Solved!!! Effective Communication for Accountants

Week 1

Discussion Question 1:

How has the role of professional accountants evolve in recent years? What support and resources do the professional organizations and trade associations offer to current and aspiring accountants? How best can you apply this information to your academic and professional pursuits?

The role of professional accountants has evolved greatly over the years. In the past accounts primary job was more or less to manage the basic financial statements, book keeping so to speak.  Now accounts while still balancing statements, are used in financial strategizing, organizational structure, and even as advisors for corporate and personal finical planning. This growth in accounting has been made possible due to different advancements in the workplace, but the key resource would have to be technology.  “As technology advanced so did the speed and proficiency of the accountant’s job.” (Pepe, 2011) When looking at the technology used in accounting you can go all the way back to the abacus, this was originally used to keep track of all business transactions. From there it advances to the adding machine which quickly turned into the calculator. Even with these advancements accounts still had to keep track of their work by hand. It was not until the end of the twentieth century when computers and software were introduced to the accounting field. Program such as Microsoft Excel removed the need for pencils, papers, and calculators. (Pepe, 2011)

With all the technology changes, the requirements of accountants also changed. In the past accountant used to work numbers to complete a person’s taxes, or conduct an audit. Today with the use of technology accountant can now run a statistical analysis with more accuracy and efficiency. Thus giving them more opportunities to think critically and give a more in-depth solution.  The internet has also been a big part of advancements made in accounting. (Pepe, 2011) “The latest tax law changes are just a Google search away, basic auditing processes can be learned on YouTube, and technical accounting questions can be quickly and accurately answered by a LinkedIn group.” (“Lighting” p.3) The AICPA has developed a task force on the Future of Learning to help with the education and the proficiency of CPA’s. They have come up with four topics to focus on; innovate and experiment, ignite a passion for learning, make learning personal, and measure what matters. Along with this the AICPA provide CPA’s with different ways to Continue Professional Education (CPE) such as Self-Study, Live Web Events, and Group Studies. For those who are more involved in social media you can follow the AICPA groups on

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. According to research conducted by Karie Willyerd, in the year 2020 cloud computing platforms , advanced analytical tools, social and mobile computing will completely change the way we work. (“Lighting”, p.2)

Pepe, Angens A. “The Evolution of Technology for the Accounting Profession.”CPA Practice Advisor. N.p., 19 Apr. 2011. Web. 02 Sept.

2014.http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/article/10263076/the-evolution-of-technology-for-theaccounting-profession

“Lighting the Fire.” AICPA. Web. 02 Sept. 2014 http://futureoflearning.aicpa.org/

“Professional Development.” AICPA CPE for CPAs. Web. 02 Sept. 2014. http://www.aicpa.org/CPEANDCONFERENCES/CPESELFSTUDY/Pages/CPESelfStudy.aspx

“AICPA News.” AICPA. Web. 02 Sept. 2014. http://www.aicpa.org/News/Pages/SocialMedia.aspx

Discussion Question 2:

In your opinion, what role does the accountant play in the decision-making process within organizations? Share your own experiences within your organization or those of others, noting how the role of the accountant interacts with other departments within the organization. What are the primary communication tools that accountants use in an organization to communicate with their counterparts in other parts of the organization and assess whether they are the most efficient?

The accountant plays a key role in the decision making process within their organization. Smaller organizations accounts generally will collect and run financial data daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. While in a larger organization the account may play more of an advisor for the organization by gathering and analyzing data, while still performing their duties as far as the financial data.  Most accountants, regardless of a organizations size, will normally prepare any financial statements that the organization might need as well. (Davis)

The AICPA has stated that in order to be successful in the accounting profession, having good communication skills is the key. Accountant have many difference forms of communication within the organizations: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. Tax accountant will write memos to other members of the firm that give the results of their research, which will then become part of their clients file. Then there are auditors who write memos for the clients file with information on the work that they have done throughout their time at that specific firm. Another job type for an account would be system specialists who write documents on how to use accounting software, or system applications used in accounting. Reading the material in client files, memos, and e-mails is also essential. Reading is important when researching materials needed to stay up-to-date in the accounting community. Listening gives you the essential information as to what the client, your superiors, or subordinate in expecting or concerned about. Speaking is also a main skill in communicating within an organization. Accountants will have to report their findings to different groups of people within their organization. When it comes to successful communication within an organization the key is to keep it simple, do not try to make it long and wordy, or have difficult vocabulary. Make sure that everyone will understand the point that you are trying to communicate. (May & May 2009)

Davis, S. What Role Does an Accountant Play in Business Operations? Retrieved September 3, 2014, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/role-accountant-play-business-operations-411.html

May, C., & May, G. (2009). Accountants as Communicators. In Effective writing: A handbook for accountants (8th ed., pp. 1-15). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board offers academics and practitioners the opportunity to comment on proposed changes. The comment letters, listed on the Online Comment Letter section of the FASB website, are available for public consumption. Not only do the authors comment on proposed or pending changes, they also offer recommendations and solutions that could potentially reduce the burden on practicing professionals in both the accounting and finance industries.

