Patricia sighed and briefly closed her eyes. She was very frustrated with the reconciliation she was working on. She was sure that she was missing something, but she could not determine what it was. And she felt the clock ticking. Patricia knew that the time budget for this assignment was only three hours, and she had already worked on it for two hours.
Patricia started with a CPA firm after graduation, three months ago. Her first few assignments had been very stressful. She had been a good student in school, and she expected to do well at work, too. But she often felt inadequate here, as though she was supposed to know more than she did. Her supervisor, Ron, told her not to worry too much. He said that her job was to learn and that she would be performing well soon. “All new-hires are slow to begin with,” he told her, “Just let me know if you have questions.” However, Patricia felt that she had pestered him with enough questions. Most of the time, the answers to her questions seemed so obvious . . . after Ron had answered her. She looked at the reconciliation again . . .

The following questions will help you analyze the information for this problem. Do not turn in your answers to these questions unless your professor asks you to do so.
A. Explain why it might be difficult to establish accurate time budgets for assignments on accounting tasks.
B. Provide possible reasons why Patricia’s time on this assignment could exceed the budget.
C. Explain why Patricia is reluctant to seek Ron’s help on this assignment.
D. Describe how Ron might evaluate Patricia’s performance assuming:
1. She seeks his help and completes the assignment in four hours.
2. She does not seek his help and completes the assignment in eight hours.
E. Suppose Patricia does not seek Ron’s help and completes the assignment in eight hours.
1. What priorities has Patricia used in making this choice?
2. Has Patricia behaved ethically? Why or why not?
F. What could Patricia learn from this experience that will improve her performance in the future?

Suppose Patricia has asked for your advice. Turn in your answers to the following.
G. Use the information you learned from the preceding analyses to write a memo to Patricia with your recommendation. Focus on the information that would be useful to Patricia.
H. Write one or two paragraphs explaining how you decided what information to include in your memo.

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