The Wall Street Journal News Analysis Homework Assignments
(Homework #2 and #5)
The following offers you instructions and writing prompts for Homework #2 and #5.
Preliminary Steps:
1. Please subscribe to The Wall Street Journal at: https://r.wsj.com/PROFajh9
2. In preparation for these homework assignments, please read (or at least scan) The
Wall Street Journal regularly (daily is ideal).
3. Seek out articles that fall into one of these categories:
a. News on Accounting Standards, FASB (e.g. proposed changes to FASB ASC,
delays in transition to new ASC standards, etc.)
b. News regarding the Accounting Profession (e.g. trends in accounting firms’
practices, ethics scandals, lawsuits against auditors, etc.)
c. Business or geopolitical developments that might impact accounting (e.g.
climate change damaging crops, industry trends such as bankruptcy or
operations’ closures, sales of retail space, etc.)
d. Career or professional development (hiring trends, workplace culture, etc.)
e. Personal interest (e.g. a cultural trend in which you are interested, a business or
industry in which you have work experience, a political issue in which you are
actively involved, etc.)
4. For Homework #2, please select two articles that were published from January 22,
2020 to March 7, 2020.
5. For Homework #5, please select two articles that were published from March 8,
2020 to May 2, 2020.
Writing Prompts:
For each article selected, please write a response to one of the following writing
prompts (2 responses = 1-2 paragraphs each = 2 -4 paragraphs total). Please do not
conduct research outside the Wall Street Journal. If you read a past article linked to
your selected article, please cite that article as well).
Category (a) News on Accounting Standards, FASB
• How will [the proposed change, etc.] impact what you have learned in
your accounting classes? Please be specific.
• What types of businesses or industries will be affected by this change?
Describe how these might be affected.
• Do you agree or disagree with the proposed change? Explain.
• Other: please send me your prompt via a Canvas Message prior to the
homework date for approval.
Category (b) News regarding the Accounting Profession
• does this news change your view of the accounting profession? Explain.
• what might have caused the accounting firm or accounting professional to
take the actions described in the article? Explain.

what advice would you have for accountants or accounting firms who
might be similarly situated as the accountants or accounting firms
described in the article? Explain.
• Other: please send me your prompt via a Canvas Message prior to the
homework date for approval.
Category (c) Business or geopolitical developments that might impact
accounting.
• How might this development impact accounting practices?
• What types of businesses or industries will be affected by this
development? Describe how these might be affected.
• Other: please send me your prompt via a Canvas Message prior to the
homework date for approval.
Category (d) Career or professional development
• How might this change your approach to networking or recruiting?
• How might this help you in the workplace?
• Do you agree or disagree with the advice being given? Explain.
Category (e) Personal Interest – please send me your prompt via a Canvas
Message prior to the homework due date for approval.
Directions:
1. Citation of first article: Author First and Last Name, “Title of Article”, The Wall
Street Journal (Month Day, 2020). (Please add citations to any linked article that
you read as well).
2. Category of first article
3. One to two sentences summarizing the main idea of the first article.
4. Selected Writing Prompt for first article (one of the relevant writing prompts
above (or your own, approved prompt)
5. 1-2 paragraphs on one of the relevant writing prompts above (or your own,
approved prompt)
6. Citation of second article Author First and Last Name, “Title of Article”, The Wall
Street Journal (Month Day, 2020). (Please add citations to any linked article that
you read as well).
7. Category of second article
8. One to two sentences summarizing the main idea of the second article.
9. Selected Writing Prompt for second article (one of the relevant writing prompts
above (or your own, approved prompt)
10. 1-2 paragraphs on one of the relevant writing prompts above (or your own,
approved prompt)
Sample Homework #2 and #5


Please follow the Directions on Homework #2 and #5 available on Canvas
in the Module.
Please note that you cannot use the sample articles offered on Canvas;
the articles you choose must have been published in The Wall Street
Journal on or after January 22, 2020.
Name: Kiren Dosanjh Zucker
Article One: Ben Fritz, Michael Rapoport, and Erich Schwartzel, “PwC Partner in
Charge of Oscar Winner Envelopes was Tweeting Backstage Minutes Before
Best Picture Mix-Up”, The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 27, 2017)
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pwc-partner-in-charge-of-oscar-winner-envelopeswas-tweeting-backstage-minutes-before-best-picture-mix-up
Category: (b): News Regarding the Accounting Profession
Summary: In 2017, while handing out the envelopes containing the
announcements of Oscar winners to the presenters backstage at the Oscars
ceremony, as PwC partners have done for years, PwC partner Brian Cullinan
gave the wrong envelope to the announcer for Best Picture. Apparently, Mr.
Cullinan had been taking photos and posting to social media on his cellphone
while performing this important service for “The Academy” (of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences).
Writing Prompt from Homework Directions: what advice would you have for
accountants or accounting firms who might be similarly situated as the
accountants or accounting firms described in the article?
Response to Writing Prompt:
Although most accountants do not enjoy such a glamorous assignment as Mr. Cullinan
did at the 2017 Oscars, there are still some lessons learned from the plot twists that led
to that Oscar Night moment when the accountant handed out the wrong envelope. We
all make mistakes, but this accident seems to have been caused by the accountant
taking photos and posting to social media backstage while performing this important
task for a major client.
Such an incident can be avoided by being mindful of our professional role. Mr. Cullinan
seems to have gotten caught up in the excitement of not only seeing but interacting with
so many celebrities before and during the ceremony. Although the people we will
encounter at a client site or our office may not be movie stars, we can become
distracted in such a social environment. As accountants, we should remember that our
professional work needs our full attention. Similarly, we should not start to identify with
our accounting clients, thinking that we are part of the client rather than the client’s
accountant. Mr. Cullinan was acting like he was a part of the movie industry itself or
one of the show’s managers, rather than the professional in charge of fulfilling an
important, sensitive task. On a practical note, suspending the use of social media at
work can help with maintaining our focus, professional distance, and client
confidentiality as well. If Mr. Cullinan had accidentally taken a picture of an envelope’s
contents backstage and included it in a social media posting, for example, that could
have caused a further problem.
Article Two: (Follow the Homework #2 and #5 Directions and the above sample given
for Article One)
Citation of second article Author First and Last Name, “Title of Article”, The Wall
Street Journal (Month Day, 2020). (Please add citations to any linked article that
you read as well).
Category of second article
One to two sentences summarizing the main idea of the second article.
Selected Writing Prompt for second article (one of the relevant writing prompts
above (or your own, approved prompt)
1-2 paragraphs on one of the relevant writing prompts above (or your own,
approved prompt)

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