Visit the FASB website and select the comment letter authored by Rick Gore, Ph.D. in response to the FASB’s preliminary document entitled, The Conceptual

Framework for Financial Reporting: Objective of Financial Reporting and Qualitative Characteristics of Decision-Useful Financial Reporting Information. The article can be found by clicking on the following link:

After reading the article, offer a review of the comment letter that summarizes the following:

  • What was the overall issue and argument the author was trying to convey?
  • In your opinion, was the writer’s tone in business writing appropriate? Why or why not?
  • Did the author present a convincing argument on his views?
  • What authoritative resource did the author cite in his argument?
  • Did the author present a solution to the issue?
  • What changes would you make to this letter and why?

Your review should consist of 2 pages and should include references, properly cited, according to APA standards.

Submit this document by Day 7.

The accountant plays a key role in the decision making process within their organization. Smaller organizations accounts generally will collect and run financial data daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. While in a larger organization the account may play more of an advisor for the organization by gathering and analyzing data, while still performing their duties as far as the financial data.  Most accountants, regardless of a organizations size, will normally prepare any financial statements that the organization might need as well. (Davis)

The AICPA has stated that in order to be successful in the accounting profession, having good communication skills is the key. Accountant have many difference forms of communication within the organizations: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. Tax accountant will write memos to other members of the firm that give the results of their research, which will then become part of their clients file. Then there are auditors who write memos for the clients file with information on the work that they have done throughout their time at that specific firm. Another job type for an account would be system specialists who write documents on how to use accounting software, or system applications used in accounting. Reading the material in client files, memos, and e-mails is also essential. Reading is important when researching materials needed to stay up-to-date in the accounting community. Listening gives you the essential information as to what the client, your superiors, or subordinate in expecting or concerned about. Speaking is also a main skill in communicating within an organization. Accountants will have to report their findings to different groups of people within their organization. When it comes to successful communication within an organization the key is to keep it simple, do not try to make it long and wordy, or have difficult vocabulary. Make sure that everyone will understand the point that you are trying to communicate. (May & May 2009)

Davis, S. What Role Does an Accountant Play in Business Operations? Retrieved September 3, 2014, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/role-accountant-play-business-operations-411.html

May, C., & May, G. (2009). Accountants as Communicators. In Effective writing: A handbook for accountants (8th ed., pp. 1-15). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

In June 2012 when President Obama and congress signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) CPA’s had to help companies decide the best health insurance decisions. CPA’s had to decide if Individual, Small Group, Large Group or Self-insured was what the company needed. The different types have different risks, such as small group have a high cost and low benefits, where self-insured was better if you had younger healthy employees. “The PPACA mandates certain coverage levels for the individual and small group markets that fall into four metal tiers, which are not based on the quality of care, but rather on the plan’s actuarial value (AV), which is the amount that a plan pays toward medical expenses and the premium and out-of-pocket costs covered by the customer.” Then there is the pricing and benefits to think about. What is the cost of the payout versus the coverage in the policy.  Private and Government Exchange also had to be take into account. Small Group Insurers had more to consider like underwriting changes which affected the 50 year and younger community. The older employees would see a rate reduction where the younger employees would see a rate increase. Or they could choose to be self-funded meaning that where the risk is evaluated and the maximum liability is calculated. There is also the Play-or-Pay aspect which caused employers to manage their workers more closely so that not too many employees were over the 30 hour minimum to require health insurance coverage. Finally, the last thing to consider is limited network plans, which would require employees to drop their doctors, but reduced the co-pay and the deductible. The PPACA provides many challenge to CPA’s, but if they stay on top of changes and keep the organization informed, the end result will be what everyone is looking for.

Dietrch, Mark O., and Brian K. Marks. “Health Care Reform Essentials.” Health Care Reform Essentials. Journal of Accountancy, July 2014. Web. 02 Sept. 2014.

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Week 2:

Discussion:

Consider promotions that you may often hear offered to prospective consumers by competitive firms. Among some of the most common promotions are frequent flier miles and mobile phone “roll-over” minutes. However, as consumers accept these offers, the firm offering these incentives must record the potential customer’s transaction as a

“nonrevenue” transaction and carry forward the contractual debt until such time that the customer uses it or the benefit expires.

When an organization introduces a new promotion to a customer, should the accounting department be proactive or reactive as these promotional decisions are made, especially when the new promotional offer could impact the organization financially? As you respond, keep in mind that differing departments within organizations often have competing interests, as the marketing department may advocate a different position than the accounting department to senior management. Also, discuss how the accounting department must respond when new promotions are offered for which there is currently no publicized accounting literature.

To be proactive means to be prepared, intervene in, and control in expected events or situations, especially negative ones; or to be pre-emptive (Dictionary). Where to be reactive means to act in reference to an event that has already occurred (Dictionary). In accounting both types of accountants are customarily seen. “A proactive accountant is constantly promoting all services to all clients by using many different forms of marketing. While a reactive accountant is not doing any forms of marketing or is hoping that organizations will ask for what they need.” (Nixon, 2011) Proactive accountants in promotional decision making will often result in higher value, and more cost-effective and gratifying results for clients.  In an organization the main goal is to create new products or promotions to increase the revenue of the firm. This is where management accounting comes into play. They will collect the data of each possible outcome to come up with most cost-effective decision. (Proactive)

