A national accounting firm offers tax preparation services to individuals. T.A. Stearns was a popular national accounting firm because of its superior reputation for high quality of its advice and the excellence of its service. Superior computer databases and analysis tools that were highly technical in tax laws they covered and in code they were written was the key to T.A. Stearns reputation. They were perfected by high levels of programming skills with the ability to understand the law. T.A. Stearns’ work was carried out in the greater Boston area by four programmers namely: Tom Andrews, Cy Crane, Marge Dector and Megan Harris in a virtual environment. The virtual work team was asked to make a major program change to help do work more efficiently so they developed programming tools called macros. Cy Crane in particular enjoyed hacking the macros and created a new macro that could save many hours of work. It was made a secret by the virtual work team because the small amount of money generated by company reward offsets the free time they gained. They also believed that if the management learned about the innovation which let them do the work quickly, three programmers might only be needed therefore causing the loss of job to one of them.
The purpose of this Case Analysis is to know whether it is better to implement the new created macro in the virtual environment. To study its advantages and disadvantages in the virtual environment is the next thing to do. Next is to come up with an alternative course of action. Lastly is to choose the right alternative course of action for the virtual environment work team.
Background of the Study
T.A. Stearns, a national accounting firm, was a popular national accounting firm because of its superior reputation for high quality of its advice and the excellence of its service to tax preparation services. Highly-trained individuals, usually lawyers and tax accountant with programming skills on the side produced superior computer databases and analysis tools that were highly technical in tax laws they covered and in code they were written. T.A. Stearns’ work was carried out in the greater Boston area by four programmers namely: Tom Andrews, Cy Crane, Marge Dector and Megan Harris in a virtual environment. Tom Andrews, 35 years old and single, was a tax lawyer and a graduate from State University. He was the primary liaison with Stearns and the longest-standing member of the group with six years of experience on the programs. He was responsible for training new group members and he also worked out of his farm in southern New Hampshire where he enjoyed hunting and fishing on his spare time. Cy Crane, 32 years old and married with two children ages four and six, was a tax accountant and a computer science graduate of State University. His wife worked full-time in a law firm in downtown Boston. He enjoyed biking and fishing on his spare time. Marge Dector, 38 years old and married with two children ages eight and ten, was a tax lawyer and a graduate from Outstate University. Her husband worked full-time as an electrical engineer and a local defense contractor. She on the other hand, enjoyed golf and skiing. Lastly Megan Harris, 26 years old and single, was a tax accountant and a graduate from Big Time University. She worked out of her Back Bay apartment and relocated to Boston to take advantage of the wide range of opportunity in her field and to enjoy the beauty of New England. The four negotiated separately and secretly with the management. They were on salary with accustomed flexibility which was the major factor in their commitment. They could do whenever they wanted to do their work although they were required to check in regularly every workday. T.A. Stearns’ programmers were asked to make a major change that would help do work more efficiently. There was an...