Ethical Obligations

Business

Quiz 1 :

Ethical Reasoning: Implications for Accounting

Quiz 1 :

Ethical Reasoning: Implications for Accounting

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The following two statements about virtue were made by noted philosophers/writers: a.MacIntyre, in his account of Aristotelian virtue, states that integrity is the one trait of character that encompasses all the others. How does integrity relate to, as MacIntrye said, "the wholeness of a human life"? b.David Starr Jordan (1851-1931), an educator and writer, said, "Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it." Explain the meaning of this phrase as you see it.
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a. The Aristotelian virtues are characteristics that Aristotle believes make up an ethical person. In particular, Aristotle points out four cardinal virtues, prudence, temperance, courage, and justice. The philosopher stated believes all other virtues can be encompassed by integrity. To have integrity is to be true to oneself and honest to others. This is an important ethic because not only does it state someone should have virtues but they must believe in their own virtues and act accordingly. b. Wisdom is defined as having the ability to apply knowledge and experience. The philosopher states that virtue is the application of wisdom. Virtue is to do good, thus, he is defining wisdom as a bit more than just knowledge and experience. Wisdom must be the good kind of knowledge and experience, the ethical and moral kind.

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Giles and Regas img img Questions 1.Analyze the behavior of each party from the perspective of the Six Pillars of Character. Assess the personal responsibility of Ed Giles and Susan Regas for the relationship that developed between them. Who do you think is mostly to blame? 2.If Giles were a person of integrity but just happened to have a "weak moment" in starting a relationship with Regas, what do you think he will say when he meets with Herb Morris? Why? 3.Assume that Ed Giles is the biggest "rainmaker" in the firm. What would you do if you were in Herb Morris's position when you meet with Giles? In your response, consider how you would resolve the situation in regard to both the completion of the CAA Industries audit and the longer-term issue of the continued employment of Giles and Regas in the accounting firm.
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The following summarizes the events in the case:
• An accounting firm strictly forbids dating between different rank employees of its firm
• The firm's executive, G, and his employee, R, are dating
• They are conducting an audit
• Another executive suspects their amounts on their billable hours. 1. The Josephson's Six Pillars of character are:
• Trustworthiness - need for honesty and integrity.
• Respect - treat people with respect and as equals
• Responsibility - be accountable for actions, act with a reasonable level of care
• Fairness - treat people with an equal, impartial standard
• Caring - be understanding of another's issues
• Citizenship - obey laws, be involved in community, vote. The characters relevant to G and R is trustworthiness and responsibility. They were not trustworthy by hiding their relationship to the company. They also did not act with responsibility. As professional auditors they should be well aware that their degree of fraternization can be viewed as suspicious. 2. If G was a person of integrity he will admit his relationship to his boss. He will take responsibility for his actions and request to be taken off the audit project. 3. If G is a valuable employee and there's no other reason to question his work capabilities, the firm may decide to keep him. Out of fairness, they will have to request that either G or R resign from the firm or fire both of them. The firm is concerned with conflict of interest between superiors and their employees, so they can only keep one or the other.

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Harvard Cheating Scandal Yes. Cheating occurs at the prestigious Harvard University. In 2012, Harvard forced dozens of students to leave in its largest cheating scandal in memory but the institution would not address assertions that the blame rested partly with a professor and his teaching assistants. The issue is whether cheating is truly cheating when students collaborate with each other to find the right answer-in a take-home final exam. Harvard released the results of its investigation into the controversy, in which 125 undergraduates were alleged to have cheated on an exam in May 2012. 