Communication and promotional decisions are the main criteria in retail customer management.  Manufactures decisions directly affect the decisions of the retailers. Trade promotions are used by the retailer to increase the need for products in stores. Trade promotions are often made verbally, retailers forget to claim fund, vendors do not record funds in their invoices, a retailer can claim funds more than once which leads to problems in the accounting of trade promotions. This has caused the creation of post-auditing industries, whose main objective is to discover the amount of money lost to retailers.  The post-auditing industry is a reactive industry whose goal is to come up with a solution to the money lost in the trade promotion. This causes tension between the retail and vendor firms as well as their accounting and marking departments. Once a claim is resolve it will be about 1 % of the annual sales and can occur up to 24 months after the original transaction. To avoid situations like these the accounting department needs to be more proactive. First they retailers need to analyze all possible trade promotions and the performance of each. Organizations also need to keep their budgets in mind, as well is it an ideal approach for the company as a whole and not just monthly, weekly, or daily. With all this in mind organizations would benefit from understanding how consumers react to their promotions and how they affect their organization. (Ailawadi, Beauchamp, Donthu, Gauri, & Shankar, 2008)

Seyram, K. Categories you should follow. Retrieved September 9, 2014, from

http://www.answers.com/Q/Importance_of_management_accounting_to_a_manufacturing_firm

Proactive Accountants Network About. Retrieved September 9, 2014, from http://proactiveaccountants.net/about/http://crs.mays.tamu.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2013/04/Ailawadi…Shankar-JR-20091.pdf

Nixon, R. (2011, May 3). Proactive or Reactive – be honest « robnixon.com. Retrieved

September 9, 2014, from http://robnixon.com/proactive-or-reactives-behonest#sthash.S9zGV0Bw.dpuf

Ailawadi, K., Beauchamp, J., Donthu, N., Gauri, D., & Shankar, V. (2008). Communication and

Promotion Decisions in Retailing: A Review and Directions for Future Research. Retrieved September 9, 2014, from http://crs.mays.tamu.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2013/04/Ailawadi…Shankar-JR-20091.pdf

Dictionary.com. Retrieved September 9, 2014, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/react

Dictionary.com. Retrieved September 9, 2014, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reactive?s=t

Dictionary.com. Retrieved September 9, 2014, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/proactive Activity:

There are basically two types of resources from which factual information may be pulled-either scholarly or popular resources. Popular resources refer to the books and magazines you can find at your local bookstore, as well as many sites found on the Internet. Scholarly writing is usually confined to journals or textbooks, which are harder to find in the market and are usually read by academics. Take a moment to think of some popular and scholarly resources you typically consult. With those examples in mind, consider the following: While reliable information can be found in both sources, scholarly works are considered more credible because they typically contain a multitude of references and undergo a more rigorous trial of verification, including strict publishing guidelines and a peer-review process.

For this Application, you will analyze the differences between scholarly and popular writing by reviewing an article in one of the most popular student resources, Wikipedia, and compare it to both an article retrieved from the Walden Library and content retrieved from a credible professional website.

  • Visit Wikipedia.com and search using the term accounting. After perusing the information, would you consider this to be a credible resource? Why or why not? Is it scholarly?
  • Is it ever permissible to use nonscholarly resources and why? What resources would you opt to use if you were unable to locate a peer-reviewed article? Why would you select these resources?
  • Find a site on the Internet that would be a credible resource for use in the field of accounting. Include the link and then describe why you selected this site and why it would be useful for managers. What reasoning did you use to determine the credibility of this site?
  • Retrieve a relevant accounting article from one of the management databases within the Walden Library. How could you determine if the resource that you are reviewing is biased in its information or viewpoint?

The internet provides a plethora of resources at your fingertips. There are two types of resources that a person typically uses in their research scholarly and popular resources. Scholarly resources are often peer reviewed by professionals before they are published such as textbooks or journal articles. Popular resources are reliable but do not need to be peer reviewed such as magazine articles and books. The hardest part when it comes to researching a topic is determining if the article is credible or scholarly. In order for a resource to be credible it should have the author listed, a recent date of publication, site the information present in the document, a domain that is .edu, .gov, or.org, and proper grammar and spelling. In order for a resource to be scholarly it is often written by a faculty, researcher or scholar, and is peer review before publication.  In research the ideal resource would be a scholarly article, however sometimes they are harder to find. If you cannot find a scholarly article for the a research topic, make sure to find a reliable source.  When doing research having a credible or scholarly resource will improve the overall quality of the research.

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia designed to have others collaborate to create general knowledge before you research the topic in depth. On Wikipedia any one can edit the information at a given, there are thousands of changes made an hour on Wikipedia. When using the website to research “accounting” the article has 62 different citations which would lead one to believe that is it a reliable resource, but when making edits to Wikipedia it is a recommendation not requirement to provide a citation. In order for it to be a credible resource the editors should be named, when someone who is knowledgeable about a subject such as a doctor or professor would indicate more of a dependability of the information provided. Another change that would make it more reliable would be the date of the edit being provided. Everything in today’s society changes so frequently that the most recent update would be considered more reliable then something that was updated years ago. The domain is also an indicator to determine if the resource is reliable. Wikipedia is a .com, anyone can create a website. If the database you are using is a .edu, .gov, or .org. These are monitored by professionals in the field one is researching. Wikipedia is not a scholarly resource either. In order for it to be scholarly it has to follow the above mentioned criteria as well as be peer reviewed before publication. Wikipedia is not reviewed by peers before it is published, it can be changed by the click of a few keys on the keyboard. There are no requirements to making an edit to the page, in some cases vandalism is done to the page, which means that false information is provided. This does not happen often and Wikipedia has a way of identifying the vandalism quickly.

