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ACC 5502 Technological Process

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You are required to research the impact of job automation and use relevant sources to answer the following questions. You should use a mixture of academic, newspaper articles and other relevant financial commentary.

1. Identify and discuss the main ethical issues associated with job automation;
2. Determine the norms, principles and values relevant to the issue of job automation;
3. Identify two companies in two different industries that might be impacted by job automation. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for these companies in    adopting artificial intelligence or job automation;
4. Based on your answer to part (3) above, choose one company and identify the stakeholders most likely to be affected by job automation. Describe each stakeholder,        their probable concerns and how they are likely to be affected.
1. Provide a brief discussion of the various regulatory influences on external reporting for public companies in Australia; (10 marks)
2. Answer the following questions using the consolidated financial report of Virgin Australia Group and the notes to the consolidated financial report for the year ending       30   June 2017; (20 marks)
a) State the accounting equation at the beginning and end of the year.
b) Which accounting firm audited the financial statements and what opinion was issued?
c) Did the auditor provide any other services to Virgin Australia during the year? If so, provide specific details of what these services were?
d) What is the largest non-current asset the company owns and state its opening and closing net book value? What valuation method is used for this asset?
e) What depreciation method is used for the company’s property, plant and equipment?
f) According to the financial statements what is the largest source of revenue for Virgin? What does the “other ancillary revenue” category consist of?
g) How much did Virgin Australia recognise as an expense for finance costs during 2017. Has this increased or decreased since 2016?
h) Have the directors identified any contingent liabilities for the group? If so what are they and how have these been disclosed?
i) How many ordinary shares did Virgin Australia issue during 2017? By how much did share capital increase during 2017 in relation to the issue of ordinary shares?
j) Compare the net loss with the net cash flows from operating activities. Which amount is larger? Provide an explanation for this.
k) Virgin Australia has reported several elements of Unearned Revenue as a liability. What are these? Would these be expected for a company in this industry?
l) Compare the director’s report and director’s declaration? What are the key features of each of these? Why are both reports required?
m) In addition to releasing an annual report, Virgin Australia Holdings Limited released a half year report. Why does the company release both half-year and annual              accounts? What period does the half year report cover?
3. Calculate the following ratios for Virgin Australia for the year ending 30 June 2017: (20 marks) a) return on equity b) return on assets c) profit margin ratio d) asset      turnover ratio e) current ratio f) debt to equity ratio g) interest coverage ratio h) debt coverage ratio i) price earnings j) dividends per share.
General Requirements:
1. Part one of this assignment requires you to apply elements of ethical decision making models to a contemporary corporate issue. This section of the assignment will be marked based on the quality of your discussion and research.
2. Answer each question using a heading indicating the question number. Part one and part two of the assignment should be answered within the same word document. 3. Full referencing is required in accordance with the USQ preferred Harvard Referencing style.
4. There is no specified word length for this assignment. However, be as concise and efficient in your writing as possible. You should not require more than a maximum of      eight 1.5 spaced A4 pages (12 point font).
5. Assignment extensions will only be granted if there are extenuating circumstances. University policy provides that the maximum extension is 5 business days.
6. The assignment is to be submitted electronically. Submit the assignment using the link on the study desk. File types allowed include doc and docx. Only one file will be      accepted. If more than one file is uploaded, only the first file listed will be marked. Do not submit a cover sheet.
7. This assignment is to be your own individual work.  8. The Learning Centre at USQ, offers students online and face-to-face access to academic support, advice and            guidance

Answer:

Answer to question 1

The job automation is a technological process by which the various operations of businesses are performed without involving the human brain and their mental and physical assistance. It is operated automatically through hi-tech technological control systems (Teigland et al 2018). The technique is completely automated and the work done effectively without involving the labour force. With the advancement of the technology and machines, the labour force is being replaced by the high tech machines, boilers, robotics, and aircrafts, stabilization ships However, the process of automation faces some ethical issues that are as follows:

Security issues: The confidential business data can easily be hacked which are stored in the automatic machines in the business.

Uneven economy: The hourly wage rate is the measure of growth in an economy. The companies depend on the hourly production by the labour force but in the automation, companies in lesser time can generate more production (Chui Manyika & Miremadi 2015)

Loss of jobs: The individuals who were dependent in the job roles are now have to face threats due this automation in the work.

Ineffective technology:  It refers to the failure in the artificial intelligence due to some technical faults. It can lead to huge loss in terms on capital and time.

Answer to question 2

The basic procedure of job automation takes place with the help of the following principles:

Simplicity: the steps of the automation should not be very complex as it is to be handled by many who may or may not have knowledge about the same.

Replacement of manual procedures: The online rules replace the manual labour techniques in the business.

