Charles is a victim of intimidation as he has to alter the company's financial reports so he can regain his job. He is under pressure to ensure that the company looks successful on the outside, yet the revenue flow states differently. Therefore, Charles cannot maintain accurate financial reports on the profits, liabilities, and assets as the company's President instructs him to record more sales. The President at the beginning of Charles' job warns him not to cross him, or he will make his career in Atlanta City difficult. The President tells Charles that he risks never working again in the city.
During the second year of Charles' job as Chief Financial Officer, he divorced his wife, and he now had less time to spend with his two children. Because of his President's threat, he opts not to disobey his instructions as Charles thinks he would have to look for another job outside Atlanta, which means he would have a difficult time seeing his children. Charles is also insecure about getting another job with the same salary and level of benefits, especially in Atlanta, where his President has considerable influence. Charles is fearful of a financial strain that could impact his children's life.
Possible Actions to Avoid the Ethical Dilemma
Charles, in this case, should try and talk to the company's President about the issue. It is unethical and illegal for Charles to edit the company's financial statements. It paints the picture of a successful company on the outside, but it only lasts for a short while. Charles should explain the impact of the action on the President as it will damage the reputation of the company if it is discovered (Amiram et al., 2018).
Its position in the Security and Exchange Commission will be under a massive threat if the company is found guilty of fraud. Charles should explain to the President that the action will have a significant impact on the long-term success of the company, so it is better to stick to the truth in reporting the financial statements of the company (Amiram et al., 2018). With the above, Charles can stand a high chance of not losing his job and staying on good terms with his President.
I have previous experience at the Department of Social Service, with the ethical issue being the misappropriation of assets. Some of the executives were using the company's money to pay for expenses not included in their allowances. The most common one was paying for their meals and hotel costs when they were not in the company duty, which is against the company protocol.
Securities and Exchange Commission
If the Securities and Exchange Commission discovers the fraud, both Charles and his President will get in trouble. This is because they are both committing an illegal offense in editing their financial report (Donelson et al., 2017). The company will lose its position in the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Charles and his President will be charged with fraud.
Charles' President is guilty because he orders the action and allows it to continue on his watch, yet he knows it is illegal. Charles is guilty of acting even though he is a whistleblower in the process (Donelson et al., 2017). He has the responsibility to refuse to take part in the fraud or report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Amiram, D., Bozanic, Z., Cox, J. D., Dupont, Q., Karpoff, J. M., & Sloan, R. (2018). Financial Reporting Fraud and Other Forms of Misconduct: A Multidisciplinary Review of the Literature. Review of Accounting Studies, 23(2), 732-783. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11142-017-9435-x
Donelson, D. C., Ege, M., & McInnis, J. M. (2017). Internal Control Weaknesses and Financial Reporting Fraud. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2449287
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