In accounting there are many credible websites including the FASB (Financial

Accounting Standards Board), the IRS (Internal Revenues Service), and list locate on pg. 159 in Effective Writing: A Handbook for Accountants. If those are not helpful enough there is also http://aaajournals.org/. The American Association of Accountants (AAA) provides a digital library full of full-text papers in PDF of 17 different journals. When it comes to an .org website, the researcher needs to be careful because it is run by an organization. However, journals are considered scholarly resources themselves. The library not only consists of current journal issues but it is made up of archived journal issues. The best part of the AAA digital library is that it is free to use and does not require membership to the AAA.

When doing research it is important to not just identify whether the resource is credible or scholarly, but to determine if the article is biased. The article “Accountant, heal thyself” is an example of a biased article. The first observation one can make is that there is no author listed specifically, this can lead a person to believe that nobody want to be directly attached to this article. The entire article seems to only have one view point that business schools are not providing students with the proper relevance and types of learning needed for their careers. They provide solutions and suggestions for schools to implement, however there is never the point of view of a school expressed. The article also only has one reference indicating that there is not a lot of research done for the article and that is more of an opinion of one person or a group of people. The article also has a cartoon of people mindlessly walking in a trans into a computer. This is biased because it people just following the person before them, and not thinking for themselves. It gives the read the impression that everyone is the same and their opinion does not matter. The artwork is way to leave an impression on a person whether it is good or bad.

Accountants tend to use research to solve any problems that may arise in their professional career. It is important to know what types of resources whether it be popular or scholarly resources that should be used. Another thing to consider when researching is try to not use a biased article, you want to have both sides so that your research is not skewed in a specific direction. Resources are used as a support for the argument you are trying to make the more scholarly and reliable resources you use the more accurate your research will be.

(2008) “Accountant, heal thyself: Can accountants afford not to learn on the job?”, Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, Vol. 22 Iss: 1, pp.24 – 26

Is it scholarly? Tips for critically evaluating your information resources. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from http://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/howdoi/scholarly.html

How Do I Decide if a Source is Scholarly?. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from https://www.saintmarys.edu/library/how-do-i-decide-if-source-scholarly

Evaluating Sources and Arguments: Credibility and Bias. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from

http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/wrobel/1121/Course Materials/Web Lectures/evaluating_sources_for_credibili.htm

American Accounting Association. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from http://aaajournals.org/

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Week 3 Discussion 1

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

At the age of 19, Kavya Viswanathan had made achievements beyond the reach of many.

She was a sophomore in Harvard and her first novel, “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got

Wild and Got a Life,” was part of a highly publicized two-book deal with publisher Little,

Brown and Company. Viswanathan’s future seemed bright, until an article in the Harvard Crimson brought it all down. The paper noticed multiple similarities with two books by the young-adult novelist Megan McCafferty. In some passages the text appeared to be copied word for word. Take a look at the comparisons between McCafferty’s writing and Viswanathan’s and judge for yourself:http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/lunch/Passages.pdf. Viswanathan confessed to copying the passages, and as a result, the publishers recalled all copies of her book currently on sale. Why did Little, Brown and Company act so strongly in this event, or the college paper, for that matter, bring the issue to light? What was so wrong about Viswanathan’s actions?

Education refers to the continuous development and maintenance of ideas. Part of this understanding is the principle of giving credit where credit is due. Taking the ideas or words of others and passing them off as your own is called plagiarism and represents the greatest offense a person can make in academia. Take a few moments to review the Resources for this week.

Respond to the following:

  • What are three things you learned about plagiarism, and how will you use that knowledge? How will you ensure your work is properly cited? What strategies will you use?
  • Why is it important to have academic integrity? Think about the role of academic integrity as it relates to you, your classmates, your Instructor, the institution, and the company you may work for. What are some of the implications when academic integrity is not valued or upheld by others?
  • How does this translate to the world of management?

Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s work and trying to pass it off as your own. There are five different forms of plagiarism that people fall victim too. Kavya Viswanathan has an example of each involved in her novel How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life compared to Megan McCafferty’s Sloppy Firsts.

  1. Copy and paste, which is copying word for word from a source without using the proper quotations and citations. Example 20, 24 and 44
  2. Word Switch, where you have the same exact sentence with the exception of a few words that are changed.  Vitwanathan falls victim to this when she discusses her best friend and how they came to be. Kavya and Megan both talk about where their best friend lives, how long they’ve been friends, how they changed, and how they met their new friends. Example 1.
  3. Style plagiarism, this is where even though you do not have the same exact sentences the flow is exactly the same. This occurs many time in writing specifically when they discuss seeing Marcus or Sean for the first time. Example 8.
  4. Metaphor plagiarism, when you cannot think of your own comparison yourself so you use the same one as the other person.  In Vitwanathan novel she compares talking to Sean to sev mixture, and in McCaffty;s novel she compares talking to Marcus like taking a shot of Schnapps with a tobacco chaser. The words are not the same but they are both described to mean basically the same thing sweet and spicy at the same time. Example 9.
  5. Idea plagiarism, which is in a situation you do not come up with your own solution you use someone else’s. (PLAGIARISM) 

