International Research Journal of Applied Finance
ISSN 2229 - 6891, Since 2010
(Double Blind Peer Reviewed Open Access Online Journal)
(Indexed in EconLit, and articles can be downloaded from DOAJ, EBSCO - Business Source Corporate Plus)

Case Studies

Teaching Notes are available to Faculty Memebers on request. Send a request to

IRJAF Case Studies 2015

Growing Up is Hard to Do or Sophia’s Choices
Allen B. Atkins,*  Roxanne Stell, and Larry Watkins                                                                      
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Sophia sat at her parent’s kitchen table mulling over many thoughts. One thought was that sitting at this table would soon become a thing of the past. Another was “growing up” included a lot of tedium and decision making that wasn’t as much fun as she had assumed it would be.  Sophia’s mind hurt.  She was trying to make some important decisions and the process was difficult and exhausting.

Revenue Recognition:  Understanding the Impact of IFRS 15 - Revenue from Contracts with Customers
Rodney Redding    Brent T. McCallum*                                                                                               
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In May 2014, the International Accounting Standards Board issued International Financial Reporting Standard (hereafter IFRS) 15 “Revenue from Contracts with Customers”.  The standard replaces the International Accounting Standards (IAS) 18, “Revenue” and IAS 11, “Construction Contracts.”  The accounting guidelines under IFRS 15 will become authoritative in 2018.  Some companies may not see significant changes in the amount of revenue recognized.  However, in certain industries such as telecom, software development, real estate, and some retailers, the effect on revenue recognition timing may be significant.  The purpose of this case is to contrast the accounting for a transaction under the present IAS standard for revenue recognition and the guidance to be implemented in 2018.  The case is relevant not only for those majoring in accounting but also for majors such as finance that analyze corporate financial statements.  The case requires the performance of a web search to obtain details of the guidelines provided in IFRS 15 and a contrasting of the accounting treatment under IAS 18 with the approach required by the new IFRS 15 for a mobile telecommunications company.

A Stock Valuation Case: An Application of the “Method of Comparables” for Macy’s Shares
Halil D. Kaya* and Julia S. Kwok                                                                                                           
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The primary focus of this case is the application of the “Method of Comparables” in the estimation of the value of a security. An investment decision will be made based on the comparison of the selling price and the estimated value. A security will be good for purchase if the estimated value is higher than the market price. This method utilizes basic financial ratios that are commonly provided by financial web sites. First, using Yahoo Finance website, the pricing, sales, book value of equity and shares outstanding data are collected for both the target firm and the competitor firms. Then, the pricing multiples (i.e. price earnings ratio, price to sales ratio and price to book ratio) of the competitors are calculated. After that, those multiples along with the target firm’s earnings, sales, book value and shares outstanding data are used to estimate target firm’s share value. The case also examines the impact of treating “negatives” in the data.  Students will learn that replacing negative earnings with zeros tend to induce less bias in target firm’s value estimation than excluding the “negative” data altogether.

Dichotomous Choice between a Hybrid and an all-Electric Car: A Capital Budgeting Analysis
Chee Ng                                                                                                                                                         
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In the financial pathway to a sustainable economy, the dichotomous choice between a hybrid car and an all-electric car is an inevitable transitional step. We first use the Toyota Prius and the Nissan Leaf to conduct capital-budgeting base-case analyses using the various traditional techniques. We next delve deeper into the decision-making process by conducting a sensitivity analysis on pairs of variables that have policy implications.

Of Haircuts and Extensions: An Analysis of Greek Government Debt
Mathias Moersch, and Carolin Schmidt*                                                                                                
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In light of the current negotiations concerning the Greek debt, this paper conducts a valuation analysis based on the Present Value (PV) method. We explain the rationale for the PV method and use it to model a simplified representation of the Greek debt situation. We illustrate the effects of changes in the variables in the PV function and show that if the Greek loan interest rate was decreased by 50 basis points and the maturity of the debt was extended from 30 to 50 years, the effect would be equivalent to a haircut of roughly 59%.

GPE: A Slippery Slope into a Tangled Web
Jeffrey L. Hillard and Ali Sedaghat*                                                                                                         
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This is a case study regarding an international manufacturing company (GPE in the united states) based out of Europe that produces machinery used to generate electricity. The European Corporate organization is comprised of several subsidiary organizations and incorporated subsidiaries. In our opinion, this is a multidimensional case that would be appropriate for courses in Advanced Accounting, Advanced Managerial Cost Accounting, Auditing, Accounting Ethics and a Business Strategy course for Accounting majors. Points of emphasis for Advanced Accounting and Auditing would be consolidation, revenue recognition, internal controls and ethics. In a Managerial Accounting or a Business Strategy course, the instructor should place emphasis on transfer pricing, forecasting and performance evaluation  and Ethics.

