Gary Watson, a graduating business student at a small college, is currently interviewing for a job. Gary was invited by both Tilly Manufacturing Co. and Watson Supply Company to travel to a nearby city for an interview. Both companies have offered to pay Gary’s expenses. His total expenses for the trip were $96 for mileage on his car and $45 for meals. As he prepares the letters requesting reimbursement, he is considering asking for the total amount of the expenses from both employers. His rationale is that if he had taken separate trips, each employer would have had to pay that amount.
a. Who are the parties that are directly affected by this ethical dilemma?
b. Are the other students at the college potentially affected by Gary’s decision? Explain.
c. Are the professors at the college potentially affected by Gary’s decision? Explain.
d. What would you do in this situation?
e. What would you do if both companies mailed you $141 for your expenses with no action on your part?
You are the partner-in-charge of a large metropolitan office of a regional public accounting firm. Two members of your professional staff have come to you to discuss problems that may affect the firm’s independence. Neither of these situations has been specifically answered by the AICPA Professional Ethics Division. Therefore, you must reach your own conclusions as to what to advise your staff members, and what actions, if any, are to be taken by the firm.
Case 1: Don Moore, a partner in the firm, has recently moved into a condominium that he shares with his girlfriend, Joan Scott. Moore owns the condominium and pays all the expenses relating to its maintenance. Otherwise, the two are self supporting.Scott is a stockbroker, and recently she has started acquiring shares in one of the audit clients of this office of the public accounting firm. The shares are held in Scott’s name. At present, the shares are not material in relation to her net worth.
Case 2: Mary Reed, a new staff auditor with the firm, has recently separated from her husband. Mary has filed for divorce,but the divorce cannot become final for at least five months. The property settlement is being bitterly contested. Mary’s husband has always resented her professional career and has just used community property to acquire one share of common stock in each of the publicly owned companies audited by the office in which Mary works.For each case, you are to:
a. Set forth arguments indicating that the firm’s independence has not been impaired.
b. Set forth arguments indicating that the firm’s independence has been impaired.
c. Express your personal opinion. Identify those arguments from part (a) or part (b) that you found most persuasive. If you believe that the firm’s independence has been impaired, make suggestions about how the problem might be resolved.