1 The university said that more than half of the students were forced to withdraw, a penalty that typically lasts from two to four semesters. Of the remaining cases, about half were put on disciplinary probation-a strong warning that becomes part of a student's official record. The rest of the students avoided punishment. In previous years, students thought of Government 1310 as an easy class with optional attendance and frequent collaboration. But students who took it in spring 2012 said that it had suddenly become quite difficult, with tests that were hard to comprehend, so they sought help from the graduate teaching assistants who ran the class discussion groups, graded assignments, and advised them on interpreting exam questions. Administrators said that on final-exam questions, some students supplied identical answers (right down to typographical errors in some cases), indicating that they had written them together or plagiarized them. But some students claimed that the similarities in their answers were due to sharing notes or sitting in on sessions with the same teaching assistants. The instructions on the take-home exam explicitly prohibited collaboration, but many students said they did not think that included talking with teaching assistants. The first page of the exam contained these instructions: "The exam is completely open book, open note, open Internet, etc. However, in all other regards, this should fall under similar guidelines that apply to in-class exams. More specifically, students may not discuss the exam with others-this includes resident tutors, writing centers, etc." Students complained about confusing questions on the final exam. Due to "some good questions" from students, the instructor clarified three exam questions by email before the due date of the exams. Students claim to have believed that collaboration was allowed in the course. The course's instructor and the teaching assistants sometimes encouraged collaboration, in fact. The teaching assistants who graded the exams-graduate students graded the exams and ran weekly discussion sessions-varied widely in how they prepared students for the exams, so it was common for students in different sections to share lecture notes and reading materials. During the final exam, some teaching assistants even worked with students to define unfamiliar terms and help them figure out exactly what certain test questions were asking. Some have questioned whether it is the test's design, rather than the students' conduct, that should be criticized. Others place the blame on the teaching assistants who opened the door to collaboration outside of class by their own behavior in helping students to understand the questions better. Answer the following questions about the Harvard cheating scandal. 1. Using Josephson's Six Pillars of Character, which of the character traits (virtues) apply to the Harvard cheating scandal and how do they apply with respect to the actions of each of the stakeholders in this case? 2. Who is at fault for the cheating scandal? Is it the students, the teaching assistants, the professor, or the institution? Use the concepts of egoism and enlightened egoism to support your answer. 3. From a deontological perspective and the point of view of achieving justice, were anyone's rights violated by the events of the scandal and outcome of the case? Explain why or why not.
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1. The Josephson's Six Pillars of character are:
• Trustworthiness - need for honesty and integrity.
• Respect - treat people with respect and as equals
• Responsibility - be accountable for actions, act with a reasonable level of care
• Fairness - treat people with an equal, impartial standard
• Caring - be understanding of another's issues
• Citizenship - obey laws, be involved in community, vote. The stakeholders in this case are the student, professor and teaching assistants (TAs), and the school. The characters relevant to students are trustworthiness and responsibility. They were asked not to work in a group. There were evidence that they did so as many of their answers were very similar. Many students were confused they couldn't because they had the same TAs. They could have asked the professor if it was allowed to work through a TA for their work. The professors and TAs need to have responsibility for actions. The article gave the impressions that many students were unaware of the level of collaboration that was or wasn't allowed. This may have been resolved if the professors and TAs gave clearer instructions for the test, or simply not have a take home test. The school needs to treat students fairly. They need to be able to explain why some students were dismissed and others weren't. Their reasons for dismissal should be objective. 2. Egoism and enlightened egoism states that one should do something in their own interest. Using this standard, it is in the student's interest to cheat as long as they aren't found. The professors and TAs also have an interest to keep a blind eye on cheating. They have an interest in receiving good evaluations. Thus, both parties can be considered at fault. 3. The Deontological approach states that each person is deserving of respects of his rights from others. Deontology also stresses that one must act according to one's duty to others. The approach doesn't consider whether the end goal of the act was moral, only that the act itself must be moral. There doesn't seem to be a violation of rights. Students are supposed to maintain academic integrity. From a justice viewpoint, it seems unfair the professors and TAs were not reprimanded for their actions.

