Accounting 495 – Integrated Accounting Issues
Spring 2009 Section 002
Class Hours Tuesday & Thursday 12:00 – 13:50, Room SBA 130
Professor Raymond N. Johnson, PhD, CPA
Office Number: 461 SBA Phone: 503-725-5354 Fax: 503-725-5850
Office Hours: TTh 2:45 - 3:45, Wed. 3:00 – 4:00, or by appointment
Email: Please send e-mails using Blackboard
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS A QUIZ/SURVEY AT THE END OF THIS SYLLABUS WHICH IS DUE IN WEEK 1
AND WILL BE 5% OF YOUR GRADE
Actg. 495 INTEGRATED ACCOUNTING ISSUES (4). The class integrates topics from various accounting areas. It provides students
with opportunities to see the accounting interactions and tradeoffs that result from realistic business situations. The course will enhance
students' understanding of accounting and its influence on a business, as well as the understanding of how business processes affect
accounting results, through a set of comprehensive case studies. Prerequisites: Actg. 360, 421, 492 and admission to the School of
TIME COMMITMENT: I expect 2 hours in class discussion and 6 – 8 hours outside of class before the next class period. If you make the
time commitment, and if everyone arrives at class prepared, then we will accomplish a great deal of learning and have fun.
TEAMWORK: I expect you to demonstrate your ability to work in teams. About half the cases will be done in teams of 3 people. You will
be asked to complete a team evaluation assessing the performance of team members (found on the blackboard site for the class), which
may affect your grade. In good teams, each team member contributes to the team outcome.
DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE:
In practice, Accountants of all types must also be able to comprehend an unfocused set of facts, identify and anticipate problems, and find
acceptable solutions. This involves creative problem solving that infers from knowledge such as textbook and professional standards to
seek respectable answers. Answers are often not "clear cut!” Important Learning Objectives related to critical skill development for
Accounting 495 include:
1. Develop and understanding of the role of ethics and the public interest as they apply to accounting issues.
2. Develop comprehensive financial analysis skills and the ability to understand the underlying drivers of financial results.
3. Understand the fundamentals of business valuation
4. Be able to discuss difficult issues with clients
5. Apply financial accounting, information system and internal controls, auditing, and tax knowledge in unstructured case settings.
6. Deal effectively with imposed pressures
REQUIRED READING MATERIALS:
1. Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting, Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Edition
2. Power points and articles posted to the webCT account
3. An additional reading package will be placed at Smart Copy
Accounting 495, Spring 2009 – Professor Raymond Johnson page 1
GRADING PROCEDURES AND CRITERIA:
One of the main objectives of this course is to prepare each student for future employment and future contribution to society. Thus,
critical thinking skills (making decisions based on rational thought rather than rote memorization), ethical behavior, reliably completing
assignments, oral and written communication skills and following directions will all be important factors in successfully completing this
Your grades on the following projects will be weighted noted below in determining your final grade.
Actg 495 Pretest 05%
Cases (4 @ 15% each) 60%
Class & Team Participation 10%
Learning Log 25%
In addition to the required work all students have an opportunity to submit an essay of no more than 2000 words on the subject of
“The role of the accountant in 21st Century society” which can contribute as much as half a grade improvement at the discretion of the
The primary determinant of whether a borderline grade will be increased or decreased will be based on the professor’s evaluation of the
Cases. You will be expected to write up answers to cases 2, 5, 6, and 8. Clear, concise writing is expected when answering each case.
You will be graded down for poor writing.
Class Participation. Since classes will not be “straight lecture,” but will include your active participation in discussions and in-class
activities, your preparation is critical to success in this course.
Classroom I expect that students should have completed the following prior to class.
Expectations 1. Read the assigned material prior to class
2. Complete the assigned cases prior to class.
3. Come to class with questions about assigned material that you do not understand and
prepared to discuss assigned material.
