ACC 630 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric

Overview According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), CPAs in today’s environment must not only have a high level of technical competence and a sense of commitment to service, but they must also have good communication and analytical skills and the ability to work well with people. Employers are looking for individuals who have the ability to analyze and evaluate complex business problems and the interpersonal skills and maturity to make decisions in a client and customer service environment.

In your final project for this course, you will apply your cumulative knowledge from the financial reporting courses you have taken to address advanced accounting topics. The topics in this course will integrate the accounting competencies needed to work in an organizational setting. You will apply accounting foundations to advanced, real-world situations by demonstrating knowledge and skills to determine solutions.

The project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Three, Five, and Seven. The final project will be submitted in Module Nine.

In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:

 Differentiate between partnerships and corporations for selecting an appropriate business entity  Analyze the effects of consolidations on financial statements for proper reporting  Determine effective strategies for estate planning to minimize tax liability  Evaluate the need for trusts in various scenarios for income protection

Prompt For this project, imagine you are a new CPA in an accounting firm. You have been asked to prepare a report on the differences in accounting practices for partnerships versus corporations in different scenarios, such as a major lawsuit, consolidation, estate planning, and use of a trust. You are to use a particular large corporation as your comparative example. Choose one of the following: Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Costco, The Home Depot, CVS Health Corporation, or Target. You don’t have to choose a particular partnership for comparison.

Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:

I. Business Entities—Partnerships and Corporations Assume your company is involved in a major lawsuit. The probable damages are estimated to be $2,000,000. A. Describe the effects damage estimates would have on the financial statements of a corporation and a partnership.

B. How do disclosure requirements differ from a corporation to a partnership, and what information is required? C. Are the shareholders at risk for any personal liability with the company set up as a corporation? Defend your response. D. If your company was set up as a partnership, would the partners be at risk for personal liability? Defend your response.

II. Consolidations of Financial Statements A. Based on research from your chosen company, explain the corporate structure in terms of consolidation. How is the company organized from a consolidated viewpoint? What are the reasons for this particular type of organization? B. How does the consolidation impact how the accounting information flows into the consolidated financial statement? Describe the process. C. Are there any income tax benefits from consolidating the financial statements for your company? Support your response.

III. Estate Planning A. In terms of minimizing tax liability, how would estate planning differ from a partnership to a corporation? B. For estate planning purposes, what are the advantages of setting your business up as a corporation versus a partnership? Defend your response. C. Describe your company’s succession plan and whether it aligns with your company’s vision. D. Based on your responses, what estate planning strategy would be most effective in minimizing tax liability? Why?

IV. Trusts A. Draw a conclusion about the purpose for the company’s trust based on the research of your company. B. Why would a small business owner want to set up a trust, and how could it be used for estate planning purposes? C. Evaluate the similarities and differences between trusts and corporations. In an attempt to protect income, which would be most suitable for a company?

Milestone One: Business Entities—Partnerships and Corporations In Module Three, you will submit Section I of your final project. You will be asked to consider how, based on the type of entity, a given scenario might affect the company. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone One Rubric.

Milestone Two: Estate Planning In Module Five, you will submit Section III of your final project. You will be asked how estate planning affects tax liability strategy and succession planning. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Two Rubric.

Milestone Three: Trusts In Module Seven, you will submit Section IV of your final project. You will be asked how the use of trusts affects estate planning and income protection. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Three Rubric.

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