Business Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a business question and need guidance to help me learn.

Description

In MAA250 you are learning to apply your ethical principles to real-world problems. In this assignment, you’ll

be applying your learning about ethics and ethical decision-making to a case scenario, as you’ve been doing in

the weekly seminars. Coming to an understanding of your own ethical approach and how others have theorized

ethics is important for all professionals.

Write your analysis as if you were a financial professional. That means your word choice, the terminology you

use, your spelling and punctuation, and the structure of each response must be appropriate for a professional,

and well-informed, audience. This is important to keep in mind as you draft, edit, and proofread your

responses.

Please note that there are two parts to the assessment task, PART A and PART B, both sections are required to

be addressed.

Specific Requirements – PART A:

Ethical Dilemma

Harry Potter is an Accounting and Financial Planning graduate from Hogwarts Business School in the UK. He

joined a top Financial Planning firm called Wizard Finance Planning in Melbourne and has just started to settle

into Australia, Melbourne and his role. It is a big change for Harry to move across continents. He was welcomed

by the company and provided with an induction and a strong mentoring system which is in place at Wizard.

Harry has always been a model student during his time at university and graduated with distinction and

honours.

From the first week of work, Harry was able to sign up some big clients for their investment products which

brought him significant recognition within the firm. The achievements empowered him with his work and

looked forward to growing his skills and abilities through the mