please make a reply of 200-250 words to this thread with two citations. When replying, try to address different aspects of the ethical argument with Bible integrations. Often, these situations are not as black and white as they seem, particularly when responsibilities such as independence and confidentiality come into play.
Scenario – You are negotiating a transaction for your client, Shark Corporation. Parties on the other side of the deal ask you for information about the structural stability of a building, which is a significant part of the transaction. Coleman, Shark’s tax director, tells you to say that everything is all right when the building has substantial hidden damage. Coleman tells you to say this because it would be more favorable to Shark’s position in the transaction.
- How would you respond to Coleman’s request? Be sure to cite research that supports your position.
My response to Coleman would be that I would not lie about the damage of the building. One of the Principles of Professional Conduct is Integrity which means being honest and candid while also maintaining client confidentiality. This principle also notes that members should perform all professional responsibilities with the highest sense of integrity, which is the best course of action to maintain the public trust. I am not only responsible to represent Shark Corporation, but also, I am responsible to maintain honesty and integrity with the other parties. By lying about this transaction, I would also be violating the principle of Responsibility which states that members should always exercise moral and professional judgement during their work and career. My responsibility is to provide professional service, and an obligation to uphold the standards of the profession. Also, the Due Care Principle states that I should constantly try to improve my ethical competence and act to the best of my ability when it comes to ethical standards.
- What if you have already told the other side that the building is fine when you learn about the problems?
The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 10:9 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” I must conduct myself with integrity and I must inform the other side about the damages of the building. I must also be responsible to tell the other side that the information I provided before is incorrect and that the building has such problems.
- What other potential ethics issues do you see in this situation?
Another potential ethic issue that I find in this case is that Mr. Coleman is the Tax director of this company, and he wants me to act in an unethical way. This is an indication that Shark Corporation does not have a good ethical environment. An ethical workplace environment supports a positive reputation for your company while improving the morale of your employees. Violations of basic ethics can hurt your business or cost your company money due to actions such as lawsuits or theft of good and ideas (Shelley Frost). This unethical behavior shown by Mr. Coleman puts in risk the reputation of the Corporation and can cost them a lot of money. I might also consider leaving this client because I do not want to put my reputation in risk.
- Which AICPA Code(s) of Professional Conduct rules apply in this situation (explain how and why they apply)?
Rule 102. AICPA (2011, p. 1757) would apply to this situation. This rule is about Integrity and Objectivity which states that in the performance of any professional service, a member shall maintain objectivity and integrity, shall be free of conflicts of interest, and shall not knowingly misrepresent facts or subordinate his or her judgment to others. This rule means that I shall conduct myself with integrity in the performance of my services as a professional, and that I shall not help this client to conduct this transaction because I am completely aware that there is a problem with it. In this case, the building has structural damage.
- Cite the specific verse(s) for at least one Biblical principle that you feel is relevant to the situation (explain how and why it applies).
The Bible verse that I feel is relevant to this situation is Luke 8:17 “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the
open.” Mr. Coleman thinks that he can keep this secret and that nobody will find out, but the
truth is that God knows everything, and He brings everything to light.