William J. Bruns

Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

A graduate of the University of Redlands, William J. "Bill" Bruns also earned degrees at Harvard (M.B.A.) and the University of California at Berkeley (Ph.D.). In 1976 the University of Redlands awarded him the degree Doctor of Business Administration (honorary). Previously, Professor Bruns held appointments on the faculties of Yale University and the University of Washington. On retirement he taught eleven years as a Visiting Professor of Business Administration at Northeastern. 

Professor Bruns has extensive experience in executive education programs and has taught in the Advanced Management Program, the Owner/President Managers Program, the International Senior Managers Program, and the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. He is author of Accounting for Managers: Text and Cases (South-WesternPublishing Co., 1994; Second Edition, 1999; Third Edition, 2005); Performance Measurement, Evaluation, and Incentives (Harvard Business School Press, 1992); co-author (with Sharon M. McKinnon) of The Information Mosaic (Harvard Business School Press, 1992); (with Robert S. Kaplan) of Accounting and Management: Field Study Perspectives (Harvard Business School Press, 1987); (with M. Edgar Barrett) of Case Problems in Management Accounting (R.D. Irwin, 1982 and 1985); and (with Richard F. Vancil) A Primer on Replacement Cost Accounting (Thomas Horton and Daughters, 1976). He is also author of Introduction to Accounting: Economic Measurement for Decisions (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1971); Accounting for Decisions: A Business Game (Macmillan Co.,1966); and co-editor (with Don T. DeCoster) of Accounting and Its Behavioral Implications (McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1969).

Professor Bruns is married, with four adult sons (two of whom head their own businesses) and a daughter, Stacy (Anastasia), adopted in 1999.

Books

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  1. Performance Evaluation and Managers' Description of Tasks and Activities

    Keywords: Performance Evaluation; Job Design and Levels;

    Citation:

    Bruns, W. J., Jr., and S. M. McKinnon. "Performance Evaluation and Managers' Description of Tasks and Activities." In Performance Measurement, Evaluation and Incentives, edited by William J. Bruns. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1992. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Danshui Plant No. 2

    Danshui Plant No. 2 in southern China has a one-year contract with Apple Inc. to assemble 2.4 million iPhones. In the first three months of the contract, the plant is unable to assemble as many phones as expected and is operating at a loss. The plant manager must analyze the budget and prepare a summary of monthly operations to help identify the source of performance problems. The plant has had difficulty hiring enough workers despite raising wages over 30%. In addition, the assembly process for an iPhone is complicated, with 140 steps involving over 100 components. The plant manager considers whether a flexible budget would be more useful for uncovering problems than the static budget currently being used. Students must perform breakeven and flexible budget analyses and calculate price and usage variances as they consider solutions for the plant's problems with the iPhone contract. This case, which explores the challenges of outsourcing manufacturing, can be used as an introduction to managerial accounting.

    Keywords: Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Production; Budgets and Budgeting; Manufacturing Industry; Electronics Industry; China;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William, Julie H. Hertenstein, and Kelvin Liu. "Danshui Plant No. 2." Harvard Business School Brief Case 913-525, August 2012. View Details
  2. Merrimack Tractors and Mowers: LIFO or FIFO?

    At Merrimack Tractors and Mowers in 2008, product manufacturing costs are increasing faster than competitors' costs, and as a result earnings are likely to fall below those reported in 2007. The company president and the company controller have discussed this problem, and the controller has mentioned that if the company changed from LIFO to FIFO it might be possible to maintain earnings growth in 2008. He prepares a memo to the president explaining how inventory flow assumptions work and provides pro-forma income statements that show that, for one product (reel mower units), adopting FIFO would allow Merrimack to report higher income in 2008 than it did in 2007, but higher income taxes would have to be paid.

    Keywords: International; Financial; reporting; Standards; Inventory; Business ethics; Assets; Valuation; Ethics; Taxation; Financial Reporting; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., Sharon Bruns, and Susan S. Hameling. "Merrimack Tractors and Mowers: LIFO or FIFO?" Harvard Business School Brief Case 083-217, December 2008. View Details
  3. The Talbots, Inc., and Subsidiaries: Accounting for Goodwill

    In 2006, Talbots, Inc., a specialty women's retailer, purchased a competitor, J. Jill. The transaction created a large goodwill account along with accounts for trademarks and other intangible assets. Using prevailing accounting standards (Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 142), Talbots determined that the goodwill was not impaired in its Fiscal Year 2007 and it was carried forward at its purchase cost. However, one year later Talbots found the goodwill impaired, along with the trademarks and some store assets acquired from J. Jill in 2006, and these impairments were deducted from revenues in Fiscal Year 2008. Case includes financial statements.

