Simpson Corp. is an entertainment firm that derives approximately 30% of its income from the Casino Knights Division, which manages gambling facilities. As auditor for Simpson Corp., you have recently overheard the following discussion between the controller and financial vice president.
Vice President: If we sell the Casino Knights Division, it seems ridiculous to segregate the results of the sale in the income statement. Separate categories tend to be absurd and confusing to the stockholders. I believe that we should simply report the gain on the sale as other income or expense without detail.
Controller: Professional pronouncements would require that we disclose this information separately in the income statement. If a sale of this type is considered unusual and infrequent, it must be reported as an extraordinary item.
Vice President: What about the walkout we had last month when employees were upset about their commission income? Would this situation not also be an extraordinary item?
Controller: I am not sure whether this item would be reported as extraordinary or not.
Vice President: Oh well, it doesn’t make any difference because the net effect of all these items is immaterial, so no disclosure is necessary.
(a) On the basis of the foregoing discussion, answer the following questions: Who is correct about handling the sale? What would be the correct income statement presentation for the sale of the Casino Knights Division?
(b) How should the walkout by the employees be reported?
(c) What do you think about the vice president’s observation on materiality?
(d) What are the earnings per share implications of these topics?
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