DISCUSSION 1: “Banks and Pension Funds” Go to YouTube and view the video titled “Big Banks Are Ripping off Pension Funds” (5 min 9 s), dated August 19, 2011, located here. Then, discuss the following: • Analyze and explain how you think big banks are (or are not) ripping off pension funds. Support your response with evidence and examples. • Assume that you have client with an underfunded pension fund. What strategies would you recommend to close the gap in the pension fund? DISCUSSION 2: “Pensions and Postretirement Benefits” – Go to The Wall Street Journal Website to read the article titled “Rewriting Pension History,” dated March 9, 2011, located here. Be prepared to discuss. – Go to the American Accounting Association Website, located here, to research the requirements for postretirement benefits. Be prepared to discuss. Note: You must enter the user name and password. (UserID: AAA51864, PW: SUNeKTp) Then, discuss the following: • Speculate why AT&T, Honeywell, and Verizon are changing the method for accounting for pension gains and losses. • Then, speculate why these companies waited two years after the losses to make the change.
DISCUSSION 3: “Life Insurance in Africa” Go to the CNN Website and view the video titled “The Business of Death” (4 min 48 s), dated November 28, 2011, located here. Then, discuss the following: • Explain what is driving the rise of life insurance in Kenya. Identify and then discuss the challenges, along with the type of journal entry an insurance company should make to account for a whole life policy, where part of the premium goes to investment. DISCUSSION 4: “Career Choices” Go to the following Certification Websites to explore requirements. Be prepared to discuss. – Certified Internal Auditor from the Institute of Internal Auditors, located here. – Certified Fraud Auditor from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, located here. – Certified Management Accountant from the Institute of Management Accountants, located here. • Discuss the following: Review the requirements for each of the three certifications to determine which you are best suited for and state why.
DISCUSSION 5: “Lease Accounting Rules” Go to YouTube and view the video titled “Understanding New Lease Accounting Changes” (2 min 28 s), dated January 12, 2011, located here. Then, discuss the following: • Explain how lease accounting changes affect commercial real estate companies. Assume you are the CFO for a large retail chain that leases stores from mall owners. Discuss what influence the changes would have on your decision to enter into options for renewals of your leases as your current leases expire.
DISCUSSION 6: “Lease Accounting Controversy” Go to the Chief Financial Officer Magazine Website to read the article titled “New Leasing Proposals Continue to Draw Heat,” dated November 1, 2011, located here. Then, discuss the following: • Assess the impact the proposed leasing changes will have on balance sheets, income statements, and current leasing activity. • Then, identify the industries that will be most impacted from these changes.
DISCUSSION 7: “White Collar Fraud” – Go to the Vimeo Website to view the video titled “Biggest Accounting Mistake #2” (2 min 32 s), dated April 2011, located here. – Go to the White Collar Fraud Website to the browse the Website about avoiding white collar crime, located here. Then, discuss the following: • Evaluate the accounting policy related to purchase discounts and trade allowances used by Sam E. Antar at Crazy Eddies to cover up the fraud. Identify how you would detect an error in the treatment. • Describe the techniques you would use to identify the reported errors in inventories. Do you agree with smoothing income if fraudulent techniques are not used? Explain your position. DISCUSSION 8: “Accounting Restatements” – Go to the Accounting Web Website to read the article titled “Not All Restatements Are the Same to the Stock Market,” dated March 23, 2010, located here. Then, discuss the following: • Speculate why a stock declines more prior to the restatement than after the restatement, and why restatement involving operational errors and those related executive compensations result in greater declines. • Imagine you are a CEO for an organization that needs to restate earnings. Describe the actions you would take to lessen the decline of the stock price.