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dilemma at his job. Daniel is a strong and driven individual with three core moral values, all of which he holds quite dear. First, Daniel believes that Capitalism, the current system in place that is governed by checks and balances within an entity, is the best form of governing a company and that the United States is the best country in the world because it upholds that Capitalistic principle. Second, Daniel has incredible loyalty towards his superiors and greatly respects their opinions. He also has great respect for the clients and believes that by providing excellent service to them, Baker Greenleaf will be a successful firm. Third, Daniel has high standards for personal morals which are derived from the Code of Ethics set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), his Protestant religion, and his own beliefs and opinions. The dilemma that is presented to Daniel clashes with his three core values and Daniel must take organized steps to get out of the mess he is in. Daniel, in the order presented, must write a letter to Senator Lee Metcalf, gain the support of his co-workers, write a letter to the superior of Oliver, then, as a last resort, contact the Securities Exchange Commission. Daniel’s confrontation, and the antagonist in our story, is Oliver Freeman. Oliver has one goal at Baker Greenleaf and that is to make money for the Firm and to make his clients happy. His frustrations are drawn from Daniel’s reluctance to do anything to satisfy the Firm’s clients and Daniel’s willingness to voice his opinions and confront his stubborn decision-making. In Oliver’s view, Daniel is protesting to what Oliver expects of him, and Oliver is asking him to do something that is normal practice as far as he is
concerned. Daniel is stuck in a messy situation, and he would feel like he needs to prioritize his values, but he does not need to do that immediately. He must carefully take proactive steps to get out of the mess got himself into, and his goals should be to separate himself from the case that was assigned to him, understand the underlying practices at Baker Greenleaf, hold onto all the integrity he possibly can at the firm, and to retain his most prized ethic of all, his personal morals. The first step of action Daniel should take is to try and get in contact with Senator Lee Metcalf, preferably by phone, and ask him for specific advice on how one should deal with a situation he is in. Senator Metcalf has no direct connection with the company, and he could provide Daniel with great advice. Daniel does not believe in nationalizing the accounting industry and he believes the Capitalist system with checks and balances is the best system. Daniel is not throwing away this value by seeking advice from the Senator because at this point, the confliction he faces is with one corrupted person in an entire Firm. To avoid having Senator Metcalf use his example publicly and as an example for nationalizing the accounting industry, Daniel would describe his situation in third person, and present it as a puzzle for the Senator, or how such a problem could be fixed. Any response from the Senator would be very helpful for Daniel in making the right course of action, and preventing him from making any foolish mistakes. Daniel should then try and contact co-workers at his level that have worked on similar projects. He should try to figure out what steps they took to solve issues like his and if any of their steps violated the Code of ethics of the AICPA. If possible, he should
gain the support of these co-workers to make his appeal more organized and stronger. Daniel should then be prepared to write a letter to the Superior of Oliver. This letter would describe the entire situation Daniel is in, and he should describe how going to the superior of his own superior is the only person who could possibly help him with his dilemma since there is no independent review board for him to appeal to. He should go on to say how he understands that he is young and has a lot to learn about company operations, but at the same time he is concerned with the well being and security of the company as this type of situation, if caught by authorities, could destroy the company and cause every single person at Baker Greenleaf to lose their jobs. The priorities of people who run the company, such as Oliver’s superior, is to make money for the firm, but unlike Oliver, they want to keep the integrity of the company and keep it away from dangerous waters. Using Kant’s theory of doing what is best for the stakeholders, it is best to not make the client happy when it comes at great risk to the organization as a whole. It is better for the stakeholders to have a minor drop in profit than to have the entire firm shut down due to illegal operations. People like Oliver’s superior should understand that there are many other clients they work with and they know that they cannot depend on illegal methods to run a successful firm. My reasoning for why Daniel should write such a bold and aggressive letter to a superior of his superior is that he knows that he is valued at Baker Greenleaf and people will listen to his opinion. He graduated from an Ivy League school and they trust him enough to let him recruit graduates from Ivy League schools to work at Baker Greenleaf. Even though it is a slippery slope to try and contact someone higher up the company ladder, they have more concern with company policy and the overall well being of the
firm than people like Oliver. They will listen and have concern with Daniel’s case if they understand that that they, as leaders of the company, will bear the most responsibility if the Firm is convicted of accounting fraud. They would also realize that it would take a lot of guts from Daniel to bring up such an issue with the risk of lowering his own reputation further in the firm and they should respect Daniel for his bravery and morality. One action Daniel should not take is talking to Oliver about the situation any further. Oliver could not have made it clearer that he is not changing his mind about the case and the way he has handled it. Daniel could tell Oliver that he is going to contact his supervisor, but if Oliver would be willing to remove Daniel’s opinion from the files and replace it with a false one that still had Daniel’s name on it, then why would he not be willing to blackmail Daniel and do everything he could to give him a further bad reputation in the firm? The first person that contacts Oliver’s advisor has an advantage because they are the ones who would appear to have the most concern for the Firm and the situation. If the superior of Oliver reacts negatively to Daniel’s letter, and has a view that the firm’s operations should be run in a similar way to Oliver’s view, then Daniel has to follow through with his painful action of last resort. He should contact the Securities Exchange Commission and let them know about the situation he faces in his Company, and the Firm’s illegal practices. In doing so, he would violate his belief that the Capitalism system is the best system, because he would be resorting to federal support to solve his problems and not the check balance forces that should exist, in his mind, in an accounting firm. Also he would be violating his belief in respecting his superior and serving the needs of his clients by going completely over all of his supervisor’s heads and
accusing them of fraud. This last resort action for Daniel would only benefit his selfinterests, but it is the only way he can save his own personal morals. If he does not take such an action, he will be conforming to the firm’s practices and he would be just as guilty as Oliver in his practices. He would respect a superior who is an un-convicted criminal, and live by a Capitalistic system that profits from fraud. Knowing that he is guilty of fraud would live with Daniel for the rest of his life and he would have permanently violated his personal morals, the most sacred of his ethics. Daniel must go into his dilemma promising himself that he will stay true to his beliefs and he must always do what he believes is morally right. The greatest harm he can do to himself is reject his morals and have to live his life knowing that because of people like him, people like Senator Metcalf call for nationalization of the Accounting Industry. He also will always know that there is a chance that someone with stronger morals than him will stand up to Oliver and the Firm and expose all criminal behavior that has occurred in the Firm. As long as Daniel sticks with his values throughout the process, he will get out of his dilemma happy and true to himself.
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