Consolidation or Nonconsolidation of Variable Interest Entities: Ethical Dilemma Facing Newly Hired Controller
Timothy Kelley*         Loren Margheim                                                                                                   
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In this case, students take on the role of a newly hired controller (of a fictitious manufacturing company) who must interpret GAAP requirements with respect to the accounting for variable interest entities. The fictitious company is highly leveraged and has two large variable interest entities. The CEO and CFO of the company are determined to keep these entities off of the company’s financial statements. The case requires critical thinking and judgment to determine if one or both of the company’s variable interest entities must be consolidated according to current GAAP. Students need to determine if consolidation is likely to cause deterioration in the company’s financial ratios resulting in a technical default on one or more debt covenants the company has with its long term lender. Students are to summarize their findings in a memo to the CEO and CFO of the company.

Cannabis, Dude? Case
Hugh Grove        Mac Clouse*                                                                                                                     
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Students play the role of the key decision maker in this case, Dale Marin, who is attempting to offset his declining Colorado CPA firm practice, which has specialized in real estate and construction clients.  His clients had suffered significantly from the economic slowdown resulting from the great recession of 2008.    Dale was thinking about two potential expansions of his business:  1) accepting cannabis business clients into his CPA firm practice and 2) starting a real estate business that would own and rent cultivation centers (marijuana grow houses) to cannabis businesses, as well as helping such clients find dispensary rental space.  He had found that none of the large or medium sized CPA firms operating in Colorado would accept cannabis business clients and found only two sole CPA practitioners who accepted such clients.  Dale wanted to make these two business expansion decisions soon since his traditional CPA firm practice was still declining and he wanted somehow to reverse this trend.

Greener Pastures?  The Morning Dew Dairy Case
Jack Young        Larry Watkins*                                                                                                                
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This case study deals with some of the practical considerations surrounding the accounting for the acquisition of a closely-held integrated dairy products operation and the subsequent disposal of a portion of the acquired assets.  Specifically use and oversight of appraisers for determining fair value amounts necessary for acquisition accounting is examined.  Additionally, the accounting implications of the subsequent disposal of assets are considered in light of the initial acquisition accounting.

Project Evaluation:  Tortuga Fishing Equipment Company
Judson W. Russell                                                                                                                                        
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This case study on project evaluation is applicable for beginning courses in corporate finance or finance strategy. Two alternative investment options are available to evaluate. Challenges are presented with the inclusion of equity, bank debt, and bonds in the capital structure. Each investment option need to be evaluated carefully and decision should be made on the basis of thorough analysis of the data available using various capital structure and capital budgeting techniques.

The Cost of Float to a Firm: Commercial Banking Treasury Management Analysis
Patricia R. Robertson                                                                                                                                   
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This case is ideal for an upper-level finance course that has an emphasis on short-term financial management.  Despite significant advancements in electronic payment systems, most U.S. firms continue to pay invoices with paper checks mailed to suppliers.  So long as the checks are received by the due date, firms are in compliance with supplier credit terms.  However, paper checks must be processed and recorded by the supplier, deposited in the supplier’s bank, and cleared against the payer’s bank before the cash is transferred from the payer’s checking account to the supplier’s checking account.  This delay in the conversion of a check to cash is known as float and has a cost to the receiver of a check.

This case includes elements to measure and quantify the cost of float from the perspective of the receiver of a check using time value of money principles.  In addition, the case includes an analysis on how services provided through the Treasury Management divisions of commercial banks can shorten float time and enhance the value of the firm’s operating activities.

Operating Profits, Free Cash Flows, and Firm Value: An Application
Halil D. Kaya*, Julia S. Kwok, & Elizabeth C. Rabe                                                                                   
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After decades of grande growth in the price of Starbucks stocks, Starbucks Coffee Company experienced continuous drop of stock price from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2007.  Upon first glance of their financial statements, there was about a 20% increase in both revenues and net income in 2007. The 40% drop of market price of Starbucks’ shares from 2006 to 2007 appears to be counter intuitive when viewed in terms of actual revenues and net incomes.  This case encourages an examination of the company’s free cash flows over the 2005-2007 period as a potential factor that may influence the company’s stock price. Students will go through several steps in order to calculate the company’s free cash flows during that three year period and then to evaluate the trend in the free cash flows. Students are encouraged to consider what changes to Starbucks’ strategies could increase the company’s free cash flows.

