The Big Decision

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An accountant is expected to be both an accountant and a professional. An accountant should follow general professional obligations. After the incidents involving Arthur Anderson, Enron, and WorldCom, the role of a professional accountant was changed. Brooks (2007) stated, “Professional accountants owe their primary loyalty to the public interest, not just to their own financial interests, company directors or management, or current shareholders at the expense of future shareholders.” (Chap. 1, p. 22). Decisions made by executives should reflect their corporation’s ethical values. In knowing this information, the case of Daniel Potter and his employer Baker Greenleaf raises some concern. I will address the dilemmas of the case, the stakeholders involved, and the course of action that Daniel Potter should take. (Brooks, 2007)

Baker Greenleaf is a large accounting firm. Actually, they are one of the Big Eight accounting firms. Daniel Potter was a recent graduate of an Ivy League school before working for Baker Greenleaf. He understood the values and work ethics that he should follow. There came a time when he was assigned an account which was not new to Baker Greenleaf. The account was very important. In the past, Baker Greenleaf shared the account with another Big Eight accounting firm. Baker felt that they should be the only accounting firm that serviced that long-standing account. In order to achieve this, they believed that they needed to deliver a satisfactory performance in their auditing services with the company. After Dan completed the audit, he discovered concerns in which he could not solve. Dan’s estimate and the balance sheet value of real estate property resulted in a difference of opinion which significantly affected the income statement by more than three percent. Dan’s first reaction was to include a subject –to-opinion proviso, which included his findings, along with his report. His supervisor disagreed with his actions and wanted Dan to issue...
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