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Spring 2013

MAQ Spring 2013 Cover


By Michael Lee, Ph.D., SF Fin, and Spencer R. Cobia
After its first successful few years, an entrepreneur’s company was poised for growth, but the CEO and founder realized that the accounting system needed updating so it could be used for operating decisions, performance evaluation, and planning. He turned to forward-looking management accounting tools—variance analysis, profit planning, and a performance measurement system—that helped the company sustain its entrepreneurial spirit and grow.
By Kenton B. Walker, Ph.D., and Gary M. Fleischman, Ph.D., CMA, CPA
Are budget-gaming or earnings-management actions ethical? A survey of IMA® members and other financial professionals who participated in four ethics scenarios showed that some situations clearly are unethical, but others have tinges of gray. A major finding is that there is a need to enhance a company’s ethical culture to reduce incentives to engage in undesirable behavior.
By Mark J. Cowan, J.D., CPA, and Warren Newberry, Jr., J.D.
In their zeal to save on taxes, many companies isolate their intellectual property in wholly owned subsidiaries called intellectual property holding companies (IPHCs). Recent state actions, however, have reduced these tax benefits, and the landscape is changing in other ways, too. Here is an overview of the new regulations and what companies can do about them.
By Lakshmi U. Tatikonda, Ph.D., CMA, CFM, CPA
Customer satisfaction is a moving target, and what makes customers happy today may displease them tomorrow. Acquiring a new customer can cost up to 10 times as much as supporting an existing customer, so better understanding of the relationships between customer satisfaction, customer retention, and financial results should lead to better performance. The author presents three models that can help a company keep its profitable customers and explains what is involved in each.