This case can be used to help undergraduate accounting students understand risks and controls in a very simple business, a hot dog cart. This case is appropriate for use in first-year accounting. For instance, it is relevant at the point in financial accounting where internal control is covered or in managerial accounting where business objectives, processes, risks, and controls are covered. An objective is to provide an easily understood scenario for students with no, or limited, business experience to introduce the concept of enterprise risk management and related controls. 

The case provides students with a narrative describing a hot dog cart business which is changing from a sole proprietorship, exclusively run by the owner, to a business with an employee. Students identify business objectives, risks, and necessary controls to help assure achievement of these objectives given a changing business structure. The case is suitable for use with topics related to controlling business operations or the need to consider specific decision making needs when designing a managerial information system. It can be used in a managerial accounting class or, with a few changes shown as options in the requirements section and the teaching notes; it can also be used in an accounting information systems or internal audit class. The case is designed to be used as either a class discussion (one class period) or as a written assignment followed by class discussion.

This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.


Delwyn D. DeVries, Belmont University
Tanya Lee, Valdosta State University


Read Understanding Management Control in a Small Business: An Entrepreneurial Micro-Business Case (The Hot Dog Cart)