Fair value accounting for financial securities at Alphabet

 Your mission: Untangle the accounting web created by a bunch of theory people in Connecticut (and academics, damn them :-)), who don’t really understand the consequences of their actions. Please review the following materials: https://hbsp.harvard.edu/import/616229 This is a case on Alphabet (Google’s parent company). http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2018ltr.pdf This is Warren Buffett’s letter to shareholders. Please also review his financial statements. Here’s the assignment, and this one requires a combination of analysis and creativity: You’re asked to advise people on how to review financial statements of Berkshire and Alphabet given the volatility of the gains/losses, and you’re asked to write the outline of a letter to the FASB suggesting changes to the accounting standards to better reflect reality and limit volatility in reported earnings. Output: a sensitivity table showing the effect of changes at various levels to Alphabet and Berkshire earnings from changes in the value of their holdings as of the latest balance sheet date. A 1 page outline of how you would change the accounting standard. USE YOUR RESOURCES–there are accounting professors and others who have spent time on this topic.
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