ethical dilemma in accounting

Harvey is the owner of a successful wealth management firm, Harvey Advisors, Inc. He is in his mid-40’s and has yet to fulfill his dream of becoming the number one wealth management firm in the city of Houston, TX. Currently they are ranked #3 in the city but the difference between number two and number 3 is minimal. Harvey’s success stems from his ability to keep only the most talented employees who are capable of accomplishing more than others due to their work ethic and desire to be the best. Bruce is Harvey’s first employee, a 65-year old man, who has been with Harvey since the beginning of the company. One day Harvey learns that the top firm’s star manager, Matt, has left the firm due to personal differences and is in the market for a new job. When Harvey looks at his financial statements it is clear that he cannot offer Matt a job and maintain everyone on the staff. In order to hire him he will have to let go of somebody. After doing some cost/benefit analysis it is clear to Harvey that Bruce is most costly employee and he is no longer able to produce what he once was able to.
.0pt;mso-add-space: auto;text-indent:-36.0pt;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1″>I. Identify the problem.

a. What is the environment?

b. What is the situation?

c. What are the options?

II. Identify the people and groups affected by choosing one of the above options.

a. Individuals: self, boss, client, subordinate, etc.

b. Groups: company, public, family, profession, etc.

III. Build a decision framework – What is going to be the basis for my decision?

a. Consequentialism – looking for good results or least harm

i. What will be the result of the decision for me personally?

ii. How are the above people and groups affected?

iii. Are they affected negatively or positively?

b. Deontology – duty and obligation

i. How deep is my obligation to each of the people and groups?

ii. How do I prioritize conflicting duties?

c. Virtue ethics – Who am I?

i. What fundamental principles are in play?

ii. What norms or traditions I practice are being challenged?

iii. What personal values that I hold are being affected or threatened?

1. Am I being asked to do something that I don’t believe in?

2. Am I being asked to ignore something that I feel must be addressed?

IV. Make a decision

a. Base your decision on values that are supported by principles

b. Make a commitment to the decision

V. Take action

a. Do what you feel is right for the right reasons – Never mistake temptation for opportunity

b. Let the chips fall where they may – A person who ignores wrong becomes either an accomplice or the next victim

VI. Learn

a. Accept responsibility for your decision and your actions

b. Understand the difference between providing explanations and making excuses

c. Listen to feedback so you can learn from everyone’s mistakes

d. Incorporate changes where possible to avoid similar situations in the future

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