Plagiarism is an offense that is punishable by law, expulsion, termination, or failure of the course. It is important that in any writing that you do you give credit where credit is due. Whether you are paraphrasing or using a direct quotation it should always be followed by the correct citation. There are two forms of citation that can be used within your writing, internal and footnotes. In school academic integrity is the responsibility and honesty in the work that you turn in. It is important to have academic integrity to prove that you have the skills required to succeed in the workforce, to gain a confidence that can research and write a report the proper way, and to form a trustworthy relationships. Academic integrity continues into the work force, in order to keep an honest and trustworthy relationship with your employer it is important to keep you academic integrity in mind.

PLAGIARISM. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2014, from

http://ww2.valdosta.edu/~cbarnbau/personal/teaching_MISC/plagiarism.htm

May, C., & May, G. (2012). Accounting Research. In Effective writing: A handbook for accountants (10th ed., pp. 143-144). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

McCafferty, M. (2001). Sloppy firsts: A novel. New York: Crown.

Viswanathan, K. (2006). How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild, and got a life: A novel. New York: Little, Brown, and.

Discussion 2

With the progress of online technologies, writing has become a more diverse form of discourse. Consider your day-to-day written communication with others, such as e-mails, text messages, reports, and even good old-fashioned letters. How do you structure your writing when composing to different audiences? Would you use the same type of language to text a friend as you would to send a letter to an important client? Obviously not. The language used to convey information can greatly vary based on the intent of the message and the audience to which it is addressed.

Select one of the following articles from this week’s Resources, which are written to a business audience.

  • Bhattacharya, S. (2010). How to decide effectively. Business Today, 19(5), 157.

Retrieved from Business Source Complete database

  • Feuer, M. (2010). Respect: You have to earn it before you get it. Smart Business

Atlanta, 7(3), 30.

Retrieved from Business Source Complete database

After reading the article, write a one-paragraph summation of the information given, using a scholarly voice, and post it to the Discussion Board. You might want to review the Resources for this week for tips on scholarly writing.

Respond to the following:

  • Comment on your experience. Was it easy or difficult to change voices in the writing?
  • What are the main differences between business writing and scholarly writing? How can scholarly research be used to support managerial writing?

The article “How to decide effectively” by Saumya Bhattacharya, discusses the process required to make a good decision. He discusses a six step process that should be used when faced with a difficult decision. First determine what the problem is that you are trying to solve. The next steps are to research the problem, and determine the possible outcomes. Once you have done this create a list no more than two pages of what you decided and the possible outcomes of the decision. It is best to check off what has occurred, this will help to narrow down any sources of possible failure. Saumya states that this processes should not be used for everyday decisions, but when make a life changing decision, follow these steps so that you can be confident with any decision made. (Bhattacharya, 2010)

In order to write the summation of “How to decide effectively” by Saumya Bhattacharya the language did not have to be changed much. He wrote the article in a tone that was able to be understood by many people. The main change from Saumya’s writing to the summation was, he used quotations and cited resources in the article. A summation is not as formal as an article. Articles are used to discuss a topic and provide resources to support the main idea, where a summation is use to show an understanding of the topic. In managerial writing it is important to keep the reader in mind, use clear concise langue, and keep it to the point much like a summation. Scholarly research can be used to help with managerial writing, it is important to make sure that the information you are giving in truthful and informative. The reader should not have to question if the information provided is correct. It is beneficial to read many different scholarly articles so that it is well versed and full of factual information.

Bhattacharya, S. (2010). How to decide effectively. Business Today, 19(5), 157.

Contemporary Managerial Writing. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2014, from http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0073377759/student_view0/chapter4/index.html

Critical Analysis of a Scholarly Article

Scholarly writers are aware of their audience and base their writing on solid evidence rather than on assumptions and/or opinions. In addition, scholarly writers must also utilize a scholarly voice. This assignment will give you practice in scholarly writing and using a scholarly voice.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review the handout: Study Notes: Introduction to Scholarly Writing: Finding a Scholarly Voice.

Locate and save the following article in the Walden Library:

  • Thomson, J. (2009). Closing the accounting talent gap. The CPA Journal, 79(12), 1314. Retrieved from ABI/INFORM Global database

With this article as your basis, complete the following using your other resources for the week as a guide:

  • Write a one-page summary of this article in which you:

o Describe the central research problem or topic o Explain the purpose of the article o Describe what the author(s) concluded o Analyze the logic of what you have read

-Include an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the article as a piece of scholarly writing and of its appropriateness for its intended audience.

-Briefly review at least two different references listed in the article. How do they support this article and its conclusions?

-Use at least three of the standards for critical thinking as described in Chapter 7, “Critical Thinking,” in the course text.

Be sure that your summary and analysis demonstrate your understanding of scholarly writing and your skill in using a scholarly voice, and is appropriate for your intended audience.

Jeffrey C. Thomson, president and CEO of the Institute of Management Accountant, wrote the article “Closing the Accounting Gap”. The article states that those who graduate with an undergraduate degree in accounting are not prepared with the skills needed to advance in accounting and finance departments. Skills such as leadership, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and risk management are needed to be successful in the accounting field.

