The ethical implications in decision-making processes

You are the Accountant for Duke Street, Inc. and your boss asks you to provide the bank with a profit forecast for the coming year. Sales and profitability have both been trending downward over the last five years. Technological advancements have made the current product less attractive. Duke has developed a new product consistent with their perceptions of consumer behavior. The company is requesting a loan from the bank to launch the new product; the loan is very necessary. The forecast that you provide to the bank will determine whether or not the bank issues the much needed loan. Your boss is convinced that profits will be at least $500,000 — anything less than $500,000 and the bank will not approve the loan. Your analysis indicates three possible outcomes:

Outcome 1: If sales of the new product are extraordinary, then profits will exceed $500,000. Outcome 2: If sales of the new product are modest, then the profits will be $100,000. This is most likely to occur. Outcome 3: If the sales of the new product fail, then the company will experience a loss of $600,000 If the bank does not grant the loan, then the new product will not launch and bankruptcy is a real possibility for the company.

Discuss the ethical implications and demonstrate your decision-making processes for the above scenario. Below are questions that may help guide your discussion. The questions are a guide (a sentence or two answering each question is insufficient). You should provide a well-organized thoughtful discussion of the “ethical situation” and the “business problem” that the company faces.
– What ethical dilemma does the accountant face? – What business problem(s) does the company have? – Who are the potential stakeholders and how might they be affected by the decision of the accountant? – What choices does the accountant have? Evaluate the choices, i.e. who benefits or who is hurt by the choice(s). – What action would you recommend, i.e. how do you believe the business problem should be resolved? How should the ethical dilemma be resolved? – Going forward, what should the company do regarding organizational ethics?


Sample Solution