Flexible rules: The various rules that are to be applied in the machines are to kept flexible as the different machines have different nature (Willcocks, Lacity&Craig 017).

Proper training to the users: The individuals who are dealing with the operations of the machines must be well trained and ensure that they know the exact method for executing the job.

Answer to question 3

The two companies that have adapted the automation are Samsung and Google. Samsung deals with electronics devices and Google deal is an online global search engine company.

 The advantages of Job automation are:

More accurate: In case of automated machine, the work is accurate without any conflict as there is no human intervention.

Faster process: The process decreases the production time as is done automatically (Doster et al. 2016).

Reduction of employee cost: Automation technology adapted companies has replaced the labour force as a result there is reduced employee cost.

Larger production volume: The automation machines work systematically and spontaneously operations as a result the production volume are increased.

The disadvantages are:

No variety in techniques: any human brain involved therefore there is any versatility in operations.

High investment: The initial capital investment is huge along with a high cost of installation.

Loss of job opportunities: Unemployment is increased, as there is a replacement of work force with machines, reducing job opportunities.

Answer to question 4

The stakeholders of the chosen automation company Samsung are:

Directors of the company: The directors must be well informed with the automatic machines to approve the same for implementation in the operations (Krishnan & Ravindran, 2017).


Executive officials: The company executives need to know about the techniques to supervise the managers.

Management: It is necessary for them to be informed of the various natures of the machines and the technologies to get effective results.

Contributors: They are needed to be aware to the process of automation so that the working becomes smooth and regulated.

Part 2

1.Regulatory influence on external reporting

Regulatory obligation on public companies depends on the type of the company that is whether the entity is –

  • Not disclosing company nor limited by company company
  • Limited by guarantee company
  • Not disclosing company (gov.au 2018)

Not disclosing company nor limited by company –

Companies fall under this category shal prepare their annual report in accordance with Corporation Act 2001, Chapter 2M. In addition to that –

  • The report shall be audited
  • It must be filed with ASIC within a period of 4 months from the closing of the financial year.
  • Must be sent to members of the company within 21 days prior of holding next AGM or within a period of 4 months from the closing of the financial year, whichever comes 1st.

Limited by Guarantee Company –

If it is directed by any ASIC member or company, then the company must –

  • Prepare the annual financial statements
  • Prepare the directors report with required disclosures complied with the Corporation Act, Section 300B.

Further, the company must inform its members about the annual statements.

Not disclosing company –

The companies those fall under this category are not required to comply with Corporation act, Section 2M.3 if all the required conditions as per ASIC Corporations Instrument 2016/785 has been complied with and the company is not –

  • A license for the financial services
  • A borrowing company
  • A guarantor for such borrowing

It is applicable for the companies –

  • Those are wholly owned
  • Signed up the cross guarantee deed with other company (gov.au 2018)

2.Virgin Australia – Consolidated financial report

Answer (a) – accounting equation

Assets = Liabilities + Equities

Accounting equation at beginning –

Total assets = Liabilities + Equities

$ 6040.8 m = $ 5142 m + $ 898.8 m

Accounting equation at closing –

Total assets = Liabilities + Equities

$ 6355.8 m = $ 4782 m + $ 1573.8 m

Answer (b)

For the financial year ending on 30th June 2017, Virgin Australia’s financial statement was audited by KPMG.  As per the opinion of the auditor –

  • The report was prepared as per the requirement of AAS (Australian accounting standards) and Corporation Act 2001
  • The report presents true and fair view of the financial position as well as the financial performance of the company dated on 30th June 2017 (Virgin Australia 2018)

Answer (c)

In addition with offering the audit services, KPMG also offers some non-audited services to the company that includes –

  • Taxation services
  • Assurance services associated with the debt transactions, service level compliance and assurance services for non-financial statements
  • Other services like services and due diligence related to capital restructure, accounting advices, divestments and various other agreed upon procedures (Svanström 2013).

Answer (d)

As per the annual report of the company the largest non-current asset is plant, property and equipment. Opening book value of this asset is $ 2827.8 million whereas the closing book value of the asset is $ 2916.6 million. Asset is valued at cost less accumulated depreciation and impairment loss, if any (Virgin Australia 2018).

Answer (e)

Company charged the depreciation as per straight line method on plant, property and equipment.

Answer (f)

Largest revenue source for Virgin Australia is from Airline Passenger and the revenue is amounted to $ 4257.30 million in total revenue amounting to $ 5,403.70 million.

Company’s other ancillary revenue includes –

  • Credit voucher redemption revenue after completion of carriage or it is established that the credit voucher will not be redeemed
  • Revenue generated from providing airline services like on-board sales, charter revenue, freight and product revenue (Virgin Australia 2018).

Answer (g)

The company’s finance cost for the year closed on 30th June 2017 amounted to $ 184.70 million. The amount went up to $ 184.70 million from $ 181 million for the year closed on 30th June 2016.