Jeffrey uses a supply a demand model to describe the need for change in the accounting educational process. The supply is the accountant that graduates with a degree in accounting. The first job many accountant get is usually in taxing and/or auditing. Typical schooling for an account prepares them for their first job, as a tax accountant or auditor with classes such as the History of Auditing. The American Association of Accountants pointed out the education requirements of an accountant has not changed in the past fifty years. Accountants who are not exposed to the different forms of accounting will find it hard to compete in the growing and changing profession. The demand is new requirements of the CFOteam according to the customers, members, and shareholders of an organization. Current CFOteams are still focused on processing transactions, but they are moving toward focusing on growing the organization financially. In order to accomplish this CFO teams will need to have skills in strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting, predictive and competitive analysis, business, risk management, leadership, negotiation, change management and communications. Since the skills are not currently found in accountants, organizations have developed a way to improve them within the organization.

Colleges and Universities are urged to adjust their accounting programs to prepare students for not only jobs in auditing and taxation, but for financial positions in organizations as well. Michigan State University, Kansas State University, and Northwestem University’s Kellogg School of Management have management accounting programs in place already, and the Institute of Management Accounting (IMA) is creating a curriculum with Johnson & Whales University to create a managerial accounting curriculum. The goal of changing the curriculum is to create highly qualified accountants upon graduation.

“Closing the Accounting Gap” is a scholarly article, intended for all colleges and university with accounting majors. Jeffrey Thomson used clear concise language that all accountants would understand, cited few resources, and was published in the CPA Journal in 2009. Unfortunately the CPA Journal posted an ad in the middle of the article; this affects the article in a negative way. It distracts from the article and disrupts the flow of the writing. The quote Thomson used form the Bedford Report was used to support his main idea that schools need to change the accounting requirements. The concern with this resource is that is from 1986.When writing scholarly articles, the date of resources is very important to consider. There were many changes in the world and education in the 23 years since it was published. Even though the quote was supportive, when you think about all the things that can change in the twenty three years it changes the impact to negative on the article. Thomas also referenced the 2006 U.S. Bureau of Statistics, which states that the accounting field was predicted to grow 18% in the next ten years, and that 226,000 jobs will be created. This information provided Thomas with a reason that the accounting curriculum needed to change immediately.  This is a good resource to use in a scholarly article. The data provided in the U.S. Bureau of Statistics is research, calculated and recalculated for accuracy, therefore making it a reliable resource to use. Thomas wrote the article as a CFO, and only gave one point of view. When making a good argument it is advised to discuss, and research both points of view. Since Thomas only discussed his thoughts on the topic it weakens his position on the topic, had he included the academia’s point of view it would have given a sense of responsibility in reaching his conclusion. Though Jeffrey was clearly passionate about changing the educational requirement of accountants, had he put more research into his article, he would have formed a more acceptable conclusion.

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Discussion – Week 4

Appropriateness of Commumnication

Most organizations use some form of controlled (unmediated) communication, even if only in unusual situations. Today’s electronic media make it much simpler, with such tools as email, blogs, or Twitter, for even small organizations to find ways to circumvent traditional media gatekeepers, thus controlling both the content and the delivery timing of their message.

Recall experiences within your own organization or an organization with which you are familiar that required controlled communications, especially to relay pertinent financial information. Think about a particular example or situation to help explain your response to each question and how you would determine the appropriate strategies.

In your response, address the following questions, keeping your example in mind:

  • What strategies and tactics would you recommend for various audiences in your example?
  • Which tools do you believe would be most effective, in general, in internal communications? Why?

Discuss the importance of differentiating between internal and external communications. Why must external communications be treated differently? Why must organizations remain careful, even when distributing internal communications?

With the use of technology organizations have changed the ways that they communicate with their employees, and clients. Social media can be used to create traffic, a following, interactions, and revenue. It is important when using these sites to remember that you are talking with the everyday person, using only a specified number of characters. That’s where it becomes difficult because you need to stay simple but professional at the same time. Social media is not mean to have a business tone, but to be more conversational among the community. 

 Communication is often done within an organization by the use of memos, and past most external communication was done by sending a letter. Memos and letters are usually sent by email as the body or an attachment, but can still be printed and hand delivered. The length of a is not necessarily very long, but they should all have clear concise style and tone. All memos should have an introduction, body and conclusion, no wordiness or unnecessary repetition. Memos are mostly used for communication between departments, or other staff members, but can be used in a client’s file. They will be used by other accountants for reference, so if client calls with a question, an accountant will write a memo with the information needed so that someone else can research and answer the question. A letter is written by all accountant to clients, government agencies and fellow colleagues.  Both printed or e-mailed letters follow the same format. First, is the heading which is your address and letter date. Followed by the inside address which is a replication of the address on the envelope. Then it is the salutation, or the greeting, which should be addressed to the correspondent by name. Next is the introduction, body and conclusion of the letter single spaced with a double space between paragraphs. When writing the letter it is important to keep the reader in mind, use vocabulary that is understandable, and keep it as short and simple as possible. To end letters have a closing followed by a signature. It is important to put a space between the closing and the signature, to hand sign your name. If needed after the closing you can put additional notations or enclosures. If a letter is printed make sure that it is on 8 ½ in by 11 in high quality white or cream colored paper with a letter head, and the envelope should be printed as well.

