You are an entry-level accountant at city hall. You work for the accounting department, but have been loaned out to the department responsible for building and maintaining roads while the managers develop their annual budget. The director of the department is in the middle of a nasty divorce. He asks you to work on a Saturday to finish up details of the budget. When you arrive, he asks you to work on a schedule for his personal financial information for the upcoming divorce court case. When you finish the task, he tells you to record your hours as overtime and bill them to the city.

A. What is the ethical issue here?
B. What are your alternatives?
C. If you do as the director asks and your boss finds out, what might happen? What risks are involved?
D. What information is relevant to your decision?
E. Is there only one correct solution to this problem? Why or why not?
F. Explore this problem from different perspectives:
1. Your own
2. The department director
3. Your boss
4. The taxpayers
G. How important is it for you to behave ethically?
H. Based on your analysis of the situation, write a short “script” for how you would respond to the department director.
I. Suppose you decide not to do what the director asks. Discuss the issues you would consider as you decide whether to report this incident to your boss.

  • CreatedJanuary 26, 2015
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