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Case Study HP Company is suffering declining sales of its medical products. The president, Toshio Nakao, instructs his controller, Satoshi Kasai, to lengthen asset lives to reduce depreciation expense.

Case Study HP Company is suffering declining sales of its medical products. The president, Toshio Nakao, instructs his controller, Satoshi Kasai, to lengthen asset lives to reduce depreciation expense. A processing line of medical equipment, purchased for $4 million in January 2020, was originally estimated to have a useful life of 5 years and a salvage value of $200,000. Depreciation has been recorded for 2 years on that basis. Nakao wants the estimated life changed to 10 years total and the straight-line method continued. Kasai is hesitant to make the change, believing it is unethical to increase net income in this manner. Nakao says, “The life is only an estimate, and I’ve heard that our competition uses a 12year life on their medical equipment.”

Instructions

(a) Who are the stakeholders in this situation?

(b) Is the proposed change in asset life unethical? Give your explanation.

(c) What is the effect of Nakao’s proposed change on income before taxes in the year of change?

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