Electronic messaging has become the dominant form of communication for organizations, since it is faster and easier. With that mistakes are made much more easily. It is important to always double check the sender, make sure you did not exactly hit reply all instead just reply. Remember that all e-mails are saved on the server even after they are deleted, so if you do not want someone to find out the conversation being had, do not have it.

May, C., & May, G. (2012). Accounting Research. In Effective writing: A handbook for accountants (10th ed., pp.168-203, 224-240). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall Activity Week 4:

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and BP’s response are costly in many respects. Some of those costs were realized immediately, while others will continue to be recognized for years to come.

Identify the cost implications of the spill and how best they might be recognized by BP (and others). Should the accountant take a positive approach or a normative approach when trying to quantify the costs? How can accountants assume a proactive role in shaping the strategic decision making?

On April 20, 2010 one of the worst environmental disaster occurred, an oil spill,

fire and an explosion happened aboard the Deepwater Horizon. Deepwater Horizon is an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, which was under contract with BP oil to drill an exploratory well. The result of this disaster was over 200 million gallons of crude oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, miles of coast line damages in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, the death of 11 people and injuring 17 people, as well as the death of over 8,000 animals. BP will pay about $4 billion in penalties over five years, which includes $1.256 billion in fines, $2.394 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and $350 million to the National Academy of Sciences. On top of that BP agreed to pay $525 million to settle civil charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission.     

BP accountants have been arguing that the payments have been too generous, and would like them to be refunded. BP stated that claims administrator was not calculating the award correctly by not matching the expenses to the revenue. Some businesses uses the normative approach which factoring in the cash the expected to receive and pay the out in the future, while others use the positive approach where the cash collected and paid during the periods of time is examined.  In the case of BP the accountants would want to sue the positive approach, the cash received and paid at the time of the disaster was low, which would result in lower settlement payment. If they accountants were to use the normative approach to predict the possible pay out in the future the payments would be higher, because they expected a larger payout than they actually received.      

The debate of which form of accounting should be used is was what lead BP to over pay the claimants.  In May it was decided that they would use the positive approach to match the funds paid and received. “BP is asking the court to order the return of excessive payments made by the settlement program as a result of what the courts have now determined was the program’s misinterpretation of the settlement agreement’s accounting requirements,” BP Vice President Geoff Morrell said in an emailed statement. “This misinterpretation resulted in claimants receiving awards well in excess of what they are entitled to under the settlement agreement – in some cases by millions of dollars — or awards that weren’t warranted at all.” () On Wednesday September 18, 2014 Judge Carl J. Barbier denied the request of BP.

The BP oil spill shows the need for a more proactive role in strategic decision making.  This will require skills in risk management, financial and performance management in technology, forecasting and planning processes, and fact based decision making. In 2010 the

U.S.  Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has set new regulations for risk management, financial statements and investments. The SEC also began a review of the accounting standards and how they affect the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) responsibilities. 

Four years after the initial BP oil spill scientists are still calculating the damage done.    Despite all the money and time spent to restore the Gulf the Gulf coast, many are still feeling the effects of the 2010 oil spill.  If BP creates a more proactive accountant in strategic decision making they would avoid all the financial hassles caused by the oil spill. 

Discussion – Week 5

GAAP vs. IFRS

Understanding the differences between the U.S. accounting standards and the international accounting standards is essential for multinational corporations. For those firms based in the United States with multinational offices and employees, it is becoming increasingly necessary to understand the differences in order to comply with both domestic and international standards.

Using the Learning Resources from this week and previous weeks, as well as your own research, discuss the primary differences between U.S. accounting standards (GAAP) and international accounting standards (IFRS). How are nations adapting to these changes and, in doing so, how are they communicating to the business community? Discuss how multinational corporations must adapt and adhere to both standards using specific examples from your professional experience or a situation with which you are familiar.

In the past countries followed their own accounting standards today the US uses the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Standards), and 110 other countries use the IFSB (International Financial Reporting Standards). With the globalization of business it is important for accountants to understand both the GAAP and the IFSB. The main difference between the two is that the GAAP is rules based, and the IFSB is principle based. Some of the key differences are:

  • Performance elements: both require revenue or expenses, and assets or liabilities, however, the GAAP also requires gains, losses, and comprehensive income
  • Financial Statements: The IFSB requires balance sheet, income statement, changes in equity, cash flow statement, and footnotes. Where the GAAP requires balance sheet, income statement, statement of comprehensive income, changes in equity, cash flow statement, footnotes. The IFSB does not allow single year statements and the GAAP does.
  • Inventory Estimates and Reversals: Both the IFSB and the GAAP use the FIFO (first in-first out), but the GAAP can also use the LIFO (Last in First out) method. Reversals are only allowed under the IFSB under certain circumstances.
  • Framework: The GAAP has no rule that requires management to consider the framework in the absence of a standard or interpretation for an issue and the IFSB requires them to check the frame work.
  • Objectives of Financial Statements: The GAAP provides different objective to business and non-business entities, and the IFSB provides the same object to both.
  • Income Tax: The GAAP allows both long-term and short-term deferred tax asset or liability, where the IFSB only allows long-term. Under GAAP the expected tax expense to actual is not required in detail and only a disclosure the reconciling items are mandatory.  IFRS needs the complete expected tax expense to actual, including the nature and amounts.
  • Assets: According the GAAP and asset is a future economic benefit, and IFSB is a resource from which future economic benefit will flow to the company.

