This is the Solutions Guide: This is meant as a…


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This is the Solutions Guide: This is meant as a solutions guide. I am asking to reword the answers to essay type parts so as to guarantee that my answer is an original. Question: 9-96 Ethical Control Frameworks In December 2002, Time Magazine named Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley, Sherron Watkins as its persons of the year. Cynthia Cooper was vice president of internal audit for WorldCom and informed the firm’s audit committee that the firm had improperly treated billions of dollars as capital expenditures rather than properly treating them as period expenses. Coleen Rowley was an FBI attorney who wrote a 13-page memo describing deficiencies in the FBI. Sherron Watkins was vice president at Enron and informed Chairman Kenneth Lay of her serious concerns about Enron’s financial reporting. Select one of the two accounting related situations (WorldCom or Enron) to answer the following questions on the basis of the Time magazine Person of the Year article or other articles. Required: How did Cooper and Watkins become aware of financial reporting problems within their companies? Which of the nine alternatives listed on page 348 ( or other variations) did Cooper or Watkins take? How did the public become aware of their concerns? What pressures did Cooper or Watkins face to suspend their ethical judgments or drop their concerns? Who would have benefited if Cooper or Watkins had dropped their concerns? What information is reported in the article about WorldCom’s or Enron’s code of ethics, communication of the code, and system of reporting violations of the code? What role did personal norms play in cooper’s and Watkins’s decisions to report the problems they had discovered? What consequences did Cooper and Watkins face for reporting the problems? If you had been in Watkins’s or Cooper’s place, what would you have done. Answer: This response describes what is reported about Sherron Watkins’s experiences at Enron. Numbers in square brackets refer to the references listed at the end of the responses for this case. (a) Watkins discovered problems in the summer of 2001, while working on an assignment for Andrew Fastow, who was then Enron’s chief financial officer. Watkins stated the following [2]: … I was charged with reviewing all assets that Enron considered for sale and determining the likely economic impact of sale. As part of the sale analysis, I reviewed the estimated book values and market values of each asset. A number of assets were hedged with an entity called Raptor. Any asset that was hedged should, for the most part, have a locked-in sales value for Enron, meaning that despite current market prices, Enron should realize the hedged price of the Raptor. It was my understanding that the Raptor special-purpose entities were owned by LJM, a partnership run by Mr. Fastow. In completing my work, certain Enron business units provided me with analyses that showed certain of the hedged losses that had been incurred by Raptor were actually coming back to Enron. … the Raptor hedge had declined in value such that Raptor would have a shortfall and would be unable to fully cover the hedge price that it owed Enron. I was highly alarmed by the information I was receiving. My understanding as an accountant is that a company could never use its own stock to generate a gain or avoid a loss on its income statement. I continued to ask questions and seek answers, primarily from former co-workers in the global finance group or in the business units that had hedged assets with Raptor. I never heard reassuring explanations. Watkins’s response is summarized in [4]. (b) Watkins appears to have considered or attempted to implement options 1 or 4. Option 1 is to point out the discrepancy to a superior, understanding that this may lead to dismissal. When Watkins became aware of the accounting problems at Enron, she did not want to challenge Fastow or then-CEO Jeffrey Skilling about the problems until she had another job lined up, because it would have been “a job-terminating move” [2]. She interviewed for a position at Reliant Energy and planned to “sign a new job contract and confront Skilling on her last day at Enron” [4]. When Skilling suddenly resigned on August 14, 2001, the new CEO, Kenneth Lay, invited all employees to submit questions for an August 16 meeting at which Lay would talk about Skilling’s resignation. Watkins submitted to Lay an anonymous letter with the statement, “I am incredibly nervous that we will implode in a wave of accounting scandals” [4]. On August 16, Watkins discussed her memo with Cindy Olson, then vice president for human resources. Upon Olson’s advice Watkins arranged to meet with Lay personally, on August 22. Watkins prepared a memo detailing her concerns. She included the following quote from a manager-level employee: “…I wish we would get caught. We are such a crooked company” [2, 5 (p. 367)]. Watkins hoped that after the first memo, “the company would act on her suggestions, come clean, and avert disaster” [5, p. 321]. After Watkins met with Lay, he promised follow up on Watkins’s concerns. Watkins asked to be transferred from Fastow’s group. Thus, after Skilling’s