Module 1 – Code of Professional Conduct Table of Contents

1. Performance Objectives 2. Introduction 3. Ethics Activity

Performance Objectives:
The business counselor will understand and comply with the WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz Code of Professional Conduct, including the conflict of interest, client confidentiality requirements, and University requirements.

Evaluation:
Your proficiency in professional conduct will be evaluated by all of the following methods. 1. Correctly answering 100% of the questions in the ethics activity. 2. Discussing the implications and importance of these issues during the training session. 3. Signing all required documents. 2

How You Will Be Trained
Please complete the following tasks: 1. 2. 3. 4. Read Module 1 in its entirety. Participate in the exercises contained in this module. Complete Case Study Complete the ethics examination activity 1

Introduction
The WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz Network (WyEn.Biz), a department of the University of Wyoming, is organized to provide economic development activities for small businesses. To this end, the WyEn.Biz: • • • promotes high personal standards of conduct, communicates those standards to the public, and hires as business counselors’ individuals of demonstrated competence who have agreed to uphold WyEn.Biz standards.

Professional Attitude The reliance of business owners and managers on the advice of business counselors imposes on the profession an obligation to maintain high standards of integrity and competence. Therefore, business counselors have basic responsibilities to: • hold the affairs of their clients in strict confidence • strive continuously to improve their professional skills • advance the professional standards of WyEn.Biz • uphold the honor and dignity of WyEn.Biz • maintain high standards of personal conduct. In recognition of the public interest as well as the business counselor’s obligation to the profession, WyEn.Biz employees must agree to comply with the following articles of professional responsibility. Articles of Professional Responsibility 1. Professional Behavior and Attitude Business counselors will maintain a wholly professional behavior and attitude toward those they serve, including other members of the WyEn.Biz network, clients, partners, and the general public. 2. Professional Contribution Business counselors must recognize their responsibilities to the public interest and to their own professional development by contributing to the understanding of better ways to manage small businesses. This contribution may be through the development and dissemination of information to peers as well as the public. 3. Inside Information Business counselors will not take personal, financial, or other advantage of material or inside information resulting from their professional relationship with clients. They will not provide to others material or information, which might take such advantage of clients.
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4. Avoiding Impropriety Business counselors will strive to avoid not only improprieties, but also the appearance of improprieties.4 5. Conflict of Interest Business counselors will not accept any reward from individuals or organizations for recommending the equipment, supplies, and services of such individuals or organizations. 6. Professional Standards Business counselors will strive continuously to advance and protect the professional standards of the WyEn.Biz network. 7. Supporting the Code of Professional Conduct Business counselors will support this code by modeling appropriate behavior and addressing concerns or perceived violations with the parties involved. 8. Understanding of Client Needs Business counselors will first confer with a new client in sufficient detail and gather facts to gain an understanding of the perceived problem, the objectives to be achieved, the scope of assistance needed, and the possible benefits that may accrue to the client. 9. Proprietary Information Business counselors will not provide proprietary information learned from previous clients to a current client without first obtaining the written consent of the previous clients. 10.Client Confidentiality Business counselors will hold as strictly confidential the identity of a client, as well as all information concerning the affairs of a client gathered during the course of a professional engagement. The only exception occurs when the client has released, in writing, such information for public use. 11.Impartiality Business counselors ensure advice to clients is based on impartial consideration of all pertinent facts and opinions.

12.Outside Influences Business counselors will inform their clients immediately of any special relationships, circumstances or interests that might influence, or give the appearance of influencing their judgment, or impair their objectivity. The business counselor will offer to withdraw
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from the client relationship and refer the client to another business counselor. 13.Recommendations Business counselors will ensure that sufficient relevant information is evaluated in developing conclusions and recommendations. Solutions should be realistic and practical, clearly understood by the clients, and capable of being implemented by the client. 14.Quality Assurance Business counselors will demonstrate a commitment to the quality of their advice, assistance and resulting products through sufficient planning, reviews and controls. 15.Sharing Knowledge Business counselors recognize their responsibility to the profession to share with their colleagues the general body of knowledge and approaches they use in serving clients. 16.Proprietary Material and Techniques Business counselors will not knowingly, without permission, use copyright material and proprietary data, procedures, materials, or techniques that others have developed but have not released for public use. 17.Dress Code Business counselors are expected to dress in business attire appropriate to the client’s and University’s needs. 18.Timeliness Business counselors do not keep clients waiting. It is extremely important to be on time and ready to begin. In the event of an emergency, the client is to be contacted immediately. In addition, all reports are to be filed in a timely manner. Business counselors are also “on-time” when it comes to returning phone calls or responding to client requests. Calls should be returned within 24 hours and information should be provided within one week, unless preparation and research require more time. The business counselor will notify the client of projects that will take longer than a week to complete.

