Locker Room Talk Ethical Case
April 18, 2010
The Locker Room Talk Ethical Case outlines a situation that is an ethical dilemma for CPA Albert Gable who has performed personal financial planning for Larry and Susan Wilson. The Wilson’s, in their discussions with Mr. Gable regarding their personal finances, mentioned that in the past they have had marriage problems but have worked through the problems and are not seeking a divorce. Gable and the Wilson’s became personal friends due to the relationship built during their personal financial planning. Mr. Gable also performs the annual audit for one of the largest banks in the town where they all live. The sample pulled for the audit at the bank included the Wilson’s loan information. While performing the audit, Mr. Gable discovers information on the Wilson’s loan that does not coincide with the information given to him during the personal financial planning. Mr. Gable is concerned and addresses the discrepancy with a loan officer but did not confide to the loan officer that he was also their personal financial planner. The loan officer confided in Mr. Gable that Mr. Wilson was setting up his business to divorce his wife without any compensation.
This situation puts Albert Gable in a situation with a conflict of interests. His personal financial client is also a client of the bank where he performs the annual audit. The information the Wilson’s provided to him during their personal financial planning conflicts with the information provided on loan documentation at the bank. Albert Gable needs to determine the best course of action to take in this situation.
The stakeholders involved are:
1. Albert Gable - As the CPA, his professional business ethics are at risk and his personal reputation is on the line. He also has a large bonus weighing on his decision.
2. Mrs. Wilson – She has the understanding that her marriage is not at risk...