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A Faulty Budget Jackson Daniels graduated from Lynchberg State College two years ago. Since graduating from the college, he has worked in the accounting department of Lynchberg Manufacturing. Daniels was recently asked to prepare a sales budget for the year 2014. He conducted a thorough analysis and came out with projected sales of 250,000 units of product. That represents a 25 percent increase over 2013. Daniels went to lunch with his best friend, Jonathan Walker, to celebrate the completion of his first solo job. Walker noticed Daniels seemed very distant. He asked what the matter was. Daniels stroked his chin, ran his hand through his bushy, black hair, took another drink of scotch, and looked straight into the eyes of his friend of 20 years. "Jon, I think I made a mistake with the budget." "What do you mean?" Walker answered. "You know how we developed a new process to manufacture soaking tanks to keep the ingredients fresh?" "Yes," Walker answered. "Well, I projected twice the level of sales for that product than will likely occur." "Are you sure?" Walker asked. "I checked my numbers. I'm sure. It was just a mistake on my part," Daniels replied. "So, what are you going to do about it?" asked Walker. "I think I should report it to Pete. He's the one who acted on the numbers to hire additional workers to produce the soaking tanks," Daniels said. "Wait a second," Walker said. "How do you know there won't be extra demand for the product? You and I both know demand is a tricky number to project, especially when a new product comes on the market. Why don't you sit back and wait to see what happens?" "But what happens if I'm right and the sales numbers were wrong? What happens if the demand does not increase beyond what I now know to be the correct projected level?" Daniels asks. "Well, you can tell Pete about it at that time. Why raise a red flag now when there may be no need?" Walker states. As the lunch comes to a conclusion, Walker pulls Daniels aside and says, "Jack, this could mean your job. If I were in your position, I'd protect my own interests first." Questions 1. What should an employee do when he or she discovers that there is an error in a projection? Why do you suggest that action? Would your answer change if the error was not likely to affect other aspects of the operation such as employment? Why or why not? 2. Identify the stakeholders potentially affected by what Daniels decides to do. How might each stakeholder be affected by Daniels's action and decision? Use ethical reasoning to support your answer. 3. Assume that Daniels is both a CPA and holds the CMA certification granted by the IMA. Use the ethical standards of these two organizations to identify what Daniels should do in this situation.
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One explanation about rights is that "there is a difference between what we have the right to do and what is the right thing to do." Explain what you think is meant by this statement.
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NYC Subway Death: Bystander Effect or Moral Blindness On December 3, 2012, a terrible incident occurred in the New York City subway when Ki-Suck Han was pushed off a subway platform by Naeem Davis. Han was hit and killed by the train, while observers did nothing other than snap photos on their cell phones as Han was struggling to climb back onto the platform before the oncoming train struck him. Davis was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge and held without bail in the death of Han. One of the most controversial aspects of this story is that of R. Umar Abbasi, a freelance photographer for the New York Post , who was waiting for a train when he said he saw a man approach Han at the Times Square station, get into an altercation with him, and push him into the train's path. He too chose to take pictures of the incident, and the next day, the Post published the photographer's handiwork: a photo of Han with his head turned toward the approaching train, his arms reaching up but unable to climb off the tracks in time. Abbasi told NBC's Today show that he was trying to alert the motorman to what was going on by flashing his camera. He said he was shocked that people nearer to the victim didn't try to help in the 22 seconds before the train struck. "It took me a second to figure out what was happening... I saw the lights in the distance. My mind was to alert the train," Abbasi said. "The people who were standing close to him... they could have moved and grabbed him and pulled him up. No one made an effort," he added. In a written account Abbasi gave the Post , he said that a crowd took videos and snapped photos on their cell phones after Han's mangled body was pulled onto the platform. He said that he shoved the onlookers back while a doctor and another man tried to resuscitate the victim, but Han died in front of them. Some have attributed the lack of any attempt by those on the subway platform to get involved and go to Han's aid as the bystander effect. The term bystander effect refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the number of people present, the less likely people will be to help a person in distress. When an emergency situation occurs, observers are more likely to take action if there are few or no other witnesses. One explanation for the bystander effect is that each individual thinks that others will come to the aid of the threatened person. But when you are alone, either you will help, or no one will. Questions 1. Do you think the bystander effect was at work in the subway death incident? How might that effect translate to a situation where members of a work group observe financial improprieties committed by one of their group that threatens the organization? In general, do you think that someone would come forward? How might culture play into the action that would be taken? 2. Another explanation for the inaction in the subway incident is a kind of moral blindness , where a person fails to perceive the existence of moral issues in a particular situation. Do you believe moral blindness existed in the incident? Be sure to address the specific moral issues that give rise to your answer.
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a.Do you think it is the same to act in your own self-interest as it is to act in a selfish way? Why or why not? b.Do you think "enlightened self-interest" is a contradiction in terms, or is it a valid basis for all actions? Evaluate whether our laissez-faire, free-market economic system does (or should)operate under this philosophy.
