Integrity, professionalism, public interest, and due care are some of the main objectives that an account should focus on when preparing an organization’s financial statements. Although an accountant has the duty to protect and safeguard the interest of his/ her employer, he/ she still has the fiducial duty of ensuring that the financial statements that he/ she presents are true and they reflect the realities in a business. In effect, an accountant has the duty to protect the interest of all stakeholders in the business.
Despite the desire to portray a business as been capable of handling various tasks, an organization must disclose its actual performance to its stakeholders. In this case, the business should not exaggerate its capability as was the case with Special Electronics Incorporation (SEI), which lied about its production capacity. In addition, a business must conduct its business with integrity (AICPA, 138-144). The ethical concern for SEI as pertaining integrity was on how it lied that it was the manufacturer of the components used in the prototype. Finally, a business must manufacture high-quality products. The act of negligence shown by SEI, where it manufactured products without carrying enough tests on their quality is unethical.
Despite the vivid ethical issues that are present in the company’s, there are ethical dilemmas that are dependent on Mary’s actions. Firstly, although the company used fraudulent means to win the tender, it has started to improve on the quality of its product, an issue that is pleasing to the military. Further, if she discloses this irregularity, it would make SEI to lose its contract, which would affect the interest of the shareholder whose interest she is protecting.
Mary Johnson has the moral and legal duty to report this irregularity to both the company’s board of governance and relevant legal and accounting institutions. In particular, she can report this issue to the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), who may issue disciplinary actions against the company’s management. In addition, by her disclosing this problem, she will be protecting the interest of all stakeholders in the industry (AICPA 138-145). To begin with, she will protect the shareholders, who have a high valuation of the company, yet in reality, it is manufacturing low-quality products. Moreover, she will protect them from possible penalties that may occur if the military discovers this irregularity. She will also protect the interest of the military by ensuring that they get high-quality equipment.
AICPA. (2016). AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. New York, NY: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Inc.