Matching Items (65)

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Application of Small-Scale Data Analytics to a Pre-Existing Accounting Process

Description

The concept of data analytics has become a primary focus for companies of all types, and from within all industries. Leveraging data to enhance the decision making power of management

The concept of data analytics has become a primary focus for companies of all types, and from within all industries. Leveraging data to enhance the decision making power of management is now vital for companies to remain competitive. Beginning as a movement pioneered by tech-startups and teams of university researchers, data analytics is reshaping every industry that it touches, and the field of accounting has been no exception.
Corporate buzzword terms like “big data” and “data analytics” are vague in meaning, and are thrown around by media sources often enough to obfuscate their actual meanings. These concepts are then associated with company-wide initiatives beyond the reach of the individual, in a nebulous world where people know that analytics happens, but don’t understand what it is.
The power of data analytics is not reserved for company-wide initiatives, or only employed by Silicon Valley tech start-ups. Its impacts are visible down at the team or department level, and can be conducted by the individual employees. The field of data analytics is evolving, and within it exists a rapid transition in which the individual employee is becoming a source for insight and value creation through the adoption of analytics based approaches.
The purpose of this thesis is to showcase an example of this claim, and demonstrate how an analytics based approach was applied to an existing accounting process to create new insights and information. To do this, I will discuss my development of an Excel based Dashboard Analytics tool, which I completed during my internship with Bechtel Corporation throughout the summer of 2018, and I will use this analytics tool to demonstrate the improvements that small-scale analytics had on a pre-existing process. During this discussion, I will address conceptual aspects of database design that related to my project, and will show how I applied this classroom learning to a working environment. The paper will begin with an overview of the desired goals of the group in which I was based, and will then analyze how the needs of the group led to the creation and implementation of this new analytics-based reporting tool. I will conclude with a discussion of the potential future use of this tool, and how the inclusion of these analytical approaches will continue to shape the working environment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Introversion and Success in Public Accounting

Description

This thesis analyzes the connection between introversion and success in public accounting by looking at traits introverts need to develop in order to do well in this field. The paper

This thesis analyzes the connection between introversion and success in public accounting by looking at traits introverts need to develop in order to do well in this field. The paper begins by giving a background on both public accounting and introversion and why the relationship between these two needs to be studied. It discusses how introversion is not the norm in business, but how the traits outlined in the paper give introverts a strong opportunity for success. The first trait looked at is one-on-one skills and how the ability to communicate well in small groups helps introverts in public accounting to build solid relationships with their clients and coworkers. Next, the paper talks about public speaking and how introverts need to lean into their ability to prepare thoroughly in order to avoid speaking anxiety, which likely plagues them. After that, the paper looks at networking and how an introvert's ability to create deep connections outweighs some natural setbacks they may face in this endeavor. The final trait analyzed is creativity and how introverts possess a unique aptitude in this area because of the differences in how they think and process information. For public accounting, this is a useful skill, especially when it comes to problem solving. The last section of this thesis examines the importance of self-awareness for introverts to understand themselves and be understood by others while working on teams. The conclusion of this paper outlines the main ideas on how introverts can succeed in public accounting by leaning into these traits, owning who they are, and contributing from their unique perspective.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Are College Students Equipped with Basic Knowledge on Data Security?

Description

How prepared are individuals to work in an environment with sensitive information? Do business students believe a data security course would be a valuable addition to their curriculum? This study

How prepared are individuals to work in an environment with sensitive information? Do business students believe a data security course would be a valuable addition to their curriculum? This study investigates W.P. Carey's role in preparing its students for jobs in which they most likely will have to handle large amounts of important data. Roughly 500 students across varying majors and years of education in the W.P. Carey School of Business answered an assortment of questions on their computer habits, and responded to various scenarios to test their knowledge. The survey targeted three specific areas (Software Updates, Password Protection, and Phishing) which was believed to be most pertinent to the students' future roles as professionals. While a large number of those surveyed (roughly 65%) responded well to most questions, nearly a third of all the responses received indicated cause for concern or an indication of a lack of knowledge. It was suggested (and many respondents agreed) that further education be provided to students for their own well-being in addition to the wellbeing of their future employers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Liquid Valley: An Analysis of the Craft Beer Industry

Description

This research project examines the craft brewing industry and its position in the North American market. Specifically, this research will highlight the most important aspects of the product market, cost

