Robert Stroup is an accountant with a shady past. Suffice it to say that he owes some very unsavory characters a lot of money. Despite his past, Robert works hard at keeping up a strong professional image. He is a manager at Smith and Associates, a fast-growing CPA firm. Robert is highly regarded around the office because he is a strong producer of client revenue. Indeed, on several occasions he exceeded his authority in establishing prices with clients. This is typically a partner’s job but who could criticize Robert, who is most certainly bringing in the business. Indeed, Robert is so good that he is able to pull off the following scheme. He bills clients at inflated rates and then reports the ordinary rate to his accounting firm. Say, for example, the normal charge for a job is $2,500. Robert will smooth talk the client, then charge him $3,000. He reports the normal charge of $2,500 to his firm and keeps the extra $500 for himself. He knows it isn’t exactly right. Even so, his firm gets its regular charges and the client willingly pays for the services rendered. He thinks to himself, as he pockets his ill-gotten gains, who is getting hurt anyway?
The text discusses three common features (conditions) that motivate ethical misconduct. Identify and explain each of the three features as they appear in the above scenario.