Hamilton Wong, In-Charge Accountant
If I were placed in Hamilton Wong’s position I would report all of my time worked during the audit of Wille & Lomax. This practice of “eating time” is unethical. While most accounting firms probably feel this type of practice is unacceptable, it still happens. If you don’t report all your worked time, how does the firm bill their clients properly? What about future audits for the same company? If underreporting your worked hours brings you under budget, then the managers will expect the same in the future. So the managers do not receive all the information that they need to make a proper decision and a realistic budget. Then you are just making it tougher for yourself in the future.
In the case of Lauren Hutchison, I believe she did behave unethically. She has made it look like she is a cut above everyone else by understating her worked hours. Now she has made it harder for future auditors that will be on this account due to unrealistic budgets set.
For an accounting firm to bill their clients properly for the work that has been done, they need to keep track of their hours worked. Each auditor needs to keep work logs that show what they were working on and for how long. This will also help management with future audits by showing them a rough time that it will take to complete a certain audit and therefore they can budget accordingly.
There are many problems with not reporting all the worked hours. Not only are you taking money from your firm, you are going to make it harder on yourself and your colleagues. Not knowing the true amount of hours worked, will lead managers to budge less time and that will put even more pressure on the audit team. With more pressure added to an audit that has its own pressure to begin with, can cause the auditors to make mistakes and not have a successful complete audit.
In a competitive business world were...
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