    Keywords: FASB; Intangible assets; Standards; Financial Statements; Goodwill Accounting; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "The Talbots, Inc., and Subsidiaries: Accounting for Goodwill." Harvard Business School Brief Case 083-254, October 2008. View Details
  4. Hallstead Jewelers

    A retail jeweler has relocated to a larger store and is experiencing losses for the first time. Sales and costs have increased along with the breakeven point. Changes in pricing and promotion must be explored. Alternative actions to return to profitability can be considered.

    Keywords: Restructuring; Transition; Marketing Channels; Outcome or Result; Performance Evaluation; Opportunities; Commercialization; Apparel and Accessories Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Hallstead Jewelers." Harvard Business School Case 107-060, March 2007. View Details
  5. Survey Masters LLC (A)

    Partners in a service firm are reviewing results for 2006, wondering whether large or small projects are more profitable. Present reports make small projects look more profitable. However, activity-based accounting reveals that large projects are more profitable and that concentrating sales efforts on large projects offers potential for greater profit in a service firm.

    Keywords: Activity Based Costing and Management; Financial Reporting; Cost vs Benefits; Financial Strategy; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J. "Survey Masters LLC (A)." Harvard Business School Case 107-061, March 2007. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  6. Why I Use the Case Method to Teach Accounting

    Thoughts on choosing teaching methods and the advantages of the case method for achieving the objectives of a survey course in accounting. Criteria for selecting or preparing good cases, developing a course outline, and for evaluating student and teacher performance.

    Keywords: Accounting; Business Education;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Why I Use the Case Method to Teach Accounting." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-177, June 1993. (Revised November 2006.) View Details
  7. General Mills, Inc.: Appendix of Comparable Company Data

    Financial ratios for comparable companies to be used in conjunction with an analysis of the General Mills Annual Report.

    Keywords: Business Conglomerates; Data and Data Sets; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "General Mills, Inc.: Appendix of Comparable Company Data." Harvard Business School Background Note 197-037, December 1996. (Revised November 2006.) View Details
  8. Salem Telephone Company

    A computer subsidiary appears to be unprofitable. Managers must determine whether it is actually unprofitable and consider whether changes in prices or promotion might improve profitability. Allows clear separation of variable costs from fixed costs. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Cost; Business Earnings; Cost vs Benefits; Cost Management; Profit; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Julie Hertenstein. "Salem Telephone Company." Harvard Business School Case 104-086, June 2004. (Revised November 2005.) View Details
  9. WPP Group and Its Acquisitions

    WPP Group acquired J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather, paying high premiums in relation to earnings. In each acquisition the goodwill acquired was immediately charged off against owners' equity. Then, WPP Group established a value for the brand names of the two companies. The value totaled $350 million. The case describes the brand valuation process, the differences between U.K. and U.S. accounting methods, and motivation for the transaction.

    Keywords: Goodwill Accounting; Accounting; Brands and Branding; Product Positioning; Market Transactions; Equity; Private Equity; Relationships; Mergers and Acquisitions; Management Style; Consumer Products Industry; United States; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "WPP Group and Its Acquisitions." Harvard Business School Case 192-038, September 1991. (Revised March 2005.) View Details
  10. Lille Tissages, S.A.

    The marketing director and finance director must set the price for an expensive yet competitive fabric. Recent price increases have not been matched by competitors, and market share has been lost. The case provides an opportunity to practice contribution analysis considering variable and fixed costs as reported in a typical cost report.

    Keywords: Cost; Competition; Price; Accounting;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Lille Tissages, S.A." Harvard Business School Case 198-005, July 1997. (Revised March 2005.) View Details
  11. Kendall Square Research Corporation (A) (Abridged)

    Kendall Square Research was a small competitor in the supercomputer industry. Sales grew rapidly in 1992 and early 1993, and the company sold stock to the public for the first time. Analysts forecasted higher earnings for 1993, then the company's revenue recognition practices were questioned and the answers were devastating.

    Keywords: Revenue Recognition; Standards; Accounting Audits; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and F. Warren McFarlan. "Kendall Square Research Corporation (A) (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 303-036, July 2002. (Revised March 2005.) View Details
  12. Question of LIFO or FIFO, The; Which Is Preferable?

