Case Study of Ethics

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Ethical Dilemmas
Case Studies
Professional Accountants in Business
December 20112
Contents
Introduction ...............................................................................................................................3 Case Study 1...............................................................................................................................5 Pressure to overstate stock valuation ...................................................................................5 Case Study 2...............................................................................................................................7 Pressure to participate in fraudulent activity........................................................................7 Case Study 3...............................................................................................................................9 Suspicion of false accounting.................................................................................................9 Case Study 4.............................................................................................................................11 Company restructure – working with limited resources.....................................................11 Case Study 5.............................................................................................................................13 Confidentiality when bidding for a contract........................................................................13 Case Study 6.............................................................................................................................15 Non-disclosure to auditors ..................................................................................................153 CCAB Ethical Dilemmas Case Studies for Professional Accountants in Business Introduction

The following case studies were developed by the UK and Ireland’s Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB). They illustrate how the ethical codes of the CCAB bodies can be applied by professional accountants working for commercial organisations. These scenarios are not intended to cover every possible circumstance, but instead to outline key principles and processes that could be considered when attempting to identify, assess and resolve ethical problems in line with the ethical codes. These case studies were published in December 2011. The CCAB welcomes comments on these cases. Please email admin@ccab.org.uk.

The professional accountant in business
All members (and registered students) of CCAB bodies have a responsibility to behave professionally and ethically at all times. In addition, as a professional accountant within a commercial organisation, you will have a particularly important role to play in creating, promoting and maintaining an ethical culture. You may be approached by employees wishing to report unethical behaviour and, as a senior figure within the organisation, you will have an impact on its ethical tone.

A professional accountant in business has a responsibility to further the legitimate aims of his or her employing organisation. The ethical codes of the CCAB bodies do not seek to hinder a professional accountant in business from properly fulfilling that responsibility, but address circumstances in which compliance with the fundamental principles may be compromised.

Resolving ethical dilemmas
These case studies are compatible with the ethical codes of the CCAB member bodies, which are derived from the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).

The case studies illustrate the application of the ‘conceptual framework’ approach to resolving ethical dilemmas. This approach focuses on safeguarding the fundamental principles of:
• integrity,
• objectivity,
• professional competence and due care,
• confidentiality, and
• professional...
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