4 | Accounting homework help

 

4.2 Discussion: Collaboration Forum

 

Getting Started

This forum is a general collaboration forum that serves as a venue to discuss, interact with, communicate about, and genuinely engage the subject matter of the workshop in order to increase each other’s understanding. Importantly, it provides you with a chance to ask questions about the reading, problems, and anything in general, and so represents another opportunity to get assistance with the course concepts and your assignments.

Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:

  • Receive timely advice and assistance with assignments to help achieve learning objectives.

Resources

  • Textbook: Analysis for Financial Management
  • Video: Collaboration Forum Introduction

Background Information

The purpose of this collaboration forum is for students to work together (collaborate) in an effort to better understand assignments. While this forum is not a place to provide all your answers (it is NOT designed to facilitate cheating), it is intended for you to help each other if someone is struggling with a particular problem. Participate early and often. Ask your question in this forum by providing needed problem details for reference, then move on to work another problem. Later, come back and see if anyone has provided help for you or if you can provide assistance to a classmate.

Collaboration Forum Introduction Video

Instructions

  1. There are no points awarded for this activity. However, you will benefit from completing the exercise, as it will provide helpful academic learning opportunities that correlate with the textbook reading, as well as additional activities that support the topics of both your current and future workshop sessions.
  2. Refer to the Collaboration Forum Introduction video, found in the Background Information section above.
  3. Respond by making at least one comment or post that addresses one of the following:
    1. Ask a question about this workshop’s assignments.
    2. Provide an attempted solution or at least a reference to relevant material in the textbook.
    3. Share insights, new understandings, or “ah ha” moments resulting from your reading or work on assignments.
    4. Deepen the discussion by raising the application or the implications of a concept presented in the textbook or devotional materials.
    5. Post a proposed solution to a question raised by another student and then dialogue about it in this forum, attempting to reach a solution.
  4. Your postings should:
    1. Clearly state the problem number and problem details, and the questions that you have.
    2. Provide clear questions and proposed answers with evidence of critical thinking by incorporating material from the assigned reading.
    3. Add greater depth to the discussion by introducing new ideas or observations.
    4. Provide clarification to classmates’ questions and provide insight into the discussion.

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4.3 Discussion: Creative Accounting Debate (Response)

 

Getting Started

“Creative accounting” has been defined as practices that follow the technical requirements of laws and regulations but still deviate from the intent of those standards. While this sounds deceitful on the surface, not all practices that operate outside of normal accounting rules are automatically harmful. It depends on the intent. The use of adjusted earnings, for example, is so commonplace that it is now debatable whether the practice even qualifies creative accounting.

Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the impact of regulatory changes on financial operations.
  • Analyze the appropriateness of creative accounting measures.

Resources

  • Textbook: Analysis for Financial Management
  • Website: Connect
  • File: Higgins Chapter 3 Slides
  • File: Higgins Chapter 4 Slides

Background Information

Research has shown that adjusted earnings is, in fact, a better predictor of future financial performance than standard accounting earnings. This would seem to support many executives’ argument that the measure is valuable to investors. If the intent is to present investors with the most accurate and informative picture of the company’s financial position, then presenting adjusted earnings may be the best way to do that. Preventing company leaders from using tools that help them communicate effectively, particularly if they are still meeting the requirements of the law, seems to only punish the company’s stakeholders. Already, evidence exists that laws like Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank are overly restrictive.

On the other hand, the consistent bias of these measures is hard to ignore. Questioning executives’ motives is easy when the methods they use regularly favor their companies. Many see the use of adjusted earnings as the beginning of another slippery slope, where once again company leaders will exploit loopholes and stretch the limits of the law until disaster occurs. This will prompt new, even stricter laws to be passed, starting the cycle once more. This pattern calls into question the effectiveness of such laws, but it is debatable whether this means they should be rescinded or greatly strengthened.

Instructions

  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. In your textbook, Analysis for Financial Management, read Chapter 3, “Financial Forecasting,” and Chapter 4, “Managing Growth.”
  3. Download and review the Higgins Chapter 3 Slides and Higgins Chapter 4 Slides to help you further understand the chapter concepts.
  4. Select an initial post made by one of your classmates in the previous workshop stating their positions as to whether or not regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley have been effective and whether it is legitimate to use creative accounting measures like adjusted earnings. Craft a response refuting their positions. Copy the initial post to the beginning of your response.
  5. Explain why you disagree with their positions. Note: it is not important whether you actually disagree or not. Instead, your goal is to construct a well-supported, logical counterargument, demonstrating your understanding of an opposing perspective.  
  6. Reference at least one biblical principle with a specific Bible verse that you feel is relevant to your argument. For instance, review the reflection for this workshop (4.1 Exercise), and consider the impact of uncertainty in financial planning on the appropriateness of these regulations and measures. 
  7. Support your counterargument with appropriate sources. Use your textbooks and search OCLS for relevant scholarly sources to support your position. Your post should include at least one academic source that is properly cited.
    1. For questions on APA style, go to OCLS APA Writing Styles Guides.
  8. This single response should be 200–400 words in length. Your post is due by the end of the workshop

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4.4 Assignment: Spreadsheet Exercises

Getting Started

For the last few workshops, we have been looking backward, examining historical financial information. In this workshop, we are now looking forward. Analyzing history can only take us so far. While it is informative and helps provide a foundation for decision making, to bring our great product and project ideas to fruition requires planning. With this exercise, you will have an opportunity to further develop your financial planning skills.

Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Create pro forma financial statements in support of strategic planning and decision making.
  • Apply cash budgeting techniques to assess a company’s external financing needs.
  • Evaluate growth challenges and recommend strategies to cope with them.