These are not the only differences but they work together to influence each other. When dealing with international stakeholders, investors, customers and vendors an accountant may be required to provide the financial information according to the IFSB.

GAAP vs. IFRS. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://www.diffen.com/difference/GAAP_vs_IFRS

Gaap vs ifrs. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://www.fdcpa.com/Tax/IFRS_GAAP.htm

What are some of the key differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP? (n.d.). Retrieved

September 30, 2014, from http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/09/ifrs-gaap.asp

Activity: Executive Summary

Communicating financial information to internal stakeholders is much different than communicating to an external audience. While the communication with both audiences requires discretion, the external communication must be carefully structured to ensure that any communication intended only for internal consumption is not released to the public. Moreover, in some instances, especially when communicating sensitive information, even internal communication must be structured so that it is not accidentally released.

Recall a practical example within your own organization or an organization with which you are familiar that required controlled communications. Prepare two brief executive summaries, one targeting an internal audience and one targeting an external audience. In each executive summary, be sure to differentiate between information that can be relayed externally and information that should remain internally.

After composing your executive summaries, prepare a brief statement, consisting of 1-2 paragraphs describing why you structured your communication in the manner you selected. Additionally, assume your external communication had been intended for an international audience. What, if anything, would have been communicated differently?

External Summary:

This study provides the effects of stress on employees and to determine the techniques employers use to manage their stress. For this study stress is defined as disruptive or disquieting influences that negatively affect an individual in the workplace. Surveys were distributed to full time business employees of Central Texas. The study was completed by employees ranging in age to determine the areas of job performance affected by stress, and programs employers offer employees to manage stress.

The data was analyzed using percent of the response to the total number of responses. The subjects were asked to identify whether stress increased, decreased, or had no change on their work performance. In this section only responses of least and most effective were considered. Testers were also provided a list to indicate which programs were offered by employers for managing stress.

The report finds that stress does negatively affect the work performance of employees. The major areas of stress were job satisfaction and productivity, and the most used stress management for companies is insurance and breaks. Recommendations that should be made are offering more stress management techniques, survey employees to find out what they think is effective, discuss stress management ideas with employers, educate employees on the importance of stress management, and further research in your company.

Internal Summary:

This study provides the effects of stress on employees and to determine the techniques employers use to manage their stress. For this study stress is defined as disruptive or disquieting influences that negatively affect an individual in the workplace. Surveys were distributed our employees to examine demographic profile, areas of job performance affected by stress, and programs employers offer employees to manage stress.

The study was completed by employees ranging in ages from younger than 20 to above 60 years old. The data was analyzed using percent of the response to the total number of responses. Questions we asked to inspect job satisfaction/morale, courtesy, accuracy, creativity, cooperation, organizational skills, initiative, productivity, alertness, decision making abilities, perseverance, tardiness, absenteeism, and attention to appearance. The subjects were asked to identify whether stress increased, decreased, or had no change on their work performance. In this section only responses of least and most effective were considered. Testers were also provided a list to indicate which programs were offered by employers for managing stress.

The report finds that stress does negatively affect the work performance of employees. The major areas of stress were job satisfaction (73.9%) and productivity (42.8%), and the most used stress management for companies is insurance (72%) and breaks (69.2%).

Recommendations made are offering more stress management techniques, survey employees to find out what they think is effective, discuss stress management ideas with employers, educate employees on the importance of stress management, and further research in your company.

Reports are used to convey information to internal stakeholders as well as external audiences. The first summary I did I focused more on the external audience; it is structure more with a generic tone. External audiences need a more concise straight forward summary, without specific questions or data results. The second summary is focused more on the internal audience. When writing summaries for the internal stakeholders, giving specific area that were examined and the percentage results of study is what they want to know. The internal stakeholders are more invested in the company so they want more information in the summary. For this specific report it is appropriate for an international audience. The only change that I would make is to state in the beginning that is was a survey given to employees in the Central Texas communities Hays, Kendall, Travis, and Williamson counties.

Discussion – Week 6

Communicating Through Presentation Having your colleagues review a report you have prepared prior to presenting it to senior executives or distributing it to external audiences can help you to improve or refine your work before finalization. Peer review can provide an opportunity for idea generation, as well, which can help contribute to a better final product.

Recall one of your executive summaries submitted as part of the Week 5 Application. Prepare a brief PowerPoint presentation of either your internal or external executive summary. Paste the text of the corresponding executive summary into the Discussion forum to provide context to the PowerPoint presentation, which should be attached to the Discussion forum.

Activity: Stakeholder Presentation

Assume that you have been asked by your CFO to prepare a short presentation assessing the evolution of communication technology in the business environment and how it directly impacts the accounting industry. Prepare a PowerPoint presentation, with slide notes, that details the need to change communication modes to adapt to the changing marketplace and describes the benefits and costs associated with upgrading and learning the new technologies, as introduced and adopted within an organization.

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