We had an excellent discussion today with Bob Laux of Microsoft. Whether you are looking for research topics or good stories for your students–financial or managerial–you will find this a very interesting discussion. You can now watch the archive live by going here, waiting through a 15 second commercial, and then clicking the “on demand” button.  Then select the Bob Laux video from the list on the right of the viewer.  (Anthony Hopwood’s discussion is well worth your time).  A few highlights for me were when Bob talked about:

  • how a change in revenue recognition standards might lead Microsoft to change their products and services, while recognizing that that is happening anyway, as they move more toward a ‘software as service’ model.  Time for accountants to learn what ‘cloud computing’ is!
  • the process and political pressures involved in writing comment letters.  Good remarks in particular on Microsoft’s stock option and contingent liability letters.
  • the new disclosure framework, and Bob’s work on supplementary disclosures with the Enhanced Business Reporting group of the AICPA
  • the links between internal and external reporting
  • his conjecture that GM might have avoided some of its present problems if FAS 106 (Other Post-Employment Benefits) had passed a decade earlier.
  • and of course, fair value accounting (at the very end).

Other good stuff, with active discussion by Bob Lipe, Jeffrey Hales, and Lisa Koonce (in text).  This week, watch the video.  Next week, join us live!  (Cathy Shakespeare on Securitization).

By the way, make sure to view in full screen to see the chat.  Also, if you are wondering how the avatars seem to move so naturally, we use Rendezvous Animation’s “Avateer Pro” system, operated by JenzZa Misfit.