Published on October 19, 2015
Ethics Case 15–4 - American Movieplex - Leasehold improvements ● LO3 American Movieplex, a large movie theater chain, leases most of its theater facilities. In conjunction with recent operating leases, the company spent $28 million for seats and carpeting. The question being discussed over break- fast on Wednesday morning was the length of the depreciation period for these leasehold improvements. The com- pany controller, Sarah Keene, was surprised by the suggestion of Larry Person, her new assistant. Keene: Why 25 years? We’ve never depreciated leasehold improvements for such a long period. Person: I noticed that in my review of back records. But during our expansion to the Midwest, we don’t need expenses to be any higher than necessary. Keene: But isn’t that a pretty rosy estimate of these assets’ actual life? Trade publications show an average depreciation period of 12 years. Required: 1. How would increasing the depreciation period affect American Movieplex’s income? 2. Does revising the estimate pose an ethical dilemma?