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Lone Star School District Jose and Emily work as auditors for the state of Texas. They have been assigned to the audit of the Lone StarSchool District. There have been some problems with audit documentation for the travel and entertainmentreimbursement claims of the manager of the school district. The manager knows about the concerns of Jose andEmily, and he approaches them about the matter. The following conversation takes place: Manager: Listen, I've requested the documentation you asked for, but the hotel says it's no longer in its system. Jose: Don't you have the credit card receipt or credit card statement? Manager: I paid cash. Jose: What about a copy of the hotel bill? Manager: I threw it out. Emily: That's a problem. We have to document all your travel and entertainment expenses for the city manager's office. Manager: Well, I can't produce documents that the hotel can't find. What do you want me to do? Questions 1.Assume that Jose and Emily are CPAs and members of the AICPA. What ethical standards in the Code of Professional Conduct should guide them in dealing with the manager's inability to support travel and entertainment expenses? 2. Using Josephson's Six Pillars of Character as a guide, evaluate the statements and behavior of the manager. 3. a.Assume that Jose and Emily report to Sharon, the manager of the school district audit. Should they inform Sharon of their concerns? Why or why not? b. Assume that they don't inform Sharon, but she finds out from another source. What would you do if you were in Sharon's position?
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a. What is the relationship between the ethical obligation of honesty and truth telling? b. Is it ever proper to not tell someone something that he or she has an expectation of knowing? If so, describe under what circumstances this might be the case. How does this square with rights theory?
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In this chapter, we have discussed the Joe Paterno matter at Penn State. Another situation where a respected individual's reputation was tarnished by personal decisions is the resignation of David Petraeus, former U.S. military general and head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). On November 9, 2012, Petraeus resigned from the CIA after it was announced he had an extramarital affair with a biographer, Paula Broadwell, who wrote a glowing book about his life. Petraeus acknowledged that he exercised poor judgment by engaging in the affair. When Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents investigated the matter because of concerns there may have been security leaks, they discovered a substantial number of classified documents on her computer. Broad well told investigators that she ended up with the secret military documents after taking them from a government building. No security leaks had been found. In accepting Petraeus's resignation, President Obama praised Petraeus's leadership during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and said: "By any measure, through his lifetime of service, David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger." Should our evaluation of Petraeus's lifetime of hard work and Petraeus's success in his career be tainted by one act having nothing to do with job performance?
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Capitalization versus Expensing Gloria Hernandez is the controller of a public company. She just completed a meeting with her superior, John Harrison, who is the CFO of the company. Harrison tried to convince Hernandez to go along with his proposal to combine 12 expenditures for repair and maintenance of a plant asset into one amount ($1 million). Each of the expenditures is less than $100,000, the cutoff point for capitalizing expenditures as an asset and depreciating it over the useful life. Hernandez asked for time to think about the matter. As the controller and chief accounting officer of the company, Hernandez knows it's her responsibility to decide how to record the expenditures. She knows that the $1 million amount is material to earnings and the rules in accounting require expensing of each individual item, not capitalization. However, she is under a great deal of pressure to go along with capitalization to meet financial analysts' earnings expectations and provide for a bonus to top management including herself. Her job may be at stake, and she doesn't want to disappoint her boss. Questions 1. What would motivate you to speak up and act or to stay silent? 2. Assume that you were in Gloria Hernandez's position. What would you do and why?
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Telecommunications, Inc. Telecommunications, Inc., is a U.S. company, a global leader in information technology, and it specializes in building data network systems. The company is a major player in the industry, although it is no match for companies like Cisco Systems. Recently, however, it has been more successful in securing contracts to build and support data network systems outside the United States. In one recent competitive bidding situation with companies from two other countries, the Latin American country of Bolumbia awarded Telecommunications a multimillion-dollar contract to develop a network for the corporate community. The job went so well that Telecommunications believes it will have a leg up on other companies in bidding for future contracts. Telecommunications was the prime contractor on that job. It was responsible for the selection of subcontractors to perform the work that Telecommunications did not want to do, or when the company believed it was advantageous to use a local contractor. According to the company's contract with Bolumbia, only Latin American companies could be selected for subcontract work. In a recent competitive bidding selection process, Bolumbia National Communications (BNC), S.A. was chosen to assist in infrastructure connectivity. (S.A., Sociedad Anonima, is the designation for a Spanish company.) BNC wasn't as well established as other companies such as Telefonica, the Spanish multinational company that operates throughout the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world, but