    Discusses the advantages and disadvantages of alternative inventory flow assumptions allowed in the United States. A single exhibit shows that in Year 2, a company using LIFO in Year 1 could report higher net income by switching to FIFO at a cost of higher income taxes. Retaining LIFO would save taxes but lead to lower reported income. A rewritten version of an earlier note.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting; Taxation; Revenue;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Sharon M. Bruns. "Question of LIFO or FIFO, The; Which Is Preferable?" Harvard Business School Background Note 104-087, June 2004. (Revised March 2005.) View Details
  13. Hilton Manufacturing Company

    A professional manager is hired by a small manufacturing company after the president discovers he made poor decisions. One product appears to be unprofitable, whereas the product sold in highest volume is under competitive price pressure. A crude cost accounting system fails to reveal appropriate actions to correct problems.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting; Asset Pricing; Problems and Challenges; Risk and Uncertainty; Decisions; Governance Controls; Performance Effectiveness; Business Strategy; Two-Sided Platforms; Fair Value Accounting; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Hilton Manufacturing Company." Harvard Business School Case 192-063, October 1991. (Revised October 2004.) View Details
  14. Custom Research Inc. (A)

    Custom Research is considering terminating service to many clients to eliminate unprofitable work and concentrate on the more profitable client projects.

    Keywords: Customers; Profit; Decision Making; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Susan Harmeling. "Custom Research Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 199-001, July 1998. (Revised October 2004.) View Details
  15. Depreciation at Delta Air Lines and Singapore Airlines (A)

    Depreciation policies at Delta Air Lines and Singapore Airlines are compared and contrasted against a summary of operating data from each airline. Questions focus attention on differing depreciation policies.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting; Policy; Financial Statements; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Jeremy Cott. "Depreciation at Delta Air Lines and Singapore Airlines (A)." Harvard Business School Case 198-001, July 1997. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  16. Hanson Ski Products

    At the end of the budget cycle, the manager must test whether plans are feasible given financing arrangements and constraints. Cash needs are great due to seasonality. Needed loans must be calculated at five separate dates, and financial position projected. This is a rewritten version of Hanson Industries (B) and (C).

    Keywords: Budgets and Budgeting; Capital Budgeting; Cash Flow; Financial Strategy; Activity Based Costing and Management; Financing and Loans; Managerial Roles; Credit; Insurance;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Julie H. Hertenstein. "Hanson Ski Products." Harvard Business School Case 187-038, August 1986. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  17. Circuit City Stores, Inc. (A)

    Circuit City sells consumer electronic equipment, appliances, and extended service and warranty contracts which supplement those provided by equipment manufacturers. Equipment is sold at low margins, while warranties carry very high margins. A question has been raised about the proper method for recognizing revenues on the warranty portion of the combined sale. Deferring revenue will cut profit reported at the time of sales but may better match costs of warranty service.

    Keywords: Sales; Cost; Profit; Financial Statements; Revenue; Marketing Strategy; Electronics Industry; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Susan Harmeling. "Circuit City Stores, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 191-086, November 1990. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  18. Buying Time

    A self-contained explanation and simple practice examples to introduce students to the concepts of compound interest, present value loans, bonds, and leases. Necessary present value tables are included. The study questions provide simple exercises to enhance student learning.

    Keywords: Bonds; Financing and Loans; Learning;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Susan Harmeling. "Buying Time." Harvard Business School Case 192-045, October 1991. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  19. Accounting Framework, Financial Statements, and Some Accounting Concepts, The

    Introduces the accounting framework, basic financial statements, and eleven accounting concepts.

    Keywords: Accounting; Financial Statements;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Accounting Framework, Financial Statements, and Some Accounting Concepts, The." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-028, August 1992. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  20. Introduction to Financial Ratios and Financial Statement Analysis

    Introduces and describes meaning and uses for financial ratios to assess profitability, activity, solvency and leverage, and returns to shareholders.

    Keywords: Financial Statements; Finance;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Introduction to Financial Ratios and Financial Statement Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-029, August 1992. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  21. Accounting for Property, Plant, Equipment and Other Assets

    An introduction to depreciation accounting and depreciation methods for capital assets. Also covers gains or losses on asset disposal and accounting for other investments and intangibles.

    Keywords: Accounting; Assets;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Accounting for Property, Plant, Equipment and Other Assets." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-046, September 1992. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  22. Accounting for Current Assets

    An introduction to accounting for current assets: receivables, inventories, and other current assets. Included are discussions of FIFO, LIFO, average cost, and explanation of accounting for manufactured inventories. To be assigned with cases on inventory valuation as an introduction to current assets.

    Keywords: Accounting; Assets;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Accounting for Current Assets." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-048, September 1992. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  23. Liabilities and Time

    An introduction to accounting for liabilities. Both current liabilities and long-term debts are described, and illustrations of bond interest calculations and financial reporting formats are included.

    Keywords: Accounting; Legal Liability;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Liabilities and Time." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-051, September 1992. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  24. Monterrey Manufacturing Company

    A small manufacturing company plans and budgets sales and expenses to ensure that its strategy is feasible. It must trace costs of manufacturing through work-in-process to finished goods and cost of goods sold, and project cash flows and income.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting; Business Earnings; Cash Flow; Sales; Budgets and Budgeting; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Monterrey Manufacturing Company." Harvard Business School Case 197-023, September 1996. (Revised September 2004.) View Details
  25. Introduction to Owners' Equity

    An introduction to accounting for owners' equity and leveraged buyouts. Covers classes of shareholders, treasury stock, stock distributions, and dividend accounting.

    Keywords: Ownership; Equity; Accounting;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Introduction to Owners' Equity." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-049, October 1992. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  26. Riverbend Telephone Company

    An independent telephone company needs to acquire a new truck for use in telephone line installation and maintenance and must decide whether to buy or lease the truck. The company must address the rate of return in a regulated industry and the best accounting treatment if the truck is leased.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting; Analysis; Cash Flow; Investment Return; Ownership;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Riverbend Telephone Company." Harvard Business School Case 197-104, May 1997. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  27. Laurinburg Precision Engineering

    A small manufacturer needs additional financing for expansion and production improvements. A bond issue would provide needed funds, and a zero-coupon bond would delay payments until funds provided by operations were available. Present value tables are included.

    Keywords: Valuation; Bonds; Financing and Loans; Interest Rates; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Laurinburg Precision Engineering." Harvard Business School Case 193-098, January 1993. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  28. Maria Hernandez & Associates

    This case presents the situation of an unemployed web page designer who starts a new consulting firm with personal savings and a family loan. Two months later, she is to report on operations to her father, using financial reports she must design and construct.

    Keywords: Financial Reporting; Accounting; Business Startups; Design; Borrowing and Debt; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Maria Hernandez & Associates." Harvard Business School Case 902-401, August 2001. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  29. Precision Worldwide, Inc.

    A competitor has developed and introduced a superior product that is less costly to manufacture. Precision Worldwide must decide whether to match the competitor's product, when to do so, and how to price, given that it holds a large inventory of its now inferior product.

    Keywords: Decision Making; Price; Cost; Competition;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Precision Worldwide, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 197-103, May 1997. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  30. Mile High Cycles

    Introduces the concept of cost variances. Looking at a bicycle manufacturer with one product and three departments, the case presents budgeted and actual data for material, labor, and overhead.

    Keywords: Cost; Business Divisions; Accounting; Bicycle Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Mile High Cycles." Harvard Business School Case 191-056, November 1990. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  31. Waltham Motors Division

    Loss of a major contract has reduced production volume below the level expected when budget and standard costs were determined. Apparently favorable results for monthly operations result from reduced volume rather than operating efficiency. Rewritten version of a case by the same author.

    Keywords: Capital Budgeting; Cost Management; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Activity Based Costing and Management; Business Growth and Maturation; Accounting Industry; Industrial Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Waltham Motors Division." Harvard Business School Case 184-169, April 1984. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  32. Activity Accounting--Another Way to Measure Costs

    Explains the principal differences between traditional cost accounting systems and activity-based costing systems.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Activity Accounting--Another Way to Measure Costs." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-044, September 1992. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  33. Reto S.A.

    A company must decide whether to acquire new equipment to offer a new product line. The question is whether equipment will meet return on investment targets considering depreciation and taxation of profits. The equipment is acquired, but one year later better equipment becomes available. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Machinery and Machining; Cost; Investment Return; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Reto S.A." Harvard Business School Case 197-102, May 1997. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  34. Adventurous Computer Games, Inc. and Adventurous Computer Games, Inc.(Abridged)TN

    Teaching Note for (9-199-020) and (9-193-088).

    Keywords: Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Adventurous Computer Games, Inc. and Adventurous Computer Games, Inc.(Abridged)TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 199-034, October 1998. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  35. Adventurous Computer Games, Inc.

    A new company producing computer games must begin to capitalize computer software development cost. To do so requires a cost accounting system, decisions about which costs to capitalize, and how to match costs to future revenues. Teaches accounting standards for computer software development costs.

    Keywords: Product Development; Software; Cost Accounting; Business Startups; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Adventurous Computer Games, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 193-088, January 1993. (Revised May 2004.) View Details
  36. Pinnacle Mutual Life Insurance Company

    Pinnacle Mutual is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the world. Offering a full range of financial services, it competes with a broad group of financial service providers. In an effort to compete more effectively, Pinnacle adopted GAAP accounting and established profit centers in 1985. The case contains a description of the processes used to create profit centers and some of the implementation problems that were encountered.

    Keywords: Accounting; Competitive Strategy; Financial Services Industry; Insurance Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Pinnacle Mutual Life Insurance Company." Harvard Business School Case 187-021, October 1986. (Revised November 2003.) View Details
  37. Prestige Telephone Company

    An independent regulated telephone company has established a computer services subsidiary that seems to remain unprofitable. Managers must determine whether it is profitable or not and consider changes in pricing or promotion that might improve profitability. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Profit; Cost vs Benefits; Business Subsidiaries; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Prestige Telephone Company." Harvard Business School Case 197-097, May 1997. (Revised June 2003.) View Details
  38. Mercedes-Benz in Alabama: Lessons from the Field

    Details the establishment of the Mercedes Benz M-Class plant in Vance, AL. The plant was established as an independent "teaching field" for parent company Daimler Benz. The case reviews the different lessons from the plant and looks at issues going forward, particularly in respect to integration within the parent company and Daimler Chrysler after the merger.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Banks and Banking; Integration; Horizontal Integration; Business Ventures; Teaching; Organizational Structure; Auto Industry; Alabama;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., Carin-Isabel Knoop, and Anthony St. George. "Mercedes-Benz in Alabama: Lessons from the Field." Harvard Business School Case 199-028, October 1998. (Revised September 1999.) View Details
  39. PDQ Manufacturing, Inc.

    A small manufacturer of car wash facilities has been unable to develop management systems because of rapid growth. Now size dictates the need for such systems because the current personal management style is proving inadequate.

    Keywords: Management Practices and Processes; Organizational Design; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Personal Development and Career; Growth Management; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "PDQ Manufacturing, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 199-045, June 1999. View Details
  40. MotivAction plc (A)

    The owner/manager of MotivAction is developing a package of incentives and bonuses that he hopes will stimulate sales growth, encourage development of new autonomous teams, and increase profitability. If they are adopted, these new incentives will replace others requiring more centralized decision making.

    Keywords: Employee Relationship Management; Compensation and Benefits; Motivation and Incentives; Performance Improvement; Growth and Development Strategy; Decisions; Profit; Organizational Culture;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "MotivAction plc (A)." Harvard Business School Case 199-004, March 1999. View Details
  41. Understanding Costs for Management Decisions

    Defines types of costs--current, sunk, opportunity, relevant, differential--and their use in management and management decision making. Contrasts single-period and multiple-period cost analysis.

    Keywords: Cost vs Benefits; Decision Making;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Understanding Costs for Management Decisions." Harvard Business School Background Note 197-117, June 1997. (Revised January 1999.) View Details
  42. Carver Consulting Co.

    The managing partner of a relatively new consulting firm is concerned because training costs at the firm's new training center are higher than expected. Analysis of actual costs compared to those expected is required. In addition, he is considering capitalizing some training costs for later amortization. A management control system for the center is also a priority.

    Keywords: Cost Management; Training; Management Systems; Consulting Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Carver Consulting Co." Harvard Business School Case 199-006, December 1998. (Revised January 1999.) View Details
  43. Western Chemical Corporation: Divisional Performance Measurement (A)

    The president and controller of Western Chemical Corp. are discussing the best way to measure and report performance of foreign subsidiaries. One subsidiary is a joint venture with its own borrowing capacity; another is wholly owned; and a third is wholly owned and serves as a sales base for regional sales. Applying generally accepted accounting principles gives income measurements that seem to conflict with true success of the operations.

    Keywords: Business Subsidiaries; Financial Reporting; Performance Evaluation; Chemical Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Roger Atherton. "Western Chemical Corporation: Divisional Performance Measurement (A)." Harvard Business School Case 196-079, October 1995. (Revised January 1999.) View Details
  44. Kendall Square Research Corporation (A)

    Kendall Square Research was a small competitor in the supercomputer industry. As sales grew rapidly in 1992 and early 1993, the company sold stock to the public for the first time and analysts forecast higher earnings for 1993. However, when the company's revenue recognition practices were questioned the answers were devastating.

    Keywords: Revenue Recognition; Standards; Accounting Audits; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Kendall Square Research Corporation (A)." Harvard Business School Case 194-068, April 1994. (Revised November 1998.) View Details
  45. Statements of Cash Flows: Three Examples

    This case introduces the statement of cash flow through three examples of multi-year statements of cash flows from three unidentified companies.

    Keywords: History; Venture Capital; Financial Management; Activity Based Costing and Management; Investment; Financial Statements; Cash Flow; Financing and Loans; Accounting Industry; Financial Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Julie H. Hertenstein. "Statements of Cash Flows: Three Examples." Harvard Business School Case 193-103, February 1993. (Revised November 1998.) View Details
  46. Adventurous Computer Games, Inc. (Abridged)

    A new company that manufactures computer games must begin to capitalize computer software development costs. Issues that must be addressed include the effects of capitalization and decisions about how to match costs with future revenues.

    Keywords: Cost; Software; Accounting; Revenue;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Adventurous Computer Games, Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 199-020, September 1998. (Revised October 1998.) View Details
  47. Auditors and Their Opinions

    Discusses the purpose of independent audits of financial reports, the nature of audits and auditing, types of independent auditor opinions, and changing expectations of those who use and rely on audits.

    Keywords: Accounting Audits;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Jeremy Cott. "Auditors and Their Opinions." Harvard Business School Background Note 197-113, May 1997. (Revised May 1998.) View Details
  48. Colgate-Palmolive Company: Analyzing an Annual Report

    A directed analysis of the Colgate-Palmolive Co. annual report. Focuses on the basics of reading an annual report including analysis of financial statements, calculation of financial ratios, and study of the layout and message of the report. Industry financial ratios are included for comparison.

    Keywords: Financial Reporting; Reports; Financial Statements; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Colgate-Palmolive Company: Analyzing an Annual Report." Harvard Business School Case 196-116, January 1996. (Revised December 1997.) View Details
  49. Baylor Books, Inc.

    The owner of a trade book publishing company must consider proper accounting for books returned and potentially returnable by book stores. Company and industry data are supplied. Costs of failure to publish books under contract and a cost accounting system for books are considered as well.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting; Financial Reporting; Publishing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Jeremy Cott. "Baylor Books, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 198-082, December 1997. View Details
  50. Depreciation at Delta Air Lines and Singapore Airlines (A) and (B) TN

    Teaching Note for (9-198-001) and (9-198-002).

    Keywords: Air Transportation; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Jeremy Cott. "Depreciation at Delta Air Lines and Singapore Airlines (A) and (B) TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 198-003, September 1997. (Revised October 1997.) View Details
  51. Identify the Industries--1996

    Common-size balance sheets and financial ratios are given for thirteen companies. Students must identify which company is in which of thirteen industries. Gives students practice in using financial ratios and exploring financial characteristics of companies and industries.

    Keywords: Analysis; Supply and Industry; Financial Statements;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., Sharon M McKinnon, and Jeremy Cott. "Identify the Industries--1996." Harvard Business School Case 198-017, July 1997. (Revised September 1997.) View Details
  52. Destin Brass Products Co.

    A specialized manufacturer of brass valves, pumps, and flow controllers is troubled by competitive pricing in pumps and higher than expected margins for flow controllers. Managers suspect that cost accounting and cost allocations to products may be to blame. Two volume-based systems are described and illustrated.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting; Activity Based Costing and Management; Five Forces Framework; Customer Value and Value Chain; Competition; Business Strategy; Design; Inflation and Deflation; Asset Pricing; Governance Controls; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Destin Brass Products Co." Harvard Business School Case 190-089, December 1989. (Revised April 1997.) View Details
  53. Summit Distributors (A)

    Summit Distributors was in danger of violating loan covenants because of slow economic activity and forecasted losses and was faced with a choice. Changing the inventory valuation method from LIFO to FIFO would avoid default but would require higher future income taxes. Not changing could mean default on covenants, renegotiating loan terms at less favorable interest rates, or possible bankruptcy.

    Keywords: Taxation; Cost Accounting; Cash Flow; Interest Rates; Economic Systems; Borrowing and Debt; Financial Statements; Valuation; Accounting Audits; Financing and Loans; Accounting Industry; Legal Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Amy P. Hutton. "Summit Distributors (A)." Harvard Business School Case 193-053, September 1992. (Revised March 1997.) View Details
  54. Summit Distributors (B)

    Describes the outcome of the deliberations at Summit Distributors. To be distributed in class following discussion of the (A) case.

    Keywords: Distribution Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., Amy P. Hutton, and Marc H. Zablatsky. "Summit Distributors (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 193-054, September 1992. (Revised March 1997.) View Details
  55. Roy Rogers Restaurants

    Roy Rogers Restaurants is a subsidiary of Marriott Corp. which sells franchises to own and operate standardized fast food restaurants. Many franchise owners operate more than one restaurant. One of these, presently operating 16 restaurants and committed to develop 30 more by 1992, has asked to remove the salad bar from some of his restaurants. The salad bar is a unique feature required by Roy's franchise agreement, and allowing its removal threatens standardization of the chain.

    Keywords: Franchise Ownership; Business Model; Cost Management; Quality; Transformation; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Roy Rogers Restaurants." Harvard Business School Case 189-100, November 1988. (Revised November 1996.) View Details
  56. General Mills, Inc.: Analyzing an Annual Report

    A directed analysis of the General Mills 1992 Annual Report. Focuses on the basics of reading an annual report including analysis of financial statements, calculations of financial ratios, and study of the layout and message of an annual report.