Answer (h)

For the year ended on 30th June 2017, Virgin Australia did not have any contingent liabilities

Answer (i)

During the year ended 30th June 2017 Virgin Australia issued shares amounted to $ 4,400.60 million. Issue of the shares increased the capital of the company by the amount of $ 943.30 million (Virgin Australia 2018).

Answer (j)

Net cash flow from operating activities for the year ended 30th June 2017 for Virgin Australia amounted to $ 273.90 million whereas the net loss of the company for the same period amounted to $ 185.80 million. Hence, it can be observed that the amount of cash flow from operating activities is larger as compared to net loss of the year (Abeysekera 2013). The amount is different as the net income is calculated by deducting the COGS, interest, depreciation, various other operational expenses and tax expenses from net revenue whereas, operating cash flow is calculated by considering the net income, non-cash expenses and changes in the amount of working capital.

Answer (k)

Virgin Australia reported the following items under liabilities as unearned revenue for the year ended 30th June 2017 –

  • Credit vouchers for $ 13.5 million
  • Unearned loyalty program revenue for $ 412.8 million
  • Unearned passenger revenue for $ 647.7 million
  • Other unearned revenue for $ 0.2 million

This is expected for any company under this industry as the unearned revenue is related to the ticket sales to the passenger and requires various estimates and judgements. Further, it also requires judgements regarding the non-attendance of passengers and the probability that the passengers will exercise their contractual obligation.

Answer (l)

Director’s declaration states their opinion regarding whether the company’s consolidated financial statement prepared in compliance with the Corporation Act 2001. It further states the declaration whether requirement of Corporation Act, Section 295 or not. Moreover, it states whether the entity is efficient to meet its obligations or not.

Director’s report on the other hand, states the information of the directors as well as alternate directors like their qualification, name, special responsibilities and experience. It also gives information of the director’s interest, director’s meeting, review of financial as well as operating performances, KMP, remuneration report, remuneration overview of the executives and details regarding the share options.

Both director’s declaration and director’s report is necessary as the declaration states regulation compliance and report states detail information about the directors.

Answer (m)

Half year’s report is necessary to comment if there is any material events or transaction is there under the period and its impact on the financial status of the company (Weygandt, Kimmel & Kieso 2015).

Half year reports are prepared for the period from 1st July 2016 to 31st December 2016

3.Ratio calculation

Ratio

Formula

Result

Return on equity

Profit before interest and tax / Average equity

-0.10

Return on assets

Profit before interest and tax / Average assets

-0.02

Profit margin ratio

Net profit/Revenue

-0.04

Asset turnover ratio

Net sales / average total assets

0.81

Current ratio

Current assets / current liabilities

0.76

Debt to equity ratio

Total liabilities / Total equity

3.04

Interest coverage ratio

Profit before interest and tax / interest expenses

-0.66

Debt coverage ratio

Profit before interest and tax / debt payment

-0.09

Price earning

Stock price per share / Earning per share

5.71

Dividend per share

Given

Nil


Reference

DosterB.A  Helak D.A Reed D C& Smith, M.D., International Business Machines Corp, 2016. ‘Intelligent inclusion/exclusion automation’. U.S. Patent 9,384,044.

Teigland R van der ZandeTeigland & Siri S 2018. The Substitution of Labour: From Technological Feasibility to Other Factors Influencing Job Automation.

Willcocks LLacity M & Craig 2017. Robotic process automation: strategic transformation lever for global business services?. ‘Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 7’ pp.17-28.

Abeysekera I 2013. A template for integrated reporting. ‘Journal of Intellectual Capital’ Vol -  14(2), pp.227-245.

Asic.gov.au 2018. Reporting obligations for public companies | ASIC - Australian Securities and Investments Commission. [online] Available at: https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/financial-reporting-and-audit/preparers-of-financial-reports/reporting-obligations-for-public-companies/ [Accessed 14 Apr. 2018].

Chui Manyika J & Miremadi M 2015. Four fundamentals of workplace automation. ‘McKinsey Quarterly’, 293 pp.1-9.

Svanström T 2013. Non-audit services and audit quality: Evidence from private firms. ‘European Accounting Review’ Vol - 22(2), pp 337-366.

Virgin Australia 2018. Virgin Australia | Book flights & holidays with Virgin Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.virginaustralia.com/au/en/ [Accessed 19 Apr. 2018].

Weygandt J J Kimmel P D & Kieso D E 2015. Financial & managerial accounting. John Wiley & Sons.

Krishnan & Ravindran 2017 June. IT service management automation and its impact to IT industry. In ‘Computational Intelligence in Data Science ICCIDS 2017 International Conference’  pp. 1-4. IEEE.

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