Question: What are your reflections and reactions
Response: Fraud takes place in most organizations when employees liaise with the management to steal from the firm. Auditors are contacted by the management of organizations with the aim of finding out whether the financial statements represent a true and fair view of the firm. Auditors go through the financial statements and trace back expenses while checking the receipts to verify that they are true. This affirms that statements are true and that no amount of money has been lost in the organization. Employees who are found to take part in illegal activities that siphon money out of the organization must face a disciplinary team while any member of the management team who engages in such activities must be taken to the board and committee members to determine the course of action they will take with him or her. I think that embezzlement and misuse of company resources are wrong and anyone found to be engaging in such illegal activities should be punished.
Question: Refer back to the Quinn reading. Was Vinson in survival mode? Explain. Contrast Vinson's actions to Cynthia Cooper actions. Was Cooper in survival mode? Why or why not? Do you think Vinson went along and participated while Cooper not only goes along but also chose to expose the financial wrongdoing?
Response: Vinson was in survival mode since she was obeying the orders from her bosses as a way to protect her job and remain relevant even though she was doing the wrong thing (Pulliam 1). Vinson's actions are against the accounting rules that must be upheld by anyone who works in the accounting department. Unlike Cooper, Vinson chose to prepare untrue financial statements in a bid to satisfy the needs and demands of her bosses. Cooper was not in survival mode since she chose to follow the strict accounting guidelines and principles to identify the source of fraud for the conflicting figures that Vinson reported. According to Pulliam and Solomon (258), Cooper had the legal obligation to verify the information presented to her since she served as an internal auditor. Vinson went along and participated even though she was aware that she broke the accounting rules while Cooper chose to remain trustworthy and honest. Cooper's choice to expose the financial wrongdoing was an excellent idea since it helped protect the interest of external shareholders that were interested in the status and performance of WorldCom.
Question: Relate back to the Kim Cameron Material from the textbook. Can you tie Cooper into Cameron's idea of virtuousness? Explain.
Response: Cooper's idea of virtuousness can be tied down to that of Cameron. This is because an employee must remain honest in his or her dealings with a company. In addition, when one chooses to pursue a certain career, he or she must be willing to remain committed to the rules and guidelines that dictate the industry. Cooper remained committed to the auditor's rules that honesty and trustworthiness should be observed in the workplace, to ensure that the interests of the shareholders are protected. This confirms that sometimes the management of an organization, who are the overseers, may engage in unlawful activities and liaise with the accountant to lie to the shareholders. However, an auditor confirms the status of the financial statements and maintains the virtuousness character.
Question: In reflecting the two WorldCom readings (Cooper and Vinson), comment on the leadership aspects you can identify.
Response: Leadership aspects that were easily identified in the two WorldCom readings are motivation and influence. It is evident that leaders influence the decisions that employees make both in the short-term and in the long-term, some of which are wrong and others right. For instance, the leadership in WorldCom motivated Vinson to do write and post improper financial readings even though she knew it was wrong. However, Cooper demonstrated that employees do not need to be negatively influenced by their leaders as they have the right to say yes or no. It means that as a leader, one should stand for what is right and avoid influencing others negatively.
Pulliam, S., and D. Solomon. "Uncooking the books: How three unlikely sleuths discovered fraud at Worldcom-Company's own sniffed at cryptic clues and followed hunches-Miss Cooper says no to her boss." The Wall Street Journal30 (2002).
Pulliam, Susan. "Over the Line: A Staffer Ordered to Commit Fraud Balked, then Caved Pushed by WorldCom Bosses, Accountant Betty Vinson Helped Cook the Books-a Confession at the Marriott." Wall Street Journal A 1 (2003).
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