You have recently been hired as the assistant controller for Stanton Corporation, which rents building space in major metropolitan areas. Customers are required to pay six months of rent in advance. At the end of 2016, the company’s president notices that net income has fallen $50,000 compared to last year. This concerns the president for two reasons. First, the year-end bonus for the employees is tied directly to net income. Second, shareholders may see a decline in profitability as a weakness in the company and begin to sell their stock.

After close inspection of the financial statements, the president notices that the balance of the Unearned Revenue account is $120,000. The president comes to you, the company’s accountant, and suggests that the firm should recognize as revenue in 2016 the $120,000 received in advance from customers for rent to be provided in 2017. The president offers the following explanation: “First, we have received these customers’ cash by the end of 2016, so there is no question about their ability to pay. Second, we have a history of fulfilling our obligation to these customers. We earned that money when we got them to sign the six-month contract.”

Required:

Draft a one-page response in the form of a business memo to your manager discussing your recommendation on the President’s suggestion to recognize the $120,000 as revenue in 2016.  Support your decision with addressing the accounting issue, the parties affected and what factors you considered to make your decision. Your memo will be graded based on the written communication, critical thinking and ethics rubrics.

Please note that, scholastic dishonesty is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism, and collusion. As a college student, you are considered a responsible adult. Your enrollment indicates acceptance of the DCCCD Code of Student Conduct http://www.richlandcollege.edu/conduct.

 

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