it had submitted a bid that met all the specifications of the job, including some that were unusual requests. Telefonica did not include these items in its subcontractor bid. Ed Keller is employed as an engineer for Telecommunications, Inc. Keller recently graduated with a master's degree in engineering and joined the company six months ago. Keller had a 3.92 grade point average and could have worked for a variety of engineering firms. He chose Telecommunications because of the opportunity it afforded to travel around the world and as a result of its reputation for quality service and high moral standards. During lunch at the office one day, Keller was talking to several of the more senior members of the engineering staff of Telecommunications, who told him about their recent trip to Bolumbia. They visited four cities and a resort in one week, and all their expenses were paid for by BNC. Keller knew that BNC had just completed its work on the contract for infrastructure connectivity. Out of curiosity, Keller questioned the engineering staff about the propriety of accepting an all-expenses-paid trip from a major subcontractor. Keller was told that it was common practice for Latin American companies to make gestures of gratitude, such as free travel and entertainment, in certain situations. Keller is told by one of the senior engineers that the culture in Bolumbia is one where the rules are not necessarily followed. Moreover, "There's nothing wrong with accepting such gratuities. After all, the offer of free travel was made after the decision to accept the bid of BNC and the completion of the job. We were not responsible for making the selection decision. All we did was to establish the engineering specifications for the job." Keller viewed this as an opportunity to learn more about the bidding process, so he approached Sam Jennings, the head of the internal audit department of Telecommunications. Keller grew up with Jennings's son, and Sam Jennings has been a close friend of the Keller family for many years. Keller asked Jennings to have lunch with him one day. Jennings was curious about the request because they hadn't had lunch during the six months that Keller worked for Telecommunications. Keller said he had some questions about reporting expenses on trips that he might be assigned to in the future. Because it was a work-related request and their families go back a long time, Jennings cleared his calendar and agreed to have lunch with Keller. During the lunch, Keller raised the issue of whether there was a conflict of interest when members of the senior engineering staff, such as those who worked on developing specifications for the BNC job, accept free travel and entertainment from a subcontractor. At first, Jennings was furious because Keller had misled him about the purpose of the lunch, but he gave Keller the benefit of the doubt and proceeded to answer the question. Jennings informed Keller that the relationship between the engineers in question and BNC, and whether there was any inappropriate influence one way or the other, had been examined because of the company's concern about a possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Jennings went on to explain that the act prohibits U.S. multinationals or their agents from making payments that improperly influence government officials in another country, or their representatives, in the normal course of carrying out their responsibilities. Jennings told Keller that no evidence existed that the awarding of the contract was a prepayment for the promise of later free travel and entertainment, as Keller had expected. Moreover, explained Jennings, the decision to accept the BNC bid was made by Richard Kimble, the engineering division manager, and Bob Gerard, the vice president for engineering, and neither of them received any free travel or lodging. The fact was, according to Jennings, the rejected bids, while lower than BNC's, were inadequate and did not meet the specifications of the contract. Only BNC's proposal could do that. Keller felt better about the situation after discussing it with Jennings. Still, he wondered about the values of a company that condones accepting free travel and entertainment from a subcontractor, as well as the value system of the engineers, who should be beyond reproach in carrying out their responsibilities. Questions 1. An important issue in conducting business overseas is whether a company should follow its home country's ethical standards or those of the host country. The ancient adage "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" is quite instructive on this matter. The argument in favor of behaving according to the host country's socially accepted morals is that it shows respect both to the citizens and the culture of the hosting country in which the business is conducting affairs. Evaluate these statements and the implications for conducting business outside's one's home country from an ethical relativistic point of view. 2. Some research into the effects of cultural variables on the application of ethical standards in a given society have shown that people in individualistic cultures tend to be more pervasive in applying their ethical standards to all, while people in collectivistic cultures tend to be more particularistic, applying differential ethical value standards to members of their in-groups and out-groups. We might conclude based on this research that people from different nations have distinct conceptions of ethical and unethical behavior. Assume that the score on Hofstede's scale for Individualism in Bolumbia is 13, while in the United States, it is 91; the scores for Uncertainty Avoidance for these countries are 80 and 46, respectively. How might these cultural differences influence your judgment whether it is acceptable for the engineers to have accepted the gratuities? 3. Assume that the engineers of Telecommunications did influence the decision-making process by establishing engineering specifications that only BNC could meet. The engineers received free travel and lodging from BNC, but only after the job was completed. Is there anything wrong with this picture? Consider the ethical values of objectivity and integrity in answering the question.
