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Authors: Richard Fern
Published by: Allied Business Academies
Published in: "Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies", 2007

Abstract

The case centers on the breeding and racing operations of a small Thoroughbred horse business whose owner has little business or accounting knowledge. The business has two distinct operations, racing and breeding. Students discover that the Thoroughbred breeding industry is primarily a manufacturing business with the mares serving as production equipment and the foals serving as inventory. Racing operations are similar to many other businesses with fixed assets (racing stock) and operating costs (board, transportation, vets, race entry fees, jockey purses, etc.). In this case, the owner financed her operations with a large bank loan so the concept of cost allocation and indirect costs for interest are also introduced. Students are asked to identify the cash flows, list the product and period costs, recommend a depreciation policy for each operation and reconcile the cash flow to income. Instructors are given sufficient background information on accounting and reporting issues in the Thoroughbred industry to allow adequate feedback and guidance to the students. Since most Thoroughbred horse business are not public companies, they primarily report on an income tax basis. Some basic, relevant tax issues are presented as background for instructors. Short summaries of the history of the Thoroughbred breed, naming foals and the Triple Crown of racing are provided for interest. This case, for beginning accounting students, reinforces some common accrual accounting concepts in an interesting setting. The body of the case is also available in CD version with a dramatized story and summaries of the data for students to refer to while answering the questions (to get a CD, contact the author directly). The key concepts include revenue and capital expenditures, product and period costs, profit and loss, cash flows, fixed assets and depreciation, inventory costing, indirect costs, cost allocation and cost of goods sold. Due to the concepts covered, it is appropriate to use during the second half of the course after students have been exposed to fixed assets, inventory, profit and loss and cash flow reporting. The case should take about 30 to 45 minutes of class time with about two hours of out-of-class preparation for each of the three sets of discussion questions.

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Abstract

The case centers on the breeding and racing operations of a small Thoroughbred horse business whose owner has little business or accounting knowledge. The business has two distinct operations, racing and breeding. Students discover that the Thoroughbred breeding industry is primarily a manufacturing business with the mares serving as production equipment and the foals serving as inventory. Racing operations are similar to many other businesses with fixed assets (racing stock) and operating costs (board, transportation, vets, race entry fees, jockey purses, etc.). In this case, the owner financed her operations with a large bank loan so the concept of cost allocation and indirect costs for interest are also introduced. Students are asked to identify the cash flows, list the product and period costs, recommend a depreciation policy for each operation and reconcile the cash flow to income. Instructors are given sufficient background information on accounting and reporting issues in the Thoroughbred industry to allow adequate feedback and guidance to the students. Since most Thoroughbred horse business are not public companies, they primarily report on an income tax basis. Some basic, relevant tax issues are presented as background for instructors. Short summaries of the history of the Thoroughbred breed, naming foals and the Triple Crown of racing are provided for interest. This case, for beginning accounting students, reinforces some common accrual accounting concepts in an interesting setting. The body of the case is also available in CD version with a dramatized story and summaries of the data for students to refer to while answering the questions (to get a CD, contact the author directly). The key concepts include revenue and capital expenditures, product and period costs, profit and loss, cash flows, fixed assets and depreciation, inventory costing, indirect costs, cost allocation and cost of goods sold. Due to the concepts covered, it is appropriate to use during the second half of the course after students have been exposed to fixed assets, inventory, profit and loss and cash flow reporting. The case should take about 30 to 45 minutes of class time with about two hours of out-of-class preparation for each of the three sets of discussion questions.

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