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BUS103 Accounting For Managers

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Question:

Big Business Tobacco (BBT) is a large Australian producer of tobacco products including a market-leader brand of cigarettes. With the continuing development of Asian countries such as China and its move to a market-based economy, the company has made the decision to sell its cigarettes in this large market from the beginning of next month. The cigarettes will be sold in packs of 40.

Mary Bender, the marketing manager, is discussing the design of the cigarette packet for the Asian market with Randall Hedges, the company’s public relations manager. Having agreed on the basic design of the pack, Hedges raised the issue of whether to include the normal health warning on the pack, which has to be displayed under Australian law. He emphasised recent medical findings which predicted many hundreds of thousands of deaths from cigarette smoking in the next few years, particularly in the developing countries.

Mary Bender was strongly opposed to including a ‘health hazard’ warning on the packs destined for parts of the Asian market. She explained: ‘In this business, it is the bottom line (i.e. profits) which matters — we have to think of our shareholders. BBT stands to lose a considerable market share to competitors if it includes such a warning. Besides,it is not a legal requirement in many Asian countries to display a health warning on cigarette packs. If Asian law is subsequently amended, then we will be one of the first to comply. Besides, the managing director supports me on this one.’ Hedges expressed a final opinion: ‘The company could be better off in the long term by being seen to be acting with corporate responsibility, and demonstrating some concern for its consumers. Besides, such warnings have not been detrimental to the company’s performance in Australia, where health warnings have been common for many years.’

Required:
A. Who are the major stakeholders in the debate on the health warnings on cigarette packs
B. What are the main ethical issues involved in the debate
C. If you were Randall Hedges, what would you do

Financial accounting statements tend to reflect past events. In view of this, how can they help a user make a decision when decisions, by their very nature, can only be made about future actions? Give an example to justify/support your answer.

A. As a new management accountant, reply to this comment by a plant manager: ‘No “bean counter” knows enough about my responsibilities to be of any use to me. As I see it, our accountants may be needed to keep records for shareholders and the Australian Tax Office, but I don’t want them sticking their noses in my day-to-day operations.’ (Word limit: 500 words)
B. ‘Knowledge of technical issues such as computer technology is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to becoming a successful management accountant.’ Do you agree Explain your answer. (Word limit: 250 words)

The following information is available for James Bond Ltd for years 2010 to 2015.
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Cash $ 5,200 (3) $ 5,800 $4,200 $1,700 $3,000
Accounts receivable 1,600 100 (5) 4,200 7,600 2,200
Inventory 2,800 7,300 8,400 9,900 (11) 8,700
Prepayments 300 2,000 8,500 (8) 8,100 2,600
Total current assets $9,900 (4) (6) (9) (12) $16,500
Accounts payable $1,800 $8,500 $5,800 $4,700 $8,900 (14)
Accrued liabilities 2,000 2,000 3,400 5,700 1,600 4,000
Wages payable 1,500 5,200 2,200 5,600 9,100 7,900
Total current liabilities $5,300 $15,700 $11,400 $16,000 $19,600 (15)
Current ratio (1) 1.07 (7) 1.76 1.09 (16)
Quick ratio (2) 0.48 1.31 (10) (13) 0.26

Required
A. Find all the missing amounts/ratios. Provide all workings. 
B. Write a short memo (max 2050 words) analysis the two ratios identified above summarising the reasons why these ratios have changed and whether the management of James Bond Ltd should be concerned about any possible adverse consequences. 
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