    Keywords: History; Cost Management; Activity Based Costing and Management; Financial Statements; Financial Strategy;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Marc H. Zablatsky. "General Mills, Inc.: Analyzing an Annual Report." Harvard Business School Case 193-143, April 1993. (Revised September 1996.) View Details
  57. Indianopolis: Implementing Competition in City Services

    Mayor Stephen Goldsmith of Indianapolis introduces competition to provide city services and implementation of new bidding procedures and work practices in the Department of Transportation. Exhibits show how work methods changed and work control procedures control work and costs.

    Keywords: Competition; Business Strategy; Welfare or Wellbeing; Transportation; Change; Cost Management; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Roger Atherton. "Indianopolis: Implementing Competition in City Services." Harvard Business School Case 196-099, February 1996. View Details
  58. FMC Corp.: A Recapitalization

    A proposed recapitalization will use new debt to pay a large dividend to some shareholders in return for a reduction of their voting power. The result will be a highly leveraged financial structure and negative owners' equity. Students can trace the effects of proposed borrowing and payouts. Provides a forum for discussing leverage and its uses and the meaning of negative owners' equity.

    Keywords: Financial Statements; Financial Strategy; Asset Management; Financial Management; Business Conglomerates; Borrowing and Debt; Business and Shareholder Relations; Capital Structure; Equity; Private Equity; Chemical Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Julie H. Hertenstein. "FMC Corp.: A Recapitalization." Harvard Business School Case 191-084, November 1990. (Revised June 1993.) View Details
  59. Crystal Meadows of Tahoe, Inc.

    An introductory case in cash flow analysis and the preparation of statements of cash flows. Based on the 1991 income statement and balance sheet at a ski resort company, the case provides additional information which allows a student to prepare both a direct and an indirect statement of cash flows. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Cash Flow; Financial Statements;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Crystal Meadows of Tahoe, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 192-150, June 1992. (Revised June 1993.) View Details
  60. Thumbs-Up Video, Inc.

    A start-up video rental business is described to provide a basis for a bookkeeping and financial reporting exercise for an accounting course. Both start-up and operating transactions are included along with situations requiring judgments about depreciation policies and end-of-period adjustments.

    Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Financial Statements; Accounting Audits; Accrual Accounting; Financial Reporting; Accounting Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Thumbs-Up Video, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 189-193, June 1989. (Revised June 1993.) View Details
  61. Depreciation at Delta and Pan Am

    Depreciation policies of Delta Air Lines and Pan Am Corp. are compared and contrasted against a summary of operating data from each airline. Questions with the case require projection of future depreciation on a new aircraft using the policies of each company.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting; Management Systems; Economic Growth; Policy; Cost; Financial Strategy; Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Activity Based Costing and Management; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Depreciation at Delta and Pan Am." Harvard Business School Case 190-035, September 1989. (Revised June 1993.) View Details
  62. Taxing Situations: Two Cases on Income Taxes and Financial Reporting

    Two whimsical situations are described to provide illustrations of situations where income taxes paid differ from the income tax expense that might be included in financial reports. In addition to illustrating that financial reported income may differ from taxable income, the case contains data, to allow students to discover the reasons for and nature of a deferred tax account.

    Keywords: Taxation; Accounting Audits; Financial Statements; Financial Reporting; Decisions; Accounting Industry; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Taxing Situations: Two Cases on Income Taxes and Financial Reporting." Harvard Business School Case 191-071, October 1990. (Revised June 1993.) View Details
  63. Accounting for Frequent Fliers

    Airline frequent flier programs offer members the opportunity to earn free flights by accumulating mileage. Accounting and reporting the obligations of airlines and the cost of frequent flier programs raises difficult measurement issues. In 1991, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began to require airlines to disclose the number of free flights program members took. The case allows estimates of the cost and obligations of the United Air Lines program.

    Keywords: Cost; Fair Value Accounting; Policy; Air Transportation Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Accounting for Frequent Fliers." Harvard Business School Case 192-040, November 1991. (Revised June 1993.) View Details
  64. Diversity in Accounting Principles: A Problem, a Strategic Imperative, or a Strategic Opportunity?

    Provides an introduction to the diversity of generally accepted accounting principles. An example shows how financial reports in one firm could differ depending on accounting methods and principles selected. Presents arguments that this may be a problem, an imperative for change, or a strategic opportunity for managers.

    Keywords: Accounting; Problems and Challenges; Strategy; Opportunities;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Diversity in Accounting Principles: A Problem, a Strategic Imperative, or a Strategic Opportunity?" Harvard Business School Background Note 193-045, October 1992. (Revised May 1993.) View Details
  65. Kaufmann Manufacturing Company (A)

    A management team at Kaufmann is studying the latest year's operations and sales, which seem to have led to very confusing financial results. Sales exceeded forecast and production for the first six months, however Kaufmann reported a loss. Yet, when sales were below forecast and production above in the second six months, healthy income was reported.