Resources

  • Textbook: Analysis for Financial Management
  • Website: Connect
  • File: Higgins Chapter 3 Slides
  • File: Higgins Chapter 4 Slides
  • File: Assignment 4.4 Worksheet
  • File: Workshop Four Practice Problems Workbook

Background Information

Overemphasizing the importance of good financial planning would be difficult. Entire books have been written about mistakes made due to poor financial planning, both in the world of personal and corporate finance. Good financial planning can prevent errors, help managers better evaluate options, and leave a company better prepared for uncertainty. Bad financial planning can be simply misleading. Fortunately, there are techniques available to help us be better financial planners. These techniques are simple but well tested. 

With this assignment, you will complete a series of short exercises designed to help you practice your financial planning skills and improve your ability to draw constructive conclusions to move a company forwards. 

Instructions

  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. In your textbook, Analysis for Financial Management, read Chapter 3, “Financial Forecasting,” and Chapter 4, “Managing Growth.”
    1. Download and review the Higgins Chapter 3 Slides and Higgins Chapter 4 Slides to help you further understand the chapter concepts.
  3. Study the provided practice problems and solutions in the Workshop Four Practice Problems Workbook to help you better understand the processes used to analyze financial statements.
  4. Using Assignment 4.4 Worksheet (course exclusive), complete all eight of the following problems:
    1. Pro Forma Financial Statements: Problems 1 and 2
    2. Preparing a Cash Budget: Problems 3 through 6
    3. Growth Management Analysis: Problems 7 and 8
  5. Be sure your Excel spreadsheet is prepared in a professional manner, with answers clearly indicated and all your calculations shown. Full credit will not be given if your process for arriving at the answer is not fully displayed, including any intermediate steps.
  6. When you have completed your assignment, save a copy for yourself and submit a copy to your instructor by the end of the workshop.

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4.5 Assignment: Mini Case Study

 

Getting Started

In the last workshop, you had the opportunity to apply your developing financial analysis skills to assess the strength of a real-world company to cope with a hypothetical growth challenge. With this assignment, we are going to extend that analysis by first evaluating the actual growth challenges faced by the company of your choice and then making recommendations for how the company should best manage these challenges going forwards.

Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Utilize financial analysis techniques to assess the financial strength of an organization.
  • Recommend improvement strategies based on financial analysis.
  • Evaluate growth challenges and recommend strategies to cope with them.

Resources

  • File: Higgins Chapter 3 Slides
  • File: Higgins Chapter 4 Slides
  • Video: Franchising and Managing Growth

Background Information

We commonly hear about maturing companies who are struggling to reignite the growth they once enjoyed. However, as you have already studied in this workshop, managing rapid growth can also be a surprisingly difficult challenge. In the last workshop, you selected a real-world company to investigate. This company is predictably facing one of these growth challenges: either growth is falling short of what the company is capable of sustaining, or growth is exceeding sustainable levels. Both scenarios require skillful management.

In this assignment, you are returning to the role of financial consultant for your chosen company. You will first assess whether the company is either suffering from too little or too much growth. You will evaluate what actions the company has already taken to cope with this challenge and then make recommendations for what steps could be taken in the future to help the company move forwards successfully.

Instructions

  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. In your textbook, Analysis for Financial Management, read Chapter 3, “Financial Forecasting,” and Chapter 4, “Managing Growth.”
    1. Download and review the Higgins Chapter 3 Slides and Higgins Chapter 4 Slides to help you further understand the chapter concepts.
  3. View Franchising and Managing Growth to hear a financial executive discuss some of the challenges of managing rapid growth.
  4. Research the financial statements for the company you chose for the 3.5 Assignment.
    1. Note: it is particularly recommended for this assignment you locate the annual statements (called “10-K” forms) for your company through the company’s web site or by using the SEC’s EDGAR system.    https://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml        Annual statements will often include commentary explaining recent financial challenges and plans for the future.
    2. Many free financial websites, such as Morningstar    https://www.morningstar.com/     , provide financial data and ratios for public companies. Search for your company on Morningstar and then select “Operating Performance” for a list of ratios for previous years.
    3. Consider accessing company reports through OCLS using the Business Insights: Essentials tool. Detailed financial and investment reports are available for hundreds of companies.
  5. Prepare a paper analyzing the company’s growth challenges and making appropriate recommendations:
    1. Using the sustainable growth equation from your textbook, calculate the company’s sustainable growth rate for at least the past three years. Compare your calculated sustainable growth rate to the company’s actual growth rate in sales during this period.
    2. Begin your paper by creating a table showing the company’s actual growth rates, the sustainable growth rates you calculated, and the four components of sustainable growth: profit margin, retention ratio, asset turnover, and financial leverage (assets/equity). 
    3. Describe what growth challenge the company is currently facing.
    4. Analyze what actions the company has taken to deal with their particular growth challenge. Your analysis should be based on changes in the components of sustainable growth, on the actions reported by executives in annual reports, and on any other commentary you discover through your research.
    5. Make a series of specific recommendations on what actions the company could take in the future to address its growth challenges.
  6. Be sure to provide a detailed analysis and recommendation that demonstrates your critical thinking and understanding of financial analysis. Your finished paper should be 500–600 words in length.
  7. Prepare your paper in Microsoft Word in a professional manner, using proper spelling, grammar, and APA style. Include a reference list. Be sure to cite your sources appropriately for your financial data and any commentary or analysis you rely upon.
    1. For questions on APA style, go to OCLS APA Writing Styles Guides.
  8. When you have completed your assignment, save a copy for yourself and submit a copy to your instructor by the end of the workshop.

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