Ethics Writing Assignment
Nebobites Ethical Dilemma
1. This case involves a small public traded company named Nebobites, which manufactures dog treats. Jenny O., CPA, is the new Assistant Controller for the Nebobites’ company, and her job is to review and audit the financial statements for the 2012 year. While reviewing the financial statements, Jenny noticed the company’s Allowance for Doubtful Accounts balance seemed significantly higher than in the past. This increase in the Allowance account was due to the Bad Debt Expense estimation being based off 3% of net credit sales instead of the prior years’ estimate of 1.5%. The increase in Bad Debts expense as a result of the increase in estimate materially affected the 2012 earnings. However, 2012 had been a great year for earnings, so the additional expense did not disturb the earnings growth trend Nebobites’ had experienced in the past. However, upon further research, Jenny could find no justification for the increase in the Bad Debt Expense estimate from 1.5% of net credit sales to 3%. Jenny decides to approach her boss, the Controller, Maxwell Devious. He tells Jenny he is aware of the practice known as “income smoothing.” Maxwell Devious says showing a steady growth in earnings was essential to keep the Nebobite stock price high as possible as the Smith family planned to sell-off a significant number of shares in early 2014. Jenny feels extremely uncomfortable with this practice, and she knows that this year’s financial statements will retain an overstated Bad Debt Expense estimate and more than likely result in an understated Bad Debt Expense estimate in 2013. 2. An ethical decision must be made by Jenny, because she is going to have to decide what is morally right or wrong. This fake presentation of increase in earnings will potentially affect every stakeholder involved with the company including their shareholders, creditors, management, employees and the customers. This faulty practice will leave an...
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