Accounting Case Study

Pages: 7 (594 words) Published: December 4, 2013
ACCOUNTING MINICASE: ACCT – 10
TEACHING NOTES

BUSINESS ETHICS PROGRAM

Cash in Hand
Teaching Notes
What Are the Relevant Facts?
1.
2.

4.
5.

Talk to Sandy but no one else.

4.

Report Sandy's observations/concerns to her
manager and/or partner

5.

If engagement is dropped, take no further
action.

6.

If engagement is retained: Take no further
action. Document disagreement with the
partner's decision in the work papers. Ask to
be removed from the engagement. Resign her
position.

7.

This is the first time that Fashion First has used a
CPA firm.

Decline to counsel Sandy.

3.

The part-time bookkeeper and the owner/manager
have handled all record-keeping and tax reporting
functions up to the present.

Provide advice to Sandy about her alternatives
(see above).

2.

Heather’s new client is an incorporated retail
outlet, Fashion First.

3.

1.

Heather Hunt is a senior in a small, regional CPA
firm.

Report situation to the media—“blow the
whistle.”

The CPA firm has been engaged to prepare
financial statements and handle tax returns.

What Are the Ethical Issues?
1.

Questionable reporting of cash revenue by the
client.

2.

What are the issues emerging from this apparent
co-mingling of corporate and personal assets?

3.

If this is simply a compilation rather than a review,
do Heather and the CPA firm face ethical issues?

What Are the Ethics of the Alternatives?


1.

Sandy, the part-time bookkeeper
“Buzz” Thompson, the owner/manager
Heather Hunt, the senior on the job
The partner in charge of the job for the CPA firm
The CPA firm
The IRS and the state tax agency
Taxpayers
Actual or potential lenders of the company



For each alternative, do the net benefits
exceed the net costs to all primary
stakeholders? How would costs be measured
in this scenario?

Ask questions based on a “rights” approach:
1.



What Are the Possible Alternatives?

Whose rights are violated in each possible
alternative? What does each stakeholder have
the right to expect?

Ask questions based on a “justice” approach:
1.

Ask students to identify alternatives available to both
Sandy and Heather.


For each alternative, who benefits and who
loses?

2.

Who Are the Primary Stakeholders?









Ask questions based on the “Utilitarian” approach:

For each decision to be made by those
involved, which alternatives distribute the
benefits and burdens most fairly among the
stakeholders?

Sandy’s alternatives:
1.

What Are the Practical Constraints?

2.

Stay with the job but insist on changes in
revenue reporting.

2.

The legal ramifications of any actions taken must
be considered by Sandy, Heather, mand the CPA
firm management.

3.

Resign from the position.

3.

4.


Do nothing--keep the job

Other

The guidance provided by the appropriate
professional standards should be taken into
account by the CPAs, Heather and the partner(s).
See, for example, paragraphs AR 100.12, AR
10029, and AR 100.39-.41 in the AICPA

Heather’s alternatives:

©1992 Arthur Andersen & Co, SC. All rights reserved.

Page 1 of 2

ACCOUNTING MINICASE: ACCT – 10
TEACHING NOTES

BUSINESS ETHICS PROGRAM

Professional Standards. What effect does
materiality have on the decision-making process
by the CPAs?

1.

What actions should Heather take? What
alternatives would you choose if you were in this
situation? Why?

4.

Sandy needs the job badly.

2.

What should the CPA firm do? Why?

5.

Heather must consider the effect of her actions on
her career.

3.

What should Sandy do? Why?

4.

6.

The CPA firm should weigh the costs and benefits
of retention of this client.

What ethical theories (Rights, Justice, Utilitarian,
etc.) are applicable to this situation?

5.

What advice should Heather give Sandy, if any?

6.

Should the actions differ...
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