IRJAF Case Studies 2014

Capital Adequacy Management in Financial Service Industry: The Case of Taiwan’s Futures Commission Merchants
Matthew C. Chang                                                                                                                                               PDF Download
The regulators in Taiwan apply Adjusted Net Capital (ANC) ratios to supervise the capital adequacy of Future Commission Merchants (FCMs). Such restrictions make firms’ capital structure in financial service industries in divergence. In this case, collect data of two years, i.e., the year of 2008 and the year of 2013, which represent the crisis and recovery periods, respectively. Students may discuss different strategies FCMs adopted during crisis and recovery periods, and further discuss the influence of capital adequacy request from regulators on capital structure.

A Case Study of Portfolio Optimization: Efficient Frontier                                                                                 PDF Download
Maggie Foley*    Barry Thornton     Biqing Huang     Xiaowei Liu
In this study, we provide a template in Excel based on Matrix for the efficient frontier. Since the optimal portfolios usually have heavy concentrated stocks, we offer a solution on how to deal with heavy concentrated stocks.

Nelson Guitars, Inc.:  The Risk-Reward Trade-Off from Operating Leverage
Gia Chevis    John T. Rose                                                                                                                                    PDF Download
This fictional case illustrates the risk-reward trade-off implicit in an operating leverage decision by incorporating sales-level probabilities into the discussion.  After performing standard degree of operating leverage (DOL) calculations, students must use basic statistical analysis to explain to the company’s management the risk-reward implications of a change in the production process to one of relatively greater fixed costs and lower variable costs.  By incorporating these additional skills into the decision-making process, students should achieve a better understanding of the risk-reward implications of operating leverage.

Inventory Management: A Case for Cost Accounting
Diane Satin                                                                                                                                                            PDF Download
This case is on inventory management for use in cost accounting class.  The case ties together many of the concepts of inventory management including economic order quantity (EOQ), just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing, the relationship between production and job cost sheets, and backflush costing.  It also relates management of materials inventory with management of finished goods inventory.  

Curves Don’t Lie: The Cost Curve Analysis of a Belly Dance Studio
Karla Borja        Tien Q. Nguyen         James Osborne        Francisco Bonilla                                                       PDF Download
In a highly competitive environment with slight product differentiation, managers should focus their business resources in two areas: marketing strategy and cost structure. Dance studios and academies fall into this category. They provide a service under a highly competitive setting in which minor errors in estimations might take the business from profits to losses. The case-study of Hip Expression Belly Dance studio offers insights of the managerial process on how to develop a profitability outlook and cost analysis at different output levels and market assumptions. The revenue-cost analysis forecasts profit-maximizing prices and the monthly number of classes to be offered in a new location.

Golden Supply Company (An Auditing Case)
Paul C. Schauer                                                                                                                                                          PDF Download
When performing an audit, the auditor must be aware of the impact of the final presentation of the financial statements will have on the auditee’s stakeholders.  This case provides a situation where an adjustment to inventory can be potentially dealt with in three different manners, each of which has very distinct different impact on various stakeholders.  Following the steps in the requirements allows the student to recognize those differences which in turn, provides a basis for the selection of the best alternative treatment.

Purchase point Media Corporation: Using variable costing and break-even analysis to examine market share feasibility
A.J. Cataldo II     John S. DeJoy*                                                                                                                                 PDF Download
Variable costing is typically taught as a measure for internal use and decision-making purposes. This case illustrates how skills associated with variable costing may take the form of and be used for an external application, including market share feasibility and a related stock purchase decision.
The case is based on actual financial projections developed and provided by a publicly traded firm, Purchase Point Media Corporation (PPMC).  You are to examine PPMC’s projections, which are in poor form, but substantively provide a format suitable for break-even calculation, contribution margin analysis and forecasting within the relevant range of the cost equation.  After calculating the break-even point, use additional information, easily developed from public sources, to come to a decision with respect to market potential or feasibility. The increase in the price per share of PPMC stock suggests that, over time, the market may have reacted to these results and analyses, favoring the PPMC information disclosed on its website, using a comparable methodology.