This research project examines the craft brewing industry and its position in the North American market. Specifically, this research will highlight the most important aspects of the product market, cost structure, market trends, as well as an assessment of the viability of several modes of entry. The data and analysis provided indicates that the industry is promising and poised to grow in comparison to many other sectors within the alcoholic beverages industry, as demand for differentiated craft beer products is relatively strong. The continued existence of craft brewing would not be made possible without the devotion and dedication of individuals simply interested in brewing recipes at home. Although the process of brewing remains relatively traditional, the paper will discuss the possibilities to diversify as a successful craft brewing brand due to consumers' willingness and curiosity to try new beverages. Production details and supply chain processes will be discussed to fully understand the fruitful beginnings of a local brewer to a large scale company that distributes nationwide. Nonetheless, prominent risks include extensive regulatory hurdles ranging from local to federal levels and threats from significant established competitors. These competitors and their business activities will be heavily discussed as it pertains to the question of whether entering the market is a smart business decision. The purpose of this research is to provide potential business owners and investors the strength and knowledge to engage in the craft brewing industry. In essence, the business decision to participate in the craft brewing industry is met with encouragement from an avid consumer base, collaboration with competitors, and an undying passion to brew quality beer for consumption.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Student Perception of the Accounting Profession Compared to the Reality of Audit Professionals

Description

It appears that students have an overall negative perception of accountants due to the negative connotations associated with the profession. The overarching stereotype of an accountant appears to be one

It appears that students have an overall negative perception of accountants due to the negative connotations associated with the profession. The overarching stereotype of an accountant appears to be one of a professional that lacks soft skills but is known to excel at hard skills. After personally working in audit, I do not believe auditors lack the soft skills that stereotypes portray but, in fact, believe they excel at these along with hard skills. It is for this reason that I surveyed undergraduate students at Arizona State University to understand their perceptions of the accounting profession. I also surveyed audit professionals at both EY LLP and the Arizona State Office of the Auditor General to understand the importance of specific traits that a professional auditor would exhibit in their daily job function. After conducting a statistical analysis, I found that the only trait where there was a statistically significant deviation between students' perceptions and professional auditors' realities was with the importance of communication in the profession. Students, on average, rated the importance of communication lower than professional auditors rated this. I also found that there was only a statistically significant deviation in the importance of creativity and volunteerism in students' future industries compared to the importance of these traits in audit, and that there were 10 other traits that did not have a statistically significant deviation. Although this is the case, students, on average, said they would not be willing to take a job in the accounting profession. Yet, it was found that students, on average, have an overall positive opinion about the accounting profession. Although the results disagree in some regards to my hypotheses, this research shows that the importance of communication should be emphasized more in introductory accounting courses. It also can be used to inform students that there is little difference in the importance of specific traits they will exhibit in their future jobs compared to the importance of those in audit.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Olympus Scandal (Accounting Fraud)

Description

The Olympus case gives students an opportunity to analyze the factors and unique cultural environment that led to the accounting fraud in whistle blower Michael Woodford's perspective. It also provides

The Olympus case gives students an opportunity to analyze the factors and unique cultural environment that led to the accounting fraud in whistle blower Michael Woodford's perspective. It also provides students insights into a traditionally- structured Japanese company to identify the operation style and leadership distinctions from a U.S. structured company. The case is presented from the comprehensive public record and the book How I Went from CEO to Whistleblower, written by Michael Woodford, all surrounding the Olympus fraud and insider whistleblowing. A primary question that arose when the news of the fraud emerged in the media was: Did the accounting fraud solely result from the failure of Japanese executives' leadership style? Some people think that the Olympus president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa who owned ultimate power over the company is supposed to bear the most responsibility for this issue. However, this case argues that the answer to the previous question is no. What's more important than the corrupt executives is Olympus' operational system that indulged those executives' ambition. Therefore, the case focuses on an analysis of the operating system in regard to leadership, culture, internal controls, external controls and the board of directors. This analysis addresses the failure of Olympus comprehensively rather than placing blame on a single individual. It is an opportunity for students to understand and discuss the multiple aspects of a corporate system that should have the practicable controls and functions to prevent the abuse of decision-making power as well as the illegal activity from occurring.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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What Does Materiality Mean for Nonprofit Information Disclosure?

Description

Materiality describes the level to which the misreporting of information could influence decisionmakers who use that information. Since materiality is a highly abstract concept, it requires metrics to support its

Materiality describes the level to which the misreporting of information could influence decisionmakers who use that information. Since materiality is a highly abstract concept, it requires metrics to support its application to financial statements and other documents. Nonprofit and for-profit firms have different missions, suggesting that material information for decisionmakers looking at nonprofits' reports may differ from material information for decisionmakers looking at for-profit firms' reports.

This paper examines how materiality applies to nonprofit information disclosure. It begins by introducing the concept of materiality. It then explores how accounting literature, rule-making bodies, and the courts define and apply materiality. Nonprofit firms' structure, required financial statements, and comparisons to for-profit firms are next addressed. Issues with assessing nonprofit success and materiality in relation to various aspects of a nonprofit's mission are also introduced.

