LEIGH ANN WALKER,
Leigh Anit Walker graduated from a major state university in the spring of 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.1 During her college career, Walker earned a 3.9 grade point average and was involved in many extracurricular activities, including several student business organizations. Her closest friends often teased her about the busy schedule she maintained and the fact that she was, at times, a little too “intense.” During the fall of 1988, Walker interviewed with several public accounting firms and large corporations and received six job offers. After considering each of her offers at length, she accepted an entry-level position on the auditing staff of a “Big Six” accounting firm. Walker was not sure whether she wanted to pursue a partnership position with her new employer. But, she believed that the training programs the firm provided and the breadth of experience she would receive from a wide array of client assignments would get her career off to a fast start.
Walker spent the first two weeks on her new job at her firm’s regional audit staff training school. On returning to her local office in early June 1989, she was assigned to work on the audit of Saint Andrew’s Hospital, a large sectarian hospital that had a June 30 fiscal year-end. Walker’s immediate supervisor on the Saint Andrew’s engagement was Jackie Vaughn, a third-year senior. On her first day on the Saint Andrew’s audit, Walker learned that she would be responsible for auditing the hospital’s cash accounts and that she would assist on the audit of accounts receivable. Walker was excited about her first client assignment and was particularly pleased that she would be working for Vaughn. Vaughn had a reputation in the local office as being a demanding senior who typically brought her engagements in under budget, but also as being a senior who was fair and knowledgeable and had an excellent rapport with clients. 1. This case is based upon a...