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Cleveland Custom Cabinets Cleveland Custom Cabinets is a specialty cabinet manufacturer for high-end homes in the Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights areas. The company manufactures cabinets built to the specifications of homeowners and employs 125 custom cabinetmakers and installers. There are 30 administrative and sales staff members working for the company. James Leroy owns Cleveland Custom Cabinets. His accounting manager is Marcus Sims. Sims manages 15 accountants. The staff is responsible for keeping track of manufacturing costs by job and preparing internal and external financial reports. The internal reports are used by management for decision making. The external reports are used to support bank loan applications. The company applies overhead to jobs based on direct labor hours. For 2014, it estimated total overhead to be $9.6 million and 80,000 direct labor hours. The cost of direct materials used during the first quarter of the year is $600,000, and direct labor cost is $400,000 (based on 20,000 hours worked). The company's accounting system is old and does not provide actual overhead information until about four weeks after the close of a quarter. As a result, the applied overhead amount is used for quarterly reports. On April 10, 2014, Leroy came into Sims's office to pick up the quarterly report. He looked at it aghast. Leroy had planned to take the statements to the bank the next day and meet with the vice president to discuss a $1 million expansion loan. He knew the bank would be reluctant to grant the loan based on the income numbers in Exhibit 1. Leroy asked Sims to explain how net income could have gone from 14.2 percent of sales for the year ended December 31, 2013, to 1.4 percent for March 31, 2014. Sims pointed out that the estimated overhead cost had doubled for 2014 compared to the actual cost for 2013. He explained to Leroy that rent had doubled and the cost of utilities skyrocketed. In addition, the custom-making machinery was wearing out more rapidly, so the company's repair and maintenance costs also doubled from 2013. Leroy understood but wouldn't accept Sims's explanation. Instead, he told Sims that as the sole owner of the company, there was no reason not to "tweak" the numbers on a one-time basis. "I own the board of directors, so no worries there. Listen, this is a one-time deal. I won't ask you to do it again," Leroy stated. Sims started to soften and asked Leroy just how he expected the tweaking to happen. Leroy flinched, held up his hands, and said, "I'll leave the creative accounting to you." Questions 1. Do you agree with Leroy's statement that it doesn't matter what the numbers look like because he is the sole owner? Even if it is true that Sims "owns" the board of directors, what should be their role in this matter? 2. a. Assume that Sims is a CPA and holds the CMA. What are the ethical considerations for him in deciding whether to tweak the numbers? What should Sims do and why? b. Assume that Sims did a utilitarian analysis to help decide what to do. Evaluate the harms and benefits of alternative courses of action. 3. Assume that Sims decided to reduce the estimated overhead for the year by 50 percent. How would that change the net income for the quarter? What would it be as a percentage of sales? Do you think Leroy would like the result? Do you think he will be content with the tweaking occurring just this one time, or will he be tempted to do it again in the future?
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Another ethical dilemma deals with a runaway trolley heading for five railway workers who will be killed if it proceeds on its present course. The only way to save these people is to hit a switch that will turn the trolley onto a side track, where it will run over and kill one worker instead of five. Ignoring legal concerns, would it be ethically acceptable for you to turn the trolley by hitting the switch in order to save five people at the expense of one person? Use the deontological and teleological methods to reason out what you would do and why.
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Steroid use in baseball is an important societal issue. Many members of society are concerned that their young sons and daughters may be negatively influenced by what apparently has been done at the major league level to gain an advantage and the possibility of severe health problems for young children from continued use of the body mass enhancer now and in the future. Mark McGwire, who broke Roger Maris's 60-home-run record, initially denied using steroids. He has never come close to the 75 percent positive vote to be in the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately for McGwire, his approval rating has been declining each year since he received 23.7 percent of the vote in 2010 and only 16.9 percent of the sportscasters voted in 2013 to elect him into the Hall. Some believe that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who were the best at what they did, should be listed in the record books with an asterisk after their names and an explanation that their records were established at a time when baseball productivity might have been positively affected by the use of steroids. Some even believe they should be denied entrance to the baseball Hall of Fame altogether. The results for Bonds (36.2 percent) and Clemens (37.6 percent) in their initial year of eligibility (2013) were not close to meeting the 75 percent requirement and that led some to question whether these superstars would ever be voted into the Hall. 79 Evaluate whether Bonds and Clemens should be elected to the Hall of Fame from a situational ethics point of view.
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Reneging on a Promise Part A Billy Tushoes recently received an offer to join the accounting firm of Tick and Check LLP. Billy would prefer to work for Foot and Balance LLP but has not received an offer from the firm the day before he must decide whether to accept the position at Tick and Check. Billy has a friend at Foot and Balance and is thinking about calling her to see if she can find out whether an offer is forthcoming. Question 1. Should Billy call his friend? Provide reasons why you think he should or should not. Is there any other action you suggest Billy take prior to deciding on the offer of Tick and Check? Why do you recommend that action? Part B Assume that Billy calls his friend at Foot and Balance and she explains the delay is due to the recent merger of Vouch and Trace LLP with Foot and Balance. She tells Billy that the offer should be forthcoming. However, Billy gets nervous about the situation and decides to accept the offer of Tick and Check. A week later, he receives a phone call from the partner at Foot and Balance who had promised to contact him about the firm's offer. Billy is offered a position at Foot and Balance at the same salary as Tick and Check. He has one week to decide whether to accept that offer. Billy is not sure what to do. On one hand, he knows it's wrong to accept an offer and then renege on it. On the other hand, Billy hasn't signed a contract with Tick and Check, and the offer with Foot and Balance is his clear preference because he has many friends at that firm. Questions 1. Do you think it is ever right to back out of a promise that you gave to someone else? If so, under what circumstances? If not, why not? 2. Identify the stakeholders and their interests in this case. 3. Evaluate the alternative courses of action for Billy using ethical reasoning. What should Billy do? Why?
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A common ethical dilemma used to distinguish between philosophical reasoning methods is the following. Imagine that you are standing on a footbridge spanning some trolley tracks. You see that a runaway trolley is threatening to kill five people. Standing next to you, in between the on coming trolley and the five people, is a railway worker wearing a large backpack. You quickly realize that the only way to save the people is to push the man off the bridge and onto the tracks below. The man will die, but the bulk of his body and the pack will stop the trolley from reaching the others.(You quickly understand that you can't jump yourself because you aren't large enough to stop the trolley, and there's no time to put on the man's backpack.) Legal concerns aside, would it be ethical for you to save the five people by pushing this stranger to his death? Use the deontological and teleological methods to reason out what you would do and why.
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Eating Time Kevin Lowe is depressed. He has been with the CPA firm Stooges LLP for only three months. Yet the partners in charge of the firm-Bo Chambers and his brother, Moe-have asked for a "sit-down." Here's how it goes: "Kevin, we asked to see you because your time reports indicate that it takes you 50 percent longer to complete audit work than your predecessor," Moe said. "Well, I am new and still learning on the job," replied Lowe. "That's true," Bo responded, "but you have to appreciate that we have fixed budgets for these audits. Every hour over the budgeted time costs us money. While we can handle it in the short run, we will have to bill the clients whose audit you work on a larger fee in the future. We don't want to lose clients as a result." "Are you asking me to cut down on the work I do?" Lowe asked. "We would never compromise the quality of our audit work," Moe said. "We're trying to figure out why it takes you so much longer than other staff members." At this point, Lowe started to perspire. He wiped his forehead, took a glass of water, and asked: "Would it be better if I took some of the work home at night and on weekends, completed it, but didn't charge the firm or the client for my time?" Bo and Moe were surprised by Kevin's openness. On one hand, they valued that trait in their employees. On the other hand, they couldn't answer with a yes. Moe looked at Bo, and then turned to Kevin and said: "It's up to you to decide how to increase your productivity on audits. As you know, this is an important element of performance evaluation." Kevin cringed. Was the handwriting on the wall in terms of his future with the firm? "I understand what you're saying," Kevin said. "I will do better in the future-I promise." "Good," responded Bo and Moe. "Let's meet 30 days from now and we'll discuss your progress on the matters we've discussed today and your future with the firm." Questions 1. Given the facts in the case, evaluate using deontological and teleological reasoning whether Kevin should take work home and not charge it to the job. 2. What would you do if you were Kevin and why? How would you explain your position to Bo and Moe when you meet in 30 days?
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Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions in Exhibit 1.2 indicate that China has a score of only 30 in Uncertainty Avoidance, while the U.S. score is 46. Does this seem counterintuitive to you? Why or why not? Be sure to include an explanation of why China's score is relatively low compared to the United States
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Your best friend is from another country. One day after a particularly stimulating lecture on the meaning of ethics by your instructor, you and your friend disagree about whether culture plays a role in ethical behavior. You state that good ethics are good ethics, and it doesn't matter where you live and work. Your friend tells you that in her country it is common to pay bribes to gain favor with important people. Comment on both positions from a relativistic ethics point of view. What do you believe and why?
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