ACCT 6500 – Analyzing Ethics Cases 1. Identify the Issues 2. Outline the Options 3. Construct Ethical Arguments 4. Evaluate the Arguments 5. Make a Decision Step 1: Identify the Issues
1. What are the major factual issues raised by this case? 2. What are the major ethical issues raised by this case? 3. What are the major accounting issues raised by this case? 4. Who are the major stakeholders in this case? (Stakeholders refer to all individuals whose interest could be affected by the decision made in the case).
Step 2: Outline the Options
1. What are the main alternative actions or policies that might be followed in responding to the ethical issues in this case? 2. What are the major views on the ethical issues raised by this case? 3. What facts are unknown or controverted that might be relevant to deciding this case (may require research to determine some facts).
Step 3: Construct Ethical Arguments
1. Determine which of the ethical principles/standards apply to this case 2. Identify the accounting principles (i.e., ethics codes of conduct and GAAP) that can be
invoked to support a conclusion as to what ought to be done ethically in this case or similar cases?
3. Determine whether the different ethical standards/accounting principles yield converging or diverging judgments about what ought to be done?
Step 4: Evaluate the Arguments for each Option
1. Weigh the ethical reasons and arguments for each option in terms of their relative importance.
2. Determine whether there are any unwarranted factual assumptions that need to be examined in each argument.
3. Determine whether there are any unresolved conceptual issues in each argument. Step 5: Make a Decision
1. Decide which of the identified options you would recommend or judge to be the ethically best way to deal with the issue presented in this case based upon which option has the strongest ethical reasons behind it.
2. Determine how a critic of your position might try to argue against it using other ethical reasons and present a rebuttal or counter-argument in defense of your judgment.