ETHICAL ISSUE

Scenario :

John Biggs and Patty Jorgenson are both cost accounting manager for a manufacturing division. During last yesterday, Patty told John that she was planning on quitting her job in three months because she had accepted a position as controller of a small company in a neighboring state. The starting date was timed to coincide with the retirement of the current controller. Patty was excited because it allowed her to live near her family. Today, the divisional controller took John to lunch and informed him that he was taking a position at headquarters and that he had recommended that Patty be promoted to his position. He indicated to John that it was a close call between him and Patty and that he wanted to let John know personally about the decision before it was announced officially.

Required:

What should John do? Describe how you would deal with his ethical dilemma.( considering the IMA code of ethics in your response ).

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IMA’s Standards of Ethical Conduct for Management Accountant :

I. Competence

Management accountants have a responsibility to :

01. Maintain an appropriate level of professional competence by ongoing development of their knowledge and skills.

02. Perform their professional duties in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and technical standards.

03. Prepare complete and clear reports and recommendations after appropriate analysis of relevant and reliable information.

II. Confidentiality

Management accountants have a responsibility to :

01. Refrain from disclosing confidential information acquired in the course of their work except when authorized, unless legally obligated to do so.

02. Inform subordinates as appropriate regarding the confidentiality of information acquired in the course of their work and monitor their activities to ensure the maintenance of that confidentiality.

03. Refrain from using or appearing to use confidential information acquired in the course of their work for unethical or illegal advantage either personally or through a third party.

III. Integrity

Management accountants have a responsibility to :

01. Avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest and advise all appropriate parties of any potential conflict.

02. Refrain from engaging in any activity that would prejudice their abilities to carry out their duties ethically.

03. Refuse any gift, favor, or hospitality that would influece their actions.

04. Refrain from either actively or passively subverting the attainment of organization’s legitimate and ethical objectives.

05. Recognize and communicate professional limitations or other constraints that would preclude responsible judgment or successful performance of an activity.

06. Communicate unfavorable as well as favorable information and professional judgments or opinions.

07. Refrain from engaging in or supporting any activity that would discredit the profession.

IV. Objectivity

Management accountants have a responsibility to :

01. Communicate information fairly and objectively.

02. Disclose fully all relevant information that could resonably be expected to influence an intended user’s understanting of reports, comments, and recommendation presented.

Resolution of Ethical Conflict

In applying the standards of ethical conduct, management accountants may encounter problems in identifying unethical behavior or in resolving ethical conflict. When faced with significant ethical issues, management accountants should follow the established policies of the organization bearing on the resolution of such conflict. If these policies do not resolve the ethical conflict, management accountants should consider the following course of action :

01. Discuss such problems with the immediate supervisor except when it appears that the superior is involved, in which case the problem should be presented initially to the next higher management level. If satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved when the problem is initially presented, submit the issues to the next higher management level.

02. If the immediate superior is the chief executive officer, or equivalent, the acceptable reviewing authority may be a group such as the audit committee, executive committee, board of directors, board of trustees, or owner. Contact with level above the immediate superior should be initiated only with the superior’s knowledge, assuming the superior is not involved.

03. Clarify relevant concepts by confidential discussion with an objective advisor to obtain an understanding of possible courses of action.

04. If the ethical conflict still exists after exhausting all level of internal reviews, the management accountant may have no other recourse on significant matters that to resign from the organization  and to submit an informative memorandum to an appropriate representative of the organization.

05. Except where legally presribed , communication of such problems to authoritatives or individuals not employed or engaged by the organization is not considered appropriate.

 

 

 

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