years.

Tweed CEO Rafici says that perceptions of marijuana are changing: “It’s becoming less taboo and as that happens we’re going to help move that along and make it a more acceptable medicine for people to consider.”

 In Canada, it’s industry that’s shepherding marijuana into the mainstream.

 Discussion Questions

 1. What costs should be capitalized during the growing stages of marijuana?

2. Do you think the product will have an expiry date?

3. What are some internal controls that should be put in place during the harvesting season?

Read the full article from the company’s website

Youtube video, taken from the Lang and O’Leary Exchange, CBC news

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Advanced Accounting, Financial Accounting, Franchise.


 Increase in Tim Hortons Franchises

Tim Hortons has laid out an ambitious plan to add 800 more franchise outlets by 2018, the latest shot in an escalating war to stay on top of the quick breakfast and coffee market.

The TSX-listed company said Tuesday it will add as many as 300 new locations in the U.S. in the next four years, a market where it has had difficulty gaining a foothold.

It also plans 500 more locations in Canada by 2018, including 160 as early as this year, a market where the brand enjoys extreme brand loyalty but is perceived to be near saturation.

“We believe that our enviable guest loyalty … will present significant opportunities to grow our Canadian business over the next five years,” the company said in a press release.

The company singled out a number of American markets where it already has almost 100 would-be franchises lined up, including 40 in St. Louis, 25 in Youngstown, Ohio, 15 in Fort Wayne, Ind. and 15 in Minot, N.D.

Looking to Persian Gulf

Last year, Tim Hortons was the target of activist shareholders who didn’t like the direction of the company and pushed it to abandon international expansion plans and focus on its strength — cranking out cash from Canadian locations, enough to boost the dividend.

Tuesday’s road-map shows the chain is doubling down on growth plans, under the leadership of new CEO Marc Caira, who took the reins last July after executive positions at Nestle and Parmalat.

The chain has growth plans as well in the Persian Gulf, a region of the world where it’s eked out a surprising foothold, with 38 locations.

The road map laid out Tuesday includes adding about 220 locations in that area over the same period.

Canadian market almost saturated, consultant says

Franchise consultant Douglas Fisher says Tim Hortons has almost saturated the Canadian market, and that shows in its year-over-year sales increases of 1.6 per cent, less than inflation.

In Ontario and most other regions outside Quebec, there is one restaurant for every 7,500 people, and that’s meant less business for individual franchisees.

“Once you saturate a market, you have to go look for a new market or you’re going to die,” Fisher told CBC News, saying he supports a strategy of expansion in the U.S. and the Middle East.

But the U.S. has been a difficult market for Tim Hortons, so it is selecting a few areas where it believes it will do well, he said.

The Middle East may have greater potential, because the chain offers a fresh concept for people there, said Fisher, who has done work for both Tim Hortons and McDonald’s.

“The Middle East is dying for and developing as many North American concepts as they can,” Fisher said, pointing to chains such as NYFries and South Side Burger that are expanding to the region.

Tim Hortons also needs to upgrade its coffee program to build same-store sales in Canada, because it’s served the same thing for 50 years.

“McDonald’s is grinding beans fresh, is making lattes from scratch — no syrups, no creams, nothing artificial — and really have come up with an excellent program. They’re also ahead of Tim’s in their store redesign and making their stores more comfortable,”

It does not appear that Tim Hortons will have an easy time to increase sales.

 Visit the TSX

Tim Hortons shares were up slightly, trading at $58.22 on the TSX on Tuesday afternoon.

Discussion Questions:

1. If you research back a few years ago, Tim Hortons got out of the US market: Why do you think its trying again?

2. Good time to invest? Go to the TSX , Look up the symbol THI.

3. Tim Hortons plans to expand to the Persian Gulf: What are a few cultural changes that the company must or is considering?

Read the complete article written by: CBC News