This paper finds that the metrics which support materiality should be different for nonprofit vs. for-profit firms. Nonprofit materiality measures should center around the mission statement, which differs from nonprofit to nonprofit. These nonprofit materiality measures assess the primary mission of providing goods and services, which has the greatest interest to potential donors. Examples of these materiality measures, along with the challenges and insights gained from them, are discussed. This paper concludes by overviewing nonprofit materiality measures and noting how they can improve nonprofit information disclosure. Suggestions for further research into improving materiality for nonprofit information disclosure are also given.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

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An Analysis of Income’s Role in the Arizona Public School Tax Credit

Description

Over the years from 2009 to 2017, the people of Arizona witnessed the state consistently defunding the schools, its students academically underperforming, and as a result, the poverty achievement ga

Over the years from 2009 to 2017, the people of Arizona witnessed the state consistently defunding the schools, its students academically underperforming, and as a result, the poverty achievement gap widening. Even with the efforts in recent years to re-invest in education, Arizona’s education funding falls below its level at 2008 and the national average. Among Arizona’s funding sources is the Public School Tax Credit, a unique legislation for the state that allows for taxpayers to donate money to certain programs at Arizona public schools and reduce their state income tax liability dollar-for-dollar. Because of the already severe achievement gap in Arizona, this funding source which relies on surrounding neighborhoods’ income raises the concern that, instead of helping Arizona students, it is exacerbating the existing achievement gap. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between income and donations received by schools to determine the validity of this concern. To ensure a comprehensive examination of the relationship between income and donations received, regression tests are run on both the aggregate level and individual level. The tests find that, although income does have a statistically significant correlation with the donations received, it is only positive for the effect of total income on total donations, negative for the effect of average income per return on average donation per donor, and negative for average income per return on total donations. The results imply that to garner high donations, it matters less to be located in a high-earning neighborhood and more important to be located in a moderate-earning neighborhood with a lot of people donating using this credit. Therefore, the concern of income’s effect on donations is valid, but perhaps not in the straightforward way that we would expect.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

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An Investigation of the Political Attitudes and Beliefs of MACC and MTax Students

Description

I was interested to see if there were any statistically significant differences in political ideology between Master's of Accountancy students (MACC) and Master's of Taxation students (MTax) at Arizona State

I was interested to see if there were any statistically significant differences in political ideology between Master's of Accountancy students (MACC) and Master's of Taxation students (MTax) at Arizona State University. I hypothesized that the MACC students would tend to be more liberal or less conservative than the MTax students, while the MTax students would tend to be more conservative or less liberal than the MACC students. Scholars have found ways that conservatives and liberals differ, including differences in personality traits of conscientiousness and openness, as well as the types of careers they are drawn to. Scholars have also performed personality tests on accountants, accounting students, and accounting faculty to show how they differ. I distributed a voluntary online survey to students to discern their political beliefs. Most of the questions I asked did not reveal any statistically significant differences between students from the two programs, but the questions that did reveal some statistically significant differences showed that MACC students were more likely to be liberal or less conservative on certain issues, while the opposite was true for the MTax students. The statistically significant differences tended to appear for questions related to social policy rather than economic policy. This finding supports previous studies that show how social policy tends to be more divisive than economic policy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-12

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A Comparative Analysis of Indoor and Greenhouse Cannabis Cultivation Systems

Description

In A Comparative Analysis of Indoor and Greenhouse Cannabis Cultivation Systems, the two most common systems for commercial cannabis cultivation are compared using an operational and capital expenditure model combined

In A Comparative Analysis of Indoor and Greenhouse Cannabis Cultivation Systems, the two most common systems for commercial cannabis cultivation are compared using an operational and capital expenditure model combined with a collection of relevant industry sources to ascertain conclusions about the two systems' relative competitiveness. The cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing nascent industries in the United States, and, as it evolves into a mature market, it will require more sophisticated considerations of resource deployment in order to maximize efficiency and maintain competitive advantage. Through drawing on leading assumptions by industry experts, we constructed a model of each system to demonstrate the dynamics of typical capital deployment and cost flow in each system. The systems are remarkably similar in many respects, with notable reductions in construction costs, electrical costs, and debt servicing for greenhouses. Although the differences are somewhat particular, they make up a large portion of the total costs and capital expenditures, causing a marked separation between the two systems in their attractiveness to operators. Besides financial efficiency, we examined quality control, security, and historical norms as relevant considerations for cannabis decision makers, using industry sources to reach conclusions about the validity of each of these concerns as a reason for resistance to implementation of greenhouse systems. In our opinion, these points of contention will become less pertinent with the technological and legislative changes surrounding market maturation. When taking into account the total mix of information, we conclude that the greenhouse system is positioned to become the preeminent method of production for future commercial cannabis cultivators.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05