Deconstructing Accounting for Groupon, Inc.
The overall corporate objectives of Groupon, Inc., is to function as the proverbial middleman for an increasingly growing global marketplace. More specifically, Groupon seeks to connect any variety of merchants to customers for a wide array of products and services. From a corporate perspective, the company seeks to achieve this objective in an international manner. To reach this end, it has stratified its business into three different codifications which includes the U.S. and Canada in North America, Africa the Middle East and Europe, and the rest of the world in what is considered international operations. Moreover, there are a couple of critical strategies that the company utilizes to fulfill the aforementioned corporate goals. It is able to facilitate the attainment of the previously mentioned goods and services at discounted rates to attract customers. Additionally, it utilizes a variety of technological processes for the purpose of marketing and advertising to generate clientele. These include a variety of ecommerce strategies predicated on mobile technologies, recommender engines (with real-time and even predictive analytics capabilities), and other targeted marketing based on geographic location, emails, and many other avenues.
1. b. There are a number of strategic risks that can prevent Groupon from achieving its corporate objectives. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the prowess of its customers. In many ways, Groupon, Inc. functions as the competitor for Amazon and other online retailers with an immense presence (such as Wal-Mart). Quite simply, the prowess of these companies tends to negatively impact the ability of Groupon to reach its goals since they are after the same customer base (although there are certain markets, such as the travel industry, in which Groupon has other competitors not as well-known as the previously mentioned pair). Additional strategic risks include those pertaining to information technology, such as regulations regarding data accessed and deployed from the cloud.
2. For the most part, the executive leadership team at Groupon consists of four central figures. These include Eric Lefkowsky, who functions in a number of different positions including Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder, Director and President. The team also involves Dane Drobny as Corporate Secretary, Senior Vice President, and General Counsel. Brian Stevens is the Chief Accounting Officer, while Sridatta Viswanath is the Chief Technology Officer. These team members are listed in order of their hierarchical structure.
Groupon's Board of Directors is chaired by Ted...
Leonsis is also CEO and the Chairman of the Board of Monument Sports & Entertainment, a conglomeration that owns several different professional sports teams. Lefkowsky is also on the board and was its chairman prior to accepting the CEO title. Peter Baris is a board member who serves on the Compensation Committee and the Member of the Nominating and Governance Committee. He has worked substantially with New Enterprise Associates. Robert Bass is on the Chair of the Auditing Committee. This board member spent a significant amount of time working for IT research company Deloitte. Daniel Henry is a Member of the Audit Committee. He has operated as the CEO of American Express since last decade. Jeffrey Housenbold is a member of the Compensation Committee. He is president and CEO of Shutterfly, in which capacity he has worked since 2005. Brad Keywell is a member of the Compensation Committee and the chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee. He helped found Groupon. Ann Ziegler is on both the auditing committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee, and operates as the SVP and CFO of CDW.
b. Groupon has a commitment to strong corporate governance that is becoming of such an expansive organization. However, it could certainly stand to improve the level of diversity that categorizes its executive leadership and board of directors. Most discernibly, the company only has one woman affiliated with the aforementioned groups. Ideally, it shows a dedication to diversity to have at least more than one woman in these parts of the company.
3. There are several different accounting policy areas that are significant for Groupon. The first of these pertains to management estimates. Specifically, Groupon is in the process of nearly constantly engaging in a series of mergers and acquisitions with other companies which it utilizes to provide services and goods to its customers. Doing so has substantial ramifications for the company's financial statements. It needs to be able to successfully and accurately estimate the values of the companies that it acquires, ad n record them as such on its balance sheet. Doing so is a must for any company that is involved with corporate takeovers as much as Groupon is.
Another accounting policy area that is related to the previously mentioned one is principles of consolidation, which is something that Groupon needs to consider in conjunction with its management estimates. Quite simply, it is necessary for this company to consolidate its financial statements with those of the entities that it acquires, so that there is a uniform balance sheet. As such, there would be no need for one between the different companies. Again, simply since organizational acquisition is a strong part of Groupon's business, this accounting area is significant for Groupon. Goodwill is another significant accounting policy area for Groupon. This area is related to the other two in that inaccuracies in those areas (especially management estimates) can lead to a situation in which one has goodwill, both tangible and otherwise. Groupon needs to accurately account for its…
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