ETHICS CASE Locker Room Talk
Albert Gable is a partner in a CPA firm located in a small Midwestern city which has a population of approximately 65,000. Mr. Gable’s practice is primarily in the area of personal financial planning; however, he also performs an annual audit on the cities
largest bank. Recently, Mr. Gable was engaged by Larry and Susan Wilson to prepare a comprehensive personal financial plan. While preparing the plan, Mr. Gable
became personal friends of the Wilsons. They confided to him that they have had a somewhat rocky marriage and, on several occasions, seriously discussed
divorce. Preparation of the comprehensive personal financial plan, which is nearing completion, has taken six months. During this period, Mr. Gable
also performed the annual audit for the bank. The audit test sample selected at random from the bank’s loan file included the personal loan files of Larry and Susan Wilson. Because certain information in the loan files did not agree with facts personally known to
Mr. Gable, he became somewhat concerned. Although he did not disclose his client relationship with the Wilsons, he did discuss their loan in detail with a loan officer. The loan officer is very familiar with the situation because he and Larry Wilson were college classmates, and now they play golf together weekly. The loan officer mentioned to Mr. Gable that he believed Larry Wilson was “setting his wife up for a divorce.” In other words, he was arranging his business affairs over a period of time so that he would be
able to “leave his wife penniless.” The loan officer indicated that this was just “locker room talk” and that Mr. Gable should keep it confidential. Mr. Gable’s compensation from his firm is based upon annual billings for services. If Mr. Gable resigns as CPA for the Wilsons, it would result in his losing a bonus constituting a substantial amount in
annual personal compensation. Mr. Gable is counting on the bonus to contribute to support tuition and expenses for his youngest daughter, who will be starting as a freshman in college next fall.
•Due Date: Day 7 [Individual forum]
•Read the Locker Room Talk Ethics Case on p. 284 (Ch. 4) of the text.
•Analyze the case using stakeholder impact analysis and the philosophical approaches to
ethical decision making.
•Explain what you think Albert should do in a 700- to 1,050-word paper.
•Organize your paper using the following section outlines. Review the questions for each
section to help you analyze the case and frame your paper. (Do not explicitly answer
these questions within the body of your paper.)
o Introduction
•What is the ethical dilemma in the case?
•What events led to the dilemma?
•When describing the dilemma, did you mistakenly propose a solution?
o Stakeholders Involved
•Have you identified stakeholders?
•What is their stake in the case?
•Have you described every stakeholder in an objective, unbiased way?
o Course of Action
•Have you clearly stated the course of action Albert should take?
•What reasons support your decision?
•What philosophical approach did you use to reach your decision?
•What are the weaknesses of your argument? Have you addressed
ACC 260 Accounting Ethics: Keeping it Clean
Course Syllabus Page 19 ACC 260
o Stakeholder Impact
•How do you think each stakeholder will be impacted by your decision?
•Are there potential impacts on stakeholders that are difficult to anticipate? Have
you identified them?
o Conclusion
•Do you present new evidence or analysis in the conclusion? Would it be more
appropriate in another section of the paper?
•Have you summarized the dilemma, your decision, and the potential impact on
•Format your paper according to APA guidelines, including any references to the textbook or other sources.
•Post your completed paper as an attachment.
•Note: An important part of your grade on this assignment is demonstrating your ability to think critically: to suspend judgment while gathering evidence and consulting the various stakeholders’ positions, to analyze each position, to consider the impact of different courses of action, and then to make a decision and support it with evidence and logic.