resignation, Watkins appears to have been following option 4: Work with respected leaders in the organization to change the discrepancy between practiced and stated ethics. Watkins’s memos became public because her memos were part of the many, many documents subpoenaed by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Soon after a congressional investor read the memos, Watkins and her memos became national news [5, pp. 345-347]. Reference [3] states simply that “a congressional subcommittee investigating Enron’s collapse released [the memo].” (c) As stated in part (b), Watkins certainly felt pressured not to challenge Fastow and Skilling, regardless of the issue. Her information raised serious concerns about extremely serious accounting improprieties, and conflicts of interest for Fastow. (d) Enron’s 2000 on-line annual report lists four key values: communication, respect, integrity, and excellence [6]. Enron distributed illustrated booklets listing these four values [5, p. 103], and Skilling and Lay narrated a video discussing the four values. The video was given to all employees [5, p. 104]. Nevertheless, top management did not consistently demonstrate the stated values. When Watkins, Cooper, and Rowley were asked why others did not do what these three did, they agreed that it was “the value system at the top” [1]. For example, Lay demonstrated lack of ethical leadership by insisting that Enron employees use his sister’s travel agency [5, p. 36]. A job satisfaction survey at Enron in the mid-1990s revealed that many people felt uneasy about expressing their opinions at Enron. Lay and Skilling promised corrective action. Consistent with this, the company distributed stick-note pads with this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” [4]. In contrast to management’s official position encouraging people to speak up about important matters, Watkins discovered that very shortly after she met with Lay to discuss her concerns, Enron’s lawyers provided information to management about legal issues related to firing whistleblowers [4]. Watkins discovered this in February 2002. She commented, “There’s nothing in there to remind them to remember the code of conduct, the vision and values” [4]. (e) The Time interviewers described the three persons of the year as follows [3]: … none of them are rebels in the usual sense. The truest of true believers is more like it, ever faithful to the idea that where they worked was a place that served the wider world in some important way. Cooper explicitly mentioned “values and ethics that you learn through your life” [1] and Rowley and Watkins appear to agree. In other interview statements, Watkins refers to Johnson & Johnson doing the right thing in response to the Tylenol scare [1]. After her meeting with Lay to discuss the problems she had uncovered, Watkins felt that she had “done the hardest thing in my life, but I had carried the torch and dropped it off” [4]. Reference [4] describes Watkins as independent and known for openly stating her opinions and being able to support them. (f) As mentioned in (d), Watkins discovered that very shortly after she met with Lay to discuss her concerns, Enron’s lawyers explored the ramifications of firing her in relation to whistle blowing [4]. Her hard drive was seized, she was forced to move from her executive suite to a plain office, and given work of little substance [4]. She feared for her safety [4]. (g) This question is designed to challenge students to think about and discuss how they will make ethical decisions, especially in the face of severe personal consequences. In addition, students may propose other courses of action that Watkins could have taken. For example, some former Enron employees think Watkins should have informed the Securities and Exchange Commission [4]. Watkins said that in retrospect, she would have gone to the board [1]. [1] Anonymous. “The Interview,” http://www.time.com/time/personoftheyear/2002/poyqa.html, posted December 22, 2002; 4:31 A.M. EST. Print version: New York:Time. December 30, 2002-January 6, 2003, Vol. 160, Iss. 27; p. 58. [2] Anonymous. “Enron’s Many Strands; ‘Lone Voice’: Excerpts from the Testimony of Executive Who Challenged Enron,” The New York Times (February 15, 2002), Late Edition—Final, Section C, Page 7, Column 1, Business/Financial Desk. [3] Lacayo, R. and A. Ripley. “Persons of the Year,” New York: Time. December 30, 2002–January 6, 2003, Vol. 160, Iss. 27; p. 32. [4] Morse, J. and A. Bower. “The Party Crasher,” http://www.time.com/time/personoftheyear/2002/poywatkins.html, posted December 22, 2002; 4:31 A.M. EST. Print version: New York: Time. December 30, 2002-January 6, 2003, Vol. 160, Iss. 27; p. 53. [5] Swartz, M. and S. Watkins. Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of ENRON. New York:Doubleday, 2003. [6] http://www.enron.com/corp/investors/annuals/2000/ourvalues.html, viewed February 15, 2003.,Hi, It is not a word limit requirement for the assignment. I just need to reword the answers to guarantee that my answer is an original, because this is a solution guide. Thank you.,Hi, I need to send the paper tomorrow morning, so I want to know when can you send me the answer. Thank you !!!

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