    Keywords: Budgets and Budgeting; Earnings Management; Cost Accounting; Financial Reporting; Cost vs Benefits; Capital Budgeting; Cost Management; Profit; Outcome or Result;

    Citation:

    Hertenstein, Julie H., and William J. Bruns Jr. "Kaufmann Manufacturing Company (A)." Harvard Business School Case 193-159, May 1993. View Details
  66. Responsibility Centers and Performance Measurement

    Introduces the concepts of responsibility centers and performance measurement. Expense centers, financial responsibilities such as profit centers, and investment centers are introduced, defined, and illustrated with simple examples.

    Keywords: Accounting; Management Systems;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Responsibility Centers and Performance Measurement." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-101, February 1993. (Revised May 1993.) View Details
  67. Standard Costs and Variances

    An introduction to standard costs and cost variances. Discussion, formulae, and examples introduce the idea of comparing actual costs to those that were expected.

    Keywords: Cost; Accounting;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Standard Costs and Variances." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-050, October 1992. (Revised May 1993.) View Details
  68. Brief Introduction to Cost Accounting

    Introduces the reasons for and basics of cost accounting and cost management systems. Simple definitions of forms used in cost accounting are included. Cost behavior is discussed. Questions to which answers are needed when analyzing or designing a cost system are summarized.

    Keywords: Cost Accounting; Cost Management;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Brief Introduction to Cost Accounting." Harvard Business School Background Note 192-068, October 1991. (Revised May 1993.) View Details
  69. Accounting for Indirect Costs

    An introduction to processes by which indirect costs are first assigned to cost centers and then assigned to products or services produced. A simple schematic illustrates how expenditures are assigned to service centers or production centers, service centers to production centers, and production centers to products.

    Keywords: Accounting; Cost;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Accounting for Indirect Costs." Harvard Business School Background Note 193-070, November 1992. (Revised April 1993.) View Details
  70. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

    Following the company's purchase as a part of a leveraged buyout, the new management team of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. had to decide what to do about the build-up of excess inventory of its independent wholesale customers. The case introduces students to the problems that changing inventory levels can create in interpreting financial results. Also raises ethical issues about the effect of such practices on company management, investors, wholesalers, and ultimately customers.

    Keywords: Activity Based Costing and Management; Customer Satisfaction; Business or Company Management; Business Growth and Maturation; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co." Harvard Business School Case 191-038, September 1990. (Revised April 1993.) View Details
  71. Recognizing Revenues and Expenses: When Is Income Earned?

    An introduction to the accrual concept used in accounting and its importance to revenue recognition and the matching concept. To be used in conjunction with inventory valuation cases where delivery may not constitute a sale and revenue.

    Keywords: Accrual Accounting; Logistics; Value; Revenue Recognition;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "Recognizing Revenues and Expenses: When Is Income Earned?" Harvard Business School Background Note 193-047, September 1992. (Revised April 1993.) View Details
  72. LIFO or FIFO? That Is the Question

    Excerpts from annual reports of Blount, Inc., Penn Central Corp., and Quaker Oats. Shows changes in inventory valuation from FIFO to LIFO and LIFO to FIFO. Intended to promote a discussion of assumed cost flows through inventory accounts, accounting method changes, the role of auditors, and financial reporting strategy.

    Keywords: Accounting;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr. "LIFO or FIFO? That Is the Question." Harvard Business School Background Note 192-046, September 1991. (Revised October 1991.) View Details
  73. Hanson Industries (B)

    Provides a complete description of the processes used in preparing a budget (annual operating plan). Starting with basic product line decisions, management prepares a budget that integrates production and marketing within constraints of financial feasibility. The budget is the basis for internal control of operations and for negotiations with banks for seasonal financing.

    Keywords: Production; Negotiation; Marketing; Financing and Loans; Budgets and Budgeting; Planning;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Julie H. Hertenstein. "Hanson Industries (B)." Harvard Business School Case 179-077, November 1978. (Revised June 1985.) View Details
  74. Hanson Industries (A)

    Hanson Industries produces and sells an award-winning design ski boot. Describes the company history from founding through July 1978, the product, production processes, marketing strategy, and background information for related cases on budgeting and finance.

    Keywords: Product; Marketing Strategy; Production; Finance; Budgets and Budgeting; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Bruns, William J., Jr., and Julie H. Hertenstein. "Hanson Industries (A)." Harvard Business School Case 179-076, November 1978. (Revised June 1985.) View Details