BankThai: Death by Synthetic CDOs
Narumon Saardchom                                                                                                                                                 PDF Download

Among other three banks—Krung Thai Bank, Bank of Ayudhaya and Bangkok Bank—in Thailand, BankThai had the largest exposure to and suffered the largest losses from synthetic CDO investment.  Before investing in synthetic CDO, BankThai had persistently high level of loan losses and high cost of funds which led to several capital injections from the Financial Institutions Development Fund (FIDF), the major shareholder at that time. Given the bank’s inability to secure good quality loan portfolio, the bank’s management decided, in 2006 and 2007, to generate easy high return by investing in synthetic CDOs.  The management perceived such investment as low risk because of such CDOs’ high credit ratings, which later proved to misrepresent the true risk of the investment.  BankThai’s CDO portfolio was valued at THB 10.462 billion by the end of 2007, and was all disposed for only THB 2.6 billion in 2008.  Because such huge losses totally wiped out the bank’s capital base, the government had to relax foreign majority-ownership restrictions to seek for foreign buyer. In January 2009, CIMB Thai group completed its acquisition and compulsory tender offer, and emerged as the largest shareholder with 92.04% of the total issued and paid-up shares of BankThai, which is the end of BankThai by its own adventurous investment policy.

Motomart: Mixed Up Over Mixed Costs
A.J. Cataldo II*        John S. DeJoy                                                                                                                                PDF Download
The Motomart case is based on real data and designed to supplement managerial/cost accounting textbook coverage of cost behavior and variable costing.  Unlike textbook problems, this data is real.  It will not produce a clear solution when attempts are made to analyze cost behavior and apply the basic techniques of scatter plot, high-low, and regression methods to separate mixed costs into their fixed and variable components and develop cost equations.  Therefore, this case illustrates the impact and consequences of a failure to properly apply accrual-based financial accounting.  The financial information generated by Motomart was not useful.  Motomart was not using accrual accounting.  Without the properly applied “matching principle” and “periodicity assumptions,” consistent with accrual accounting, financial data cannot be used to separately develop fixed and variable cost measures, break even points, forecasts, or any managerial accounting techniques extended from the development of these basic, cost behavioral measures.

Hedging fuel price risk in the Canadian Department of National Defence: An application of risk management in the public sector
Naceur Essaddam*    Derek Miller                                                                                                                             PDF Download
This case is designed for use in a finance course that includes risk management as a topic at the undergraduate or graduate levels. The case is designed to examine the application of a private sector risk management strategy in the public sector to educate the user about the commodity markets and the use of derivative instruments in risk management.

Barksdale’s Brewery Company – A Commercial Lending Case
Patrick Terry     Edward C. Lawrence*                                                                                                                           Download
On March 23, 2014 Sam Smith, VP of Commercial Lending at Riverboat Bancshares (RB), visited Patrick Barksdale, President & CEO of Barksdale's Brewing Company. The company currently banks with RB’s chief competitor, Chemical Bank, but is not happy with them and is open to a move. He toured the brewery and went over the company’s financials with Mr. Barksdale.  The company is in need of a $900,000 first mortgage loan, a $200,000 term loan and $200,000 line of credit to open a new microbrewery in Columbia, Missouri.  
The mortgage loan will cover 80% of the cost for the real estate including land and building improvements. The term loan will be used to cover initial costs of the brewery such as purchasing and installing machinery/equipment. The line of credit will be used to cover some of the inventory, working capital and start-up expenses that the brewery requires. Mr. Barksdale has sent out bid requests to key vendors for the procurement of equipment, inventory, building renovation and labor. These cost figures have been identified and figured into the business plan.  A tentative contract has been written up for the purchase of real estate but not yet signed. This information is detailed in the report below.

Commercial Bank Risk Management and Financial Performance: Case Study
Patricia R. Robertson                                                                                                                                                       Download
The case is ideal for an upper-level finance course with an emphasis on financial institution risk management and financial performance.  It is unique in that it sources data from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) website through a series of reports called the Uniform Bank Performance Report (UBPR).  The UBPR is a report set created for bank supervisory, examination, and management purposes. It presents data and ratios for each bank in a concise and consistent format.  This allows the course instructor to assign multiple banks confident that the data is available and consistently presented.  The case can be used to supplement course curriculum or as a stand-alone assignment.  It can be offered as an individual or as a team-based assignment.

