Sleazy Tax Shelters!

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Now that we’ve completed the content of the semester that addresses our term project requirements, what else is left for us to do?

Hey, let’s have a little fun and talk about sleazy tax shelters! What better way to help you transition to the real world. And while discussing such tactics, I’ll be able to address our recent (anonymous feedback survey) student requests to discuss the future of the profession, and my own career experiences.

In fact, because we’ll simply have too much fun to limit this topic to a single session, let’s plan a special “two part episode” to address it. We’ll discuss the construction of tax shelters on Tuesday, and then discuss their impact on our profession on Thursday.

To prepare for Tuesday, please read the first six paragraphs of an article that summarizes Connecticut Estate Taxes.  Also for Tuesday, please read an article about tax shelter prosecutions at KPMG and BDO.

To prepare for Thursday, please read a pair of articles about the resolution of these charges, and about continuing legal activity regarding the matter.

If you wish to submit your Project 4 assignment for separate grading, it is due (via an upload to Box) by Thursday evening at 11:59 pm. If you do so, Project 4 will be worth 8 points towards your final grade, and Project 5 will be worth 10 points.

If you do not wish to do so, you are welcome to submit Projects 4 and 5 as a combined project on May 6th. A combined submission will be worth 18 points towards your final grade.

Finally, during the last week of April and the first week of May, we will complete our homework assignment activity with our Australian colleagues. I will need to divide you into groups of 2 to 4 students in order to complete this assignment, so please let me know (via email) as soon as possible if you would prefer to work with certain fellow students.

No Class On Tuesday, April 14!

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Oh, no! Did you notice when the doors of Schneider Arena are going to open tomorrow for the biggest championship celebration in the history of PC?

At 3:00 pm, right in the middle of our class!

What to do, what to do? On the one hand, I’d hate to make Carol Hartley wait another couple of days for her Excel survey sheets. But on the other hand, as graduating seniors, you’ll never have a chance to experience anything like this celebration again!

Okay, it’s executive decision time. Class tomorrow is cancelled. Tomorrow’s reading is rescheduled for Thursday. And Thursday’s reading is rescheduled for Tuesday next week.

I THINK Carol will understand. See you at the celebration! :)

The Capstone’s Capstone

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Wouldn’t it be nice if our entire capstone class could have a capstone? A single presentation, perhaps, that could be covered in a single session, one that integrates everything that we learned this semester?

It does! And we’ll discuss it on Tuesday. As an advance reading assignment, please review the PDF file in our virtual library entitled Sustainability Risk. Considering its importance as our “capstone’s capstone,” please try to focus on the details a bit more intensively than you might have done for previous (lighter) readings.

On Tuesday, we’ll also (briefly) discuss the Walmart risk management document that we initially assigned for last week.

Then, on Thursday, we’ll turn our attention to issues regarding your professional career development. I’ll share some personal information with you about my own career decisions while we chat about the future.

In advance of this Thursday session, please review the PDF file in our virtual library entitled Entrepreneur. I’m sure you’ll notice that the details of this presentation are a bit lighter than those in the Sustainability Risk presentation.  :)

And please remember that Sunday, April 12th at 11:59 pm is our Project 3 submission deadline. As always, please upload your document(s) directly to your Box file.

Don’t worry; I’ll know where to find it!

Risk (and Term Project)

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Happy Easter, every one! I hope that you are enjoying a delightful weekend with your family and friends. As an Easter gift, I’ve decided to delay the submission deadline of the third project assignment by a few days!  :)

This week, we’ll discuss the topic of risk management, which is what we’ll use to self-critique our term project work. Using risk management practices, we’ll identify the weaknesses in our business plans, and will then incorporate business practices that will address our concerns.

As an advance reading assignment for Tuesday, April 7th, please read the Executive Summary of COSO’s Enterprise Risk Management Integrated Framework. We’ll also discuss the full COSO manual in class, which is listed in the Reading List section of our syllabus.

Then, as an advance reading assignment for Thursday, April 9th, please read a sample Walmart risk management plan. You can find it by downloading the Walmart.pdf document from our online Virtual Library.

Although Project 3 was initially due on Wednesday, April 8th at 11:59 pm, I have decided to delay the submission date until Sunday, April 12th at 11:59 pm. That delay will permit us to discuss Project 3 in more detail within the classroom.

And what shall we accomplish during the remainder of the semester? During the weeks of April 13th and April 20th, we’ll focus on the development of our term project, and will “shift gears” and discuss the real world beyond the classroom. We’ll also discuss our brief homework assignments during these weeks.

Then, during the week of April 27th, we’ll present and discuss our Project 4 submissions in the classroom. Finally, on Wednesday, May 6th at 11:59 pm, Project 5 will be due.

Although there are a lot of “moving parts” to our remaining activities, we’ll have a tremendous amount of classroom time to coordinate and discuss it all. So please don’t worry; I’ll make sure that your final month of undergraduate accounting education at PC remains informative in regards to content, yet reasonable in regards to your own time commitment.

Easter Week!

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Didn’t we just enjoy Spring Break?  Don’t look now, but I think we’re about to experience another break!  :)

Because of the Easter holiday, we’ll only meet once this week. We’ll wrap up our review of the Investment Value section, and we’ll discuss the third project submission.

For our advance reading assignment on Tuesday, please review the financial ratio and balanced scorecard reading assignments that were originally assigned for last week’s classes. Then please review the Project 3 requirements, which are accessible via the pull-down menu near the top of this blog page.

Incidentally, Project 3 will be due on Wednesday, April 8th at 11:59 pm. But before we start to worry about that deadline, let’s enjoy Easter first!

Investment Value

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Even though there are two inches of freshly fallen snow on my front lawn, it’s Spring Time! And that means that we’re ready to start pulling together the components of the planning process in order to develop and present our recommendations.

To prepare for our Tuesday session, please review a pair of slide sets in our blog’s Virtual Library. One is entitled Transaction Analysis.pdf, and the other is entitled Financial Ratios.pdf.

Then, in advance of Thursday’s session, please review a quantitative balanced scorecard for a regional airline.

So if we complete our assessment of Investment Value this week, can we wrap up our review of the planning process and forget about the remainder of the semester?

Umm … not quite! There are still a few exciting tasks to complete, such as finalizing the due dates of our term project, which we’ll also discuss this week.

Nevertheless, once we complete our review of Investment Value, we’ll be gettin’ close!  :)

Revenue (Conclusion)

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I hope that you’re still enjoying Spring Break! But believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about our next class again.  :(

This week, we’ll conclude our review of the Revenue section of our analysis. First, on Tuesday, we’ll return to our discussion of the way in which our development of “standard prices” is based on internal cost data. And then, on Thursday, we’ll conclude with a follow-up discussion of the way in which our development of “special prices” encompasses considerations that go well beyond internal cost data.

To prepare for our session on Tuesday, please read a relatively simple Wikipedia web page about the break-even point. For many of us, Tuesday will be our first day back in class, so we don’t want to go overboard with our advance reading assignments!

And then, to prepare for our session on Thursday, please read a somewhat more complex web page about transfer pricing and the arm’s length principle. In addition, please take note of the publisher of that content.

By the end of this week, we’ll also begin to discuss our Project 3 assignment. But hey, let’s not worry about that until we’re back from Spring Break and “settled in” for your final few weeks as a PC student!

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