Audit Cases

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Professional and ethical issues
c a S eS inc lu de d in t hiS Se ction

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3.1 A Day in the Life of Brent Dorsey
Staff Auditor Professional Pressures

59 63 65 71 79

3.2 Nathan Johnson’s Rental Car Reimbursement
Solving Ethical Dilemmas–Should He Pocket the Cash? Recognizing It’s a Fraud and Evaluating What to Do

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3.3 The Anonymous Caller 3.4 WorldCom
The Story of a Whistleblower

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3.5 Hollinger International

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Realities of Audit-Related Litigation

instructor resource Manual — do not coPy or redistribute

instructor resource Manual — do not coPy or redistribute

a day in the life of brent dorsey
staff auditor Professional Pressures
inS tr uc t ional o b je c t ive S
[1] [2]

c a s e

3.1

Mark S. Beasley · Frank A. Buckless · Steven M. Glover · Douglas F. Prawitt

To illustrate some of the pressures new professionals sometimes face in the workplace. To help students consider alternatives in dealing professionally and tactfully with difficult workplace issues.

[3] [4]

To raise the specific issues of budget pressure, eating time, and premature sign-off. To initiate discussion and thought about balancing professional and personal demands.

KEY FACTS
ƒƒ Brent Dorsey is a relatively new staff auditor, working on the audit of Northwest Steel Producers. His senior, John Peters, is under consideration for promotion to manager, and feels a great deal of pressure to finish the Northwest Steel audit within budget. He is pressuring his staff auditors, Brent, Scott, and Megan, to work over the weekend and to meet some impossible time budgets. ƒƒ Brent has been assigned to work on payables with Scott. He receives advice from Scott and Megan that eating time and premature sign-off are viable ways to deal with budget pressure. ƒƒ Brent has been married for almost a year. His wife, Kathleen, also has a career and is expecting a child. Kathleen is not happy that Brent will be coming home late again, and that he will have to work Saturday. The two are experiencing some of the stresses and difficulties associated with balancing professional and personal lives.

USE OF CASE
This case is designed to bring to life some of the pressures auditors and other young professionals can face early in their careers. The case can be used as a vehicle for discussing a variety of issues, including budget pressure, eating hours, premature sign-off, dealing with difficult political situations, and dealing tactfully with superiors. The case can also lead to a discussion of balancing personal life with professional demands. While there are no easy answers to the issues raised in the case, the issues are realistic and are worth raising to help students more effectively anticipate, plan for, and manage future challenges. Students will likely appreciate the instructor’s perspective on the issues. It may even be worthwhile to invite a professional or two to assist in the classroom discussion of the case and to provide their perspectives on the issues raised. The instructor should help students understand that while the issues raised by the case are very real, it is unlikely that a staff auditor would encounter all of the issues discussed, especially all in the same day. The case is simply designed to illustrate and raise for discussion a rich set of issues in a compact format.

The case was prepared by Mark S. Beasley, Ph.D. and Frank A. Buckless, Ph.D. of North Carolina State University and Steven M. Glover, Ph.D. and Douglas F. Prawitt, Ph.D. of Brigham Young University, as a basis for class discussion. All characters and names represented are fictitious; any similarity to existing companies or persons is purely coincidental.

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