Ethics Activity
Based upon your training in the WyEn.Biz code of professional conduct and conflict of interest policy, answer the following essay questions. Please answer each question in a minimum of a half page up to a maximum of one
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page. Keep your answers succinct and demonstrate your understanding of the policies. You must understand the correct answers to all questions to complete this module. 1. After the conclusion of your seminar presentation on business plans, you are approached by three of the seminar attendees. Two of them had simple questions to clarify some of the key points you made during the presentation. The third attendee, Joan Owner, wanted something more. She complained that she was so busy actually running her business that she just did not have the time or the talent to write her own plan. She then begins to plead with you to write it for her, and she is willing to pay you whatever it takes! • Is it a conflict of interest for you to write Joan Owner’s plan for a fee? • Under what circumstances, if any, would you be able to do the work for Joan? • How do you respond to Joan? 2. Define “Agent of the WyEn.Biz network,” and list the various individuals who are considered to be agents. Discuss any differences you perceive there to be between these individuals in terms of their obligations to comply with the WyEn.Biz conflict of interest policy. Discuss the expansion of this concept as agents of the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council, the Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency and other partners. 3. Francois French has been your client for a year. You have helped him to write his business plan and advised him on how to prepare for and submit a loan application to expand Francois’ French Restaurant. At three o’clock on Friday, Francois calls you to tell you the great news. He got the loan! He insists that you come to dinner tonight to help him celebrate—and dinner is “on the house.” • Is it a conflict of interest for you to accept the free meal? • Under what circumstances, if any, would you be able to accept the free meal? • How do you respond to Francois? 4. When your new client, Judy Jumble, enters your office, you notice she has a large box with receipts and cancelled checks falling out as she walks. You are not surprised to find she needs help setting up her recordkeeping system. Your best friend, Nita Neat, has just started a bookkeeping business, and would love to have Judy as her client.
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• • •

Is it a conflict of interest for you to refer Judy Jumble to Nita Neat? Under what circumstances, if any, would you be able to make the referral? How do you respond to Judy?

5. At a Chamber of Commerce meeting, you meet Bob Byte. Bob has a computer consulting company and sells hardware and software. Bob is immediately interested in what you do at WyEn.Biz. He offers you a deal that is too good to be true! If you refer SBDC clients to him who purchase from him, he will pay you a 10% referral fee. • Is it a conflict of interest for you to refer SBDC clients to Bob and accept the referral fee? • Under what circumstances, if any, would you be able to make the referral? • How do you respond to Bob? 6. Sally Sentinel is a newspaper reporter who writes all the small business articles in your local reporter. Your center has been trying to get her to acknowledge the existence of WyEn.Biz for months. Sally finally calls the office on the one day when you are the only business counselor in, so you take her call. You don’t want to keep her waiting! Sally explains she has recently heard some good things about WyEn.Biz, and hoping that you can help her. She is writing an article about women business owners and would like you to give her the names of two women clients so she can interview them and include information about their businesses in the paper. You6immediately think of two fantastic women clients who would kill for an opportunity like this! • Is it a conflict of interest for you to give Sally the names and phone numbers of these clients? • Under what circumstances, if any would you be able to make the referral? • How do you respond to Sally? 7. Pat Pitiful is a client who has been struggling along for years contracting with the local school board for janitorial services. She is always on the verge of making it, but never quite seems to reach true success. One day she calls to tell you about the new contract she was awarded to provide services for the new huge county building that was just built. The only problem is that she needs $10,000 for working capital in order to adequately service the contract. There is no way to find financing for her as she declared
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bankruptcy four years ago, she has no collateral, and the company shows a loss on last year’s financial statements. On the positive side, you know that Pat is a very hard worker, she learns quickly, is very responsible and determined, and taken all of the advice you have ever given her. You really like her as a person and sincerely want to see her succeed. You recently inherited some money from your uncle. • Is it a conflict of interest for you to finance Pat’s business? • Under what circumstances, if any, could you help Pat? • How do you respond to Pat? 8. You have just completed a brief presentation of WyEn.Biz services at a Rotary Club meeting. At your table you meet Don Tekkie, who is an engineer who started his own company researching and marketing new laser optical products. He has recently developed a new product that will provide a major breakthrough in the medical laser market. In order to introduce this new product, Don needs approximately $750,000 to$1,000,000 in venture capital. Don is excited to first learn about the SBDC and asks you to review his business plan and to advise him about how to find financing. He offers you stock in his company if you can arrange for the financing • Is it a conflict of interest for you to accept Don’s offer? • Under what circumstances, if any, could you accept the offer? • How do you respond to Don? 9. Over the weekend, your best friend calls you at your home to refer Iris Returns to you. Iris wants to hire you to prepare her corporate tax return and you both agree on a fee. After you have completed the work, you meet with Iris to deliver the return and to collect your fee. During the casual conversation you discover to your complete surprise that Iris had been client of WyEn.Biz two years ago, but had not been in for at least the past year. You had never met Iris before and did not know of her previous relationship with the WyEn.Biz network. • Is there a conflict of interest? • Under what circumstances, if any, could you perform the work for a fee? • How do you respond to Iris? 10.You are Larry Lawyer Sr., WyEn.Biz business counselor. You take a phone call from Carrie Caller who wants the name of an attorney who can incorporate her business. Your center’s policy is to give the names of no less than three attorneys when answering such a caller.
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Carrie insists she only wants one name, but you are determined to follow policy. The names you give are: Larry Lawyer, Jr., Alan Attorney, Errol Esquire. • Is there a conflict of interest? • How do you respond to Carrie?
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0 Module 1 Training Checklist • Business Counselor__________________ • Read Module 1 ______ DATE • Training Exercises: Role Play_______ DATE • Case Study Case #1________ DATE • Ethics Activity________ DATE • Conflict of Interest Signature (employees) ________ DATE

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