How effective are the financial processes at higher educational institutions in the Persian Gulf countries? Evidence from a large university at one of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries
Osama M. Fetyan    Eyad M. Fetyan    Shahriar M. Saadullah*                                                                                     Download
The purpose of this case study is to observe the financial process at a higher educational institution located in one of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, and identify areas for improvement. Moreover, the paper highlights the impact of the enterprise resource planning system on the institution’s accounting information system - particularly the general ledger module and the financial process. The study begins with a detailed description of the financial process and all its functions illustrated through flowcharts. The detailed description is followed by a SWOT analysis and recommendations for improvement where the system seems to be deficient.

CLS Corporation: An Accounting Information Systems Case on Fundamental Concepts and Business Processes
Dr. Bob Hurt*    Dr. Cheryl Wyrick                                                                                                                                 Download
Accounting information systems courses fall into two general categories:  traditional and database-oriented.  In traditional courses, students may learn about flowchart development, business processes, transaction processing and internal controls; database-oriented courses often deal with REA models, database design and related internal controls.  This two-part case is suitable for use in either type of course.  The first part presents a short narrative of a fictitious consulting firm, including a description of its business processes and current clients.  Students are asked to prepare a systems flowchart, create a relational database and suggest internal controls based on perceived risks.  In the second part, students are asked to consider accounting-related issues associated with a merger and the human resources business process.

Learning Managerial Accounting in Lower Division: a Three Phase Project Approach
Ching-Lih Jan         Diane Satin         Robert Lin                                                                                                             Download
This case presents a project for use in a lower division introductory managerial accounting class to engage students in active learning. We designed this project to be presented to the students over the course of study in three phases with the following objectives: to relate cost concepts to one another in a meaningful way and to relate these cost concepts to a realistic scenario to exemplify how these concepts affect real world business decisions. The project itself asks students to consider starting a printed T-shirt shop in a local mall and then introduces concepts such as variable and fixed costs, unit product costs, breakeven analysis, variable and absorption costing and reporting, and the cash budget. This paper describes each phase of the project and the corresponding learning objectives, discusses how the project was used most recently in Fall, 2013, and provides complete instructions and documentation for each phase for instructors who wish to use or adapt our project for their classes. Anecdotal evidence from student feedback indicates that the project meets its objectives.

Understanding Bonus Debentures- A Case of Blue Dart Express Limited
Dr. Poonam Gupta, Delhi University, India                                                                                                                      Download

IRJAF Book on

Case Studies in Finance and Accounting (Vol. II, 2014)           Download
This, the Volume II of Case Studies in Finance and Accounting contains 16 case studies contributed by AACSB accredited business school faculty members and touches different facets of finance and accounting areas. In our endeavor to share knowledge, the e-book is freely downloadable. Faculty members can get teaching notes on request. We are very thankful to all the contributors of this book. Special thanks to reviewers. Special thanks to our editorial team.

IRJAF Book on

Case Studies in Finance and Accounting (Vol. I, 2013)

This book contains seventeen case studies on various topics in Finance & Accounting, published in International Research Journal of Applied Finance (IRJAF) during the year 2012. Faculty members can use these cases for class room discussions. However, we request you to send an acknowledgement mail to case authors as a curtsey. Copy rights of all these cases are with Kaizen Publications, Hyderabad, India.

The cases in this book touch several dimension in Finance and Accounting like, International Finance (The Case of the Drifting Exchange Rate), Financial Processes and Procedures (Integrating a New Business into the Financial Planning Process at Unilever), Corporate Valuation (Manufacturas Lizard), Corporate Valuation (BCE Inc. Privatization: Fact or Fiction?), Financial Ethics (Pacific Health Care: What should the Controller do?), Complex Projects - Network Analysis (The Dolphin Bay Development: Optimum Strategy using Network Analysis), Internal Audit - Code of Ethics (Mercy Hospital: A Case Analysis), Project Valuation and Evaluation (Privatization: Chicago Parking Meters, LLC), Financial and Social Responsibility (Blue Mountain State University – A Case Study - Selecting Socially Responsible Contractors for a New Building), Preparation of Financial Statements (Omega Tech Case: Putting it all together), Inventory Valuation (Antiock Hardware: An Inventory Case Study), Asset Misappropriations (Big Training Corporation), Cash Flows and Ethical Dilemmas (Sunset Medical:  A Statement of Cash Flow Case), Audit Tasks - Ethical Dimensions (Brad’s Time for a Decision), Business Analysis (Micro-District Coal Heating Case Study), Environmental Management Accounting (Should you buy an energy efficient refrigerator? An Environmental Accounting Case), and Organizing a Case Competition (A Model for Running an Undergraduate Business-focused Case Competition).