During the middle of the course again at the end of this course you will be given an opportunity to self assess your own contribution to
class participation. Your self-evaluation is non-binding, but I will consider it in determining your participation points for the class.
Students should understand that if you attend class every day and arrive on time, if you read all assignments prior to class, and
you complete assigned cases prior to class, and you are relatively silent during the course and do not contribute to our class
discussion, this is considered to be average at a C performance. Also, quality of contributions in questions and responses in class
discussion are considered more important than quantity.
Ethics. A requirement for passing this course is academic honesty and integrity. Failure to demonstrate honesty and integrity will result
in a grade of F.
University regulations provide for specific dates when a student registered in this course may (1) withdraw at the student's
discretion, (2) withdraw from this course only with the professor's and SBA approval, and (3) withdraw from a registered course
are only by petition to the Deadline Appeals Board. Student should refer to the schedule of classes for these dates.
Approved withdrawals from accounting courses will be granted only in instances of documented extraordinary circumstances.
Approval will not be granted on the basis that the grade currently being earned is not deemed desirable.
Accounting 495, Spring 2009 – Professor Raymond Johnson page 2
Accounting graduates are often exposed to learning tasks that require that they work in an ambiguous decision-making environment.
The cases presented in this class also involve ambiguity, decision-making, client service, consultation, professional communications, and
ethical dilemmas that many accountants experience in the real world. It may be difficult to get 100% of the issues in these cases correct
the first time. The learning log allows students to demonstrate what they learned after completing the class discussion of the case, and to
document the learning that takes place while working on a case. . The learning log is an attempt to allow you to document your own
development during the course of the class and maybe even to crystallize thoughts that have developed throughout your degree
experience. It also represents the personal part of the grading separate from the team case studies. It will be divided into three parts.
Part I. Executive Summary and Change of Accounting Viewpoint
A good learning log should include three items in the discussion of each case.
1. An Executive Summary. A good executive summary explores the key issues involved in the solution to each case. It provides an
overview to the key results and learning issues associated with each case.
2. It should further include a discussion of how the student’s viewpoint changed after class discussion. This section allows the
student to articulate issues that were not articulated in a case write-up or class discussion. You might also address how you
might approach each case differently, given class discussion. It would be appropriate to discuss what you learned after the class
discussion of the case that you did not include in your original case write-up. It is not sufficient to state a different answer to
the case in the learning log. You have to explain the rationale behind a revised solution or viewpoint to earn credit.
Similarly if your original opinion is solidified by the rest of the class the learning log needs to explain the process by
which you rejected new ideas. This is not mean to be a burdensome challenge but it is meant to require critical thinking
Part II. Professionalism
The first week begins with a discussion of professionalism, the public interest and the role of the accountant in society. These themes will
come up throughout the class and the learning log is meant to capture the development of your thoughts on the topic with specific
reference to the cases. In this section of the learning log, take each case in turn and discuss the issues associated with professionalism
that are associated with the case. If you wish to participate in the extra credit essay this section may well provide you with the
intellectual base on which to start.
Part III. Critical Thinking Critique
Professional practitioners often think about their own thought processes, and critique their own thought processes, even while they
are engaged in problem solving. For example, while diagnosing a patient’s illness a medical doctor will often reflect on their own
process of analyzing symptoms and suggesting further steps for evaluation. It is important that you learn to diagnose and evaluate
your own thought processes. In part III, you should critique of your own critical thinking process in the context of the case. Take each
case in turn and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your own thought process used to evaluate the case. Provide
illustrations, in the context of the case, of your own strengths and weaknesses. Take the opportunity to understand how you tackle
problems, what works for you and is a key asset as well as what you struggle with and will need to work on when you get out or back
to the “real world”.
We will talk through the concept of critical thinking and the learning logs more in class
Student Assistance Available from SBA
The SBA provides academic advisors as well as career and internship advisors to assist students in making the most of their
collegiate experience. Academic advisors are trained to provide counsel in a wide range of issues. From selecting a business
major to evaluating transferred transcripts, academic advisors are here to help students with all of their degree related
questions. The following is a brief summary of the type of issues with which academic advisors can offer assistance:
SBA admissions requirements
Major selection and requirements
Accounting 495, Spring 2009 – Professor Raymond Johnson page 3
Transfer credit petitions
Portland State rules and policies
In addition to academic advising, the SBA provides career and internship advisors to assist students in landing a job upon
graduation or a summer internship while students are still in pursuit of their degree. Career and internship advisors can also
provide resume and interview guidance.
All SBA advisors are available by appointment, which must be scheduled in advance. Drop-in hours are available as well.
Drop-in hours are held regularly throughout the week and are designed to help answer routine or simple questions. For more
information about SBA advising and drop-in hours please visit the School of Business website at www.sba.pdx.edu and click
on student resources.
Accounting 495, Spring 2009 – Professor Raymond Johnson page 4
SCHEDULE OF ASSIGNMENTS:
Day Dates Chapter Coverage and Other Assigned Readings Discussion Cases Graded Material
1 Harvey Kapnick, “In the Public Interest,” Accounting and Financial
March 31 st Reporting, Arthur Andersen, Chicago, 1974, pp. 1 – 11.
Harvey Kapnick, “Accountants – Accountable to Whom?”
Accounting and Financial Reporting, Arthur Andersen, Chicago,
1974, p. 45-51
2 April 2nd How the US Accounting Profession Got where it is today : Part 1 Accounting 495 Pretest
and Part 2 – Stephen A Zeff Accounting Horizons September Due
2003 & December 2003
Robert K. Mautz, “Public Accounting: What Kind of
Professionalism?” Accounting Horizons (September 1988), pp.
Accountability of Accountability Systems - Layzell David and
Dillard Jesse Cost Management 2004 familiarize yourself with
FARS (Financial Accounting Research System)
3 April 7th Familiarize yourself with FARS (Financial Accounting Research Case 1: WorldCom
System) Part A
The Numbers Game - remarks by Arthur Levitt Chairman of the USE FARS and other
SEC 1998 internet research as
Lies , Damned Lies and managed Earnings –Carol J Loomis necessary in
Fortune August 1999 supporting you
answers to the case.
4 April 9th AICPA Code of Conduct at www.aicpa.org Case 1: WorldCom
Code of Conduct for Oregon CPAS at Part B
5 April 14th Chapter 1: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting, Case 3 : Problem
Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Edition 1.12 &
Intro – FSA lecture
6 April 16th Chapter 3: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting, Follow up Intro of Case 2: Alpha Net
Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, Edition
6th FSA Universal
7 April 21 st Chapter 3: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting, Case 4: Coachman
Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Edition Part A & B
8 April 23rd Chapter 4: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting, Case 4: Coachman
Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Edition Part A & B
9 April 28th Chapter 4: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting, Case 4: Coachman
Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Edition Part C & D
10 April 30th Chapter 5: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting, FSA Reflection &
Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Edition Coachman transition
Don Giacomino and David Mielke, “Cash Flows: Another to Champion
Approach to Ratio Analysis, Journal of Accountancy, March
1993 pp. 55 – 58.
11 May 5th Chapters 6, 7 and 8: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Champion Working
Reporting, Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th session
12 May 7th Chapters 1 through 8: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Enron Background Case 5: Champion
Reporting, Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Enterprises
Thomas, C. William, “The Rise and Fall of Enron,” Journal of
Accountancy, April 2002, pp. 41- 48.
The Enron Ethics Breakdown – The Conference Board February
Accounting 495, Spring 2009 – Professor Raymond Johnson page 5
Day Dates Chapter Coverage and Other Assigned Readings Discussion Cases Graded Material
13 May 12th Ittner, Christopher D. and Larcker, David F., Coming up Short on Case 7: Champion
Nonfinancial Performance Measurement, Harvard Business Review Balanced Score Card
14 May 14th Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, “The Balanced Scorecard – Case 7: Champion Case 6: Enron
Measures that Drive Performance,” Harvard Business Review (January Balanced Score Card
– February 1992).
Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, “Putting the Balanced
Scorecard to Work,” Harvard Business Review (September – October
Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, “Using the Balanced Scorecard
as a Strategic Management System,” Harvard Business Review
(January – February 1996).
15 May 19th Chapter 10: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting, Case 7: : Champion
Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Edition Balanced Score Card
16 May 21st Chapter 12: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting, Case 8: Builder’s Depot
Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Edition Part A- Discussion
17 May 26 th Chapter 12: Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Reporting,
Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Edition
18 May 28th Chapters 10 and 12 Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial Case 8: Builder’s Depot
Reporting, Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th Part B
19 June 2nd Chapters 10 and 12 Stickney, Brown and Wahlen, Financial
Reporting, Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation, 6th
20 June 4th Accountants in Global Enterprises
21 Finals Week There is no final – we will meet for an important review of what we Learning Log & Optional
June 9th have done during the term. Essay due June 9th
The PSU Library has some general on-line research support tools at http://www.lib.pdx.edu/instruction/survivalguide/index.htm.
Accounting 495, Spring 2009 – Professor Raymond Johnson page 6
THIS ASSIGNMENT IS DUE AT THE SECOND CLASS MEETING.
IT IS WORTH 10% OF YOUR GRADE
Accounting 495: Integrated Accounting Issues
Part 1: Please answer the following questions about yourself: (this section is intended to help me understand the composition of the class
a. Name & preferred emergency contact:
b. A brief (2 to 3 paragraph) personal history. Please only include stuff that you are comfortable sharing with the professor
c. A brief academic history including what major or minors you have pursued and what really interests you: If you are a Post
baccalaureate accounting student please give details on your pre accounting studies
d. Do you already have a job arranged upon completion of the program? What will your position be and what firm/company will you work
for? If you are still looking for a job, please let me know the type of job you are seeking. If you are already employed and studying
part-time let me know some interesting stuff about your current job and your desires from your degree.
e. Do you have a life plan and vision of where you would like to be personally and professionally in 5, 10 or 20? Do you have a process
for balancing your short or long term goals with your professional and personal goals?
f. How would you characterize your personal philosophy of life? Try and cite a philosopher or economist or superhero if you can?
g. Are you taking this class to get a qualification or an education?
Part 2 please answer the following questions in complete, well written, sentences. The quality of your writing will be a
component of your grade on this assignment. Some of the questions you should have a clear picture of from your pre requisite
studies. Some of them are business and social awareness questions where the answers are personal opinions and there is no
1. When someone tells you that they are a CPA what are the first 3 things that you think about them?
2. How much judgment is there in producing a set of accounts? Are the rules pretty clear or is there a lot of discretion to be exercised by
creators and readers of accounts? Illustrate with an example.
3. What does it mean to be a member of a profession? Is accounting a profession? Is being a plumber? Do you have to belong to a
professional body to be a professional?
4. Describe your opinion about the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 for example: - what was it trying to fix? Do you think that it was
necessary? Do you think it worked? What do you feel to be the two most important aspects of the Act? Would you like to see more
5. Describe your opinion on Enron? - Who do you think was most to blame in the Enron failures? Was it an Enron specific problem or a
systematic problem in capitalism? Do you think it could happen again?
6. What are the top 3 things wrong with accounting today in your opinion? What is the hardest part of Accounting for you?
7. How high did the TED SPREAD go in the financial crisis? What is it its normal range? What is it today? What is its connection to the
8. Do you think it was a wise move or a mistake to let Lehman Brothers go bust? do you
9. Would you have stepped in to save the car industry?
10. On a scale 0 to 10 would you say you were a free market capitalist? Explain.
Accounting 495, Spring 2009 – Professor Raymond Johnson page 7