Ch 1 Answers to Questions and Assigned Exercises
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Ch 1 Answers to Questions and Assigned Exercises

Course Number: ACCTG ACCT 381, Spring 2011

College/University: Portland State

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SOLUTIONS TO CONCEPTS FOR ANALYSIS CA 1-3 Accounting numbers affect investing decisions. Investors, for example, use the financial statements of different companies to enhance their understanding of each company's financial strength and operating results. Because these statements follow generally accepted accounting principles, investors can make meaningful comparisons of different financial statements to assist...

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TO SOLUTIONS CONCEPTS FOR ANALYSIS CA 1-3 Accounting numbers affect investing decisions. Investors, for example, use the financial statements of different companies to enhance their understanding of each company's financial strength and operating results. Because these statements follow generally accepted accounting principles, investors can make meaningful comparisons of different financial statements to assist their investment decisions. Accounting numbers also influence creditors' decisions. A commercial bank usually looks into a company's financial statements and past credit history before deciding whether to grant a loan and in what amount. The financial statements provide a fair picture of the company's financial strength (for example, short-term liquidity and long-term solvency) and operating performance for the current period and over a period of time. The information is essential for the bank to ensure that the loan is safe and sound. CA 1-15 (a) The ethical issue in this case relates to making questionable entries to meet expected earnings forecasts. As indicated in this chapter, businesses' concentration on "maximizing the bottom line," "facing the challenges of competition," and "stressing short-term results" places accountants in an environment of conflict and pressure. (b) Given that Normand has pleaded guilty, he certainly acted improperly. Doing the right thing, making the right decision, is not always easy. Right is not always obvious, and the pressures to "bend the rules," "to play the game," "to just ignore it" can be considerable. (c) No doubt, Normand was in a difficult position. I am sure that he was concerned that if he failed to go along, it would affect his job performance negatively or that he might be terminated. These job pressures, time pressures, peer pressures often lead individuals astray. Can it happen to you? One individual noted that at a seminar on ethics sponsored by the CMA Society of Southern California, attendees were asked if they had ever been pressured to make questionable entries. This individual noted that to the best of his recollection, everybody raised a hand, and more than one had eventually chosen to resign. (d) Major stakeholders are: (1) Troy Normand, (2) present and potential stockholders and creditors of WorldCom, (3) employees, and (4) family. Recognize that WorldCom is the largest bankruptcy in United States history, so many individuals are affected. SOLUTIONS TO CODIFICATION EXERCISES CE1-2 (a) The Codification Overview module illustrates three items (1) the topic structure (2) different methods of accessing and viewing content, and (3) a summary of the unique features of the Codification Research System. (b) The Codification is intended to (1) become the single source of U.S. accounting standards and (2) supersede all of the non-SEC documents used to populate the Codification. CE1-3 The "What's New" page provides links to Codification content that has been recently issued. During the verification phase, updates may result from either the issuance of Codification update instructions that accompany new Standards or from changes to the Codification due to incorporation of constituent feedback. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 1. Financial accounting measures, classifies, and summarizes in report form those activities and that information which relate to the enterprise as a whole for use by parties both internal and external to a business enterprise. Managerial accounting also measures, classifies, and summarizes in report form enterprise activities, but the communication is for the use of internal, managerial parties, and relates more to subsystems of the entity. Managerial accounting is management decision oriented and directed more toward product line, division, and profit center reporting. 2. Financial statements generally refer to the four basic financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, and statement of changes in owners' or stockholders' equity. Financial reporting is a broader concept; it includes the basic financial statements and any other means of communicating financial and economic data to interested external parties. Examples of financial reporting other than financial statements are annual reports, prospectuses, reports filed with the government, news releases, management forecasts or plans, and descriptions of an enterprise's social or environmental impact. 3. If a company's financial performance is measured accurately, fairly, and on a timely basis, the right managers and companies are able to attract investment capital. To provide unreliable and irrelevant information leads to poor capital allocation which adversely affects the securities market. 4. Some major challenges facing the accounting profession relate to the following items: Nonfinancial measurement--how to report significant key performance measurements such as customer satisfaction indexes, backlog information and reject rates on goods purchased. Forward-looking information--how to report more future oriented information. Soft assets--how to report on intangible assets, such as market know-how, market dominance, and well-trained employees. Timeliness--how to report more real-time information. 5. In general, the objectives of financial reporting are to provide (1) information that is useful in investment and credit decisions, (2) information that is useful in assessing cash flow prospects, and (3) information about enterprise resources, claims to those resources, and changes in them. More specifically these objectives state that financial reporting should provide information: a. that is useful to present and potential investors and creditors and other users in making rational investment, credit, and similar decisions. The information should be comprehensible to those who have a reasonable understanding of business and economic activities and are willing to study the information with reasonable diligence. b. to help present and potential investors and creditors and other users in assessing the amounts, timing, and uncertainty of prospective cash receipts from dividends or interest and the proceeds from the sale, redemption, or maturity of securities or loans. Since investors and creditors' cash flows are related to enterprise cash flows, financial reporting should provide information to help investors, creditors, and other users assess the amounts, timing, and uncertainty of prospective net cash inflows to the related enterprise. c. about the economic resources of an enterprise, the claims to those resources (obligations of the enterprise to transfer resources to other entities), owners' equity, and the effects of transactions, events, and circumstances that change its resources and claims to those resources. 6. A common set of standards applied by all businesses and entities provides financial statements which are reasonably comparable. Without a common set of standards, each enterprise could, and would, develop its own theory structure and set of practices, resulting in noncomparability among enterprises. Questions Chapter 1 (Continued) 7. General-purpose financial statements are not likely to satisfy the specific needs of all interested parties. Since the needs of interested parties such as creditors, managers, owners, governmental agencies, and financial analysts vary considerably, it is unlikely that one set of financial statements is equally appropriate for these varied uses. 8. The SEC has the power to prescribe, in whatever detail it desires, the accounting practices and principles to be employed by the companies that fall within its jurisdiction. Because the SEC receives audited financial statements from nearly all companies that issue securities to the public or are listed on the stock exchanges, it is greatly interested in the content, accuracy, and credibility of the statements. For many years the SEC relied on the AICPA to regulate the profession and develop and enforce accounting principles. Lately, the SEC has assumed a more active role in the develop-ment of accounting standards, especially in the area of disclosure requirements. In December 1973, in ASR No. 150, the SEC said the FASB's statements would be presumed to carry substantial authoritative support and anything contrary to them to lack such support. It thereby supports the development of accounting principles in the private sector. 9. The Committee on Accounting Procedure was a special committee of the American Institute of CPAs that, between the years of 1939 and 1959, issued 51 Accounting Research Bulletins dealing with a wide variety of timely accounting problems. These bulletins provided solutions to immediate problems and narrowed the range of alternative practices. But, the Committee's problem-by-problem approach failed to provide a well-defined and well-structured body of accounting theory that was so badly needed. The Committee on Accounting Procedure was replaced in 1959 by the Accounting Principles Board. 10. The creation of the Accounting Principles Board was intended to advance the written expression of accounting principles, to determine appropriate practices, and to narrow the differences and inconsistencies in practice. To achieve its basic objectives, its mission was to develop an overall conceptual framework to assist in the resolution of problems as they became evident and to do substantive research on individual issues before pronouncements were issued. 11. Accounting Research Bulletins were pronouncements on accounting practice issued by the Committee on Accounting Procedure between 1939 and 1959; since 1964 they have been recognized as accepted accounting practice unless superseded in part or in whole by an opinion of the APB or an FASB standard. APB Opinions were issued by the Accounting Principles Board during the years 1959 through 1973 and, unless superseded by FASB Statements, are recognized as accepted practice and constitute the requirements to be followed by all business enterprises. FASB Statements are pronouncements of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and currently represent the accounting profession's authoritative pronouncements on financial accounting and reporting practices. 12. The explanation should note that generally accepted accounting principles or standards have "substantial authoritative support." They consist of accounting practices, procedures, theories, concepts, and methods which are recognized by a large majority of practicing accountants as well as other members of the business and financial community. Bulletins issued by the Committee on Accounting Procedure, opinions rendered by the Accounting Principles Board, and statements issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board constitute "substantial authoritative support." 13. It was believed that FASB Statements would carry greater weight than APB because Opinions of significant differences between the FASB and the APB, namely: (1) The FASB has a smaller membership of full-time compensated members; (2) the FASB has greater autonomy and increased independence; and (3) the FASB has broader representation than the APB. Questions Chapter 1 (Continued) 14. The technical staff of the FASB conducts research on an identified accounting topic and prepares a "preliminary views" that is released by the Board for public reaction. The Board analyzes and evaluates the public response to the preliminary views, deliberates on the issues, and issues an "exposure draft" for public comment. The preliminary views merely presents all facts and alternatives related to a specific topic or problem, whereas the exposure draft is a tentative "statement." After studying the public's reaction to the exposure draft, the Board may reevaluate its position, revise the draft, and vote on the issuance of a final statement. 15. Statements of financial accounting standards constitute generally accepted accounting principles and dictate acceptable financial accounting and reporting practices as promulgated by the FASB. The first standards statement was issued by the FASB in 1973. Statements of financial accounting concepts do not establish generally accepted accounting principles. Rather, the concepts statements set forth fundamental objectives and concepts that the FASB intends to use as a basis for developing future standards. The concepts serve as guidelines in solving existing and emerging accounting problems in a consistent, sound manner. Both the standards statements and the concepts statements may develop through the same process from discussion memorandum, to exposure draft, to a final approved statement. 16. Rule 203 of the Code of Professional Conduct prohibits a member of the AICPA from expressing an opinion that financial statements conform with GAAP if those statements contain a material departure from an accounting principle promulgated by the FASB, or its predecessors, the APB and the CAP, unless the member can demonstrate that because of unusual circumstances the financial statements would otherwise have been misleading. Failure to follow Rule 203 can lead to a loss of a CPA's license to practice. This rule is extremely important because it requires auditors to follow FASB standards. 17. FASB Standards, FASB Technical Bulletins, AICPA Practice Bulletins. 18. The chairman of the FASB was indicating that too much attention is put on the bottom line and not enough on the development of quality products. Managers should be less concerned with short-term results and be more concerned with the long-term results. In addition, short-term tax benefits often lead to long-term problems. The second part of his comment relates to accountants being overly concerned with following a set of rules, so that if litigation ensues, they will be able to argue that they followed the rules exactly. The problem with this approach is that accountants want more and more rules with less reliance on professional judgment. Less professional judgment leads to inappropriate use of accounting procedures in difficult situations. In the accountants' defense, recent legal decisions have imposed vast new liability on accountants. The concept of accountant's liability that has emerged in these cases is broad and expansive; the number of classes of people to whom the accountant is held responsible are almost limitless. 19. FASB Staff Positions (FSP) are used to provide interpretive guidance and to make minor amendments to existing standards. The due process used to issue a FSP is the same used to issue a new standard. Questions Chapter 1 (Continued) 20. The Emerging Issues Task Force often arrives at consensus conclusions on certain financial reporting issues. These consensus conclusions are then looked upon as GAAP by practitioners because the SEC has indicated that it will view consensus solutions as preferred accounting and will require persuasive justification for departing from them. Thus, at least for public companies which are subject to SEC oversight, consensus solutions developed by the Emerging Issues Task Force are followed unless subsequently overturned by the FASB. It should be noted that the FASB took greater direct ownership of GAAP established by the EITF by requiring that consensus positions be ratified by the FASB. 21. The Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification (Codifications) is a compilation of all GAAP in one place. Its purpose is to integrate and synthesize existing GAAP and not to create new GAAP. It creates one level of GAAP which is considered authoritative. The FASB Codification Research Systems (CRS) is an-on-line real time data base which provides easy access to the Codification. The Codification and the related CRS provide a topically organized structure which is subdivided into topic, subtopics, sections, and paragraphs. 22. Hopefully, the codification will help users to better understand what GAAP is. If this occurs, the rash of noncompliance with GAAP will be reduced and the time to research accounting issues will be substantially reduced. In addition, through the electronic web-based format, GAAP can be easily updated which will help users stay current. 23. The sources of pressure are innumerable, but the most intense and continuous pressure to change or influence accounting principles or standards come from individual companies, industry associations, governmental agencies, practicing accountants, academicians, professional accoun-ting organizations, and public opinion. 24. Economic consequences means the impact of accounting reports on the wealth positions of issuers and users of financial information and the decision-making behavior resulting from that impact. In other words, accounting information impacts various users in many different ways which leads to wealth transfers among these various groups. If politics plays an important role in the development of accounting rules, the rules will be subject to manipulation for the purpose of furthering whatever policy prevails at the moment. No matter how well intentioned the rule maker may be, if information is designed to indicate that investing in a particular enterprise involves less risk than it actually does, or is designed to encourage investment in a particular segment of the economy, financial reporting will suffer an irreplaceable loss of credibility. 25. No one particular proposal is expected in answer to this question. The students' proposals, however, should be defensible relative to the following criteria: (1) The method must be efficient, responsive, and expeditious. (2) The method must be free of bias and be above or insulated from pressure groups. (3) The method must command widespread support if it does not have legislative authority. (4) The method must produce sound yet practical accounting principles or standards. The students' proposals might take the form of alterations of the existing methodology, an accoun-ting court (as proposed by Leonard Spacek), or governmental device. 26. Concern exists about fraudulent financial reporting because it can undermine the entire financial reporting process. Failure to provide information to users that is accurate can lead to inappropriate allocations of resources in our economy. In addition, failure to detect massive fraud can lead to additional governmental oversight of the accounting profession. Questions Chapter 1 (Continued) 27. The expectations gap is the difference between what people think accountants should be doing and what accountants think they can do. It is a difficult gap to close. The accounting profession recognizes it must play an important role in narrowing this gap. To meet the needs of society, the profession is continuing its efforts in developing accounting standards, such as numerous pronouncements issued by the FASB, to serve as guidelines for recording and processing business transactions in the changing economic environment. 28. The following are some of the key provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Establishes an oversight board for accounting practices. The Public Company Accounting Over-sight Board (PCAOB) has oversight and enforcement authority and establishes auditing, quality control, and independence standards and rules. Implements stronger independence rules for auditors. Audit partners, for example, are required to rotate every five years and auditors are prohibited from offering certain types of consulting services to corporate clients. Requires CEOs and CFOs to personally certify that financial statements and disclosures are accurate and complete and requires CEOs and CFOs to forfeit bonuses and profits when there is an accounting restatement. Requires audit committees to be comprised of independent members and members with finan-cial expertise. Requires codes of ethics for senior financial officers. In addition, Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires public companies to attest to the effectiveness of their internal controls over financial reporting. 29. Accountants must perceive the moral dimensions of some situations because GAAP does not define or cover all specific features that are to be reported in financial statements. In these instances accountants must choose among alternatives. These accounting choices influence whether particular stakeholders may be harmed or benefited. Moral decision-making involves awareness of potential harm or benefit and taking responsibility for the choices. 30. Some of the reasons for differences are: (1) The objectives of financial reporting are often different in foreign countries. (2) The institutional structures are often not comparable. (3) Strong national tendencies are pervasive and therefore there is reluctance to adopt any one country's approach. 31. Relevant and reliable financial information is a necessity for viable capital markets. Unfortunately, financial statements from companies outside the United States are often prepared using different principles than U.S. GAAP. As a result, international companies have to develop financial information in different ways. Beyond the additional costs these companies incur, users of financial statements are often forced to understand at least two sets of GAAP. It is not surprising that there is a growing demand for one set of high quality international standards. 32. Principles-based rules are considered to be based on accounting principles to result in financial statements that are presented. Rules-based standards are generally quite detailed, and in many instances follow a "check-box" mentality that some contend may shield auditors and companies from legal liability. Because iGAAP tends to be simpler and less stringent in its accounting and disclosure requirements, it is generally considered more principles-based than U.S. GAAP.

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Designing Adaptive OrganizationsChapter 10OrganizingOrganization is the deployment of resources to achieve strategic goals. It is reflected in Division of labor into specific departments & jobs Formal lines of authority Mechanisms for coordinating di
Utah Valley University - BUS - 3110
Managing Change and InnovationChapter 11Turbulent Times The Changing Work PlaceToday's organizations need to continuously adapt to new situations if they are to survive and prosper One of the most dramatic elements is the shift to a technology- driven
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Human Resource ManagementChapter 12The Strategic Role of Human Resource ManagementHuman Resource management has shed its old personnel image and gained recognition as a vital player in corporate strategy HRM departments not only support the organizatio
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Meeting the Challenge of DiversityChapter 13Meeting the Challenge of DiversitySmart managers value diversity & enforce the value in decisionsDiversity in the population, the workforce, and the marketplace is a fact of life no manager can afford to ign
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Dynamics of Behavior in OrganizationsChapter 14Dynamics of Behavior in OrganizationsManagers need to understand the way individuals & groups actEmployees and managers bring their individual differences to work each day Differences in attitudes, values
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LeadershipChapter 15LeadershipDifferent leaders behave in different ways style, need, situationThere is probably no topic more important to business success today than leadershipleadership occurs among people involves the use of influence is used to
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MotivationChapter 16MotivationOne secret for success in organizations is motivated and enthusiastic employees With such a diverse workforce, it is a challenge for managers to motivate employees toward common organizational goalsManager's Challenge: Pf
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CommunicationChapter 17CommunicationIn today's turbulent environment, crisis communication is at the top of everyone's needed-skills list. Effective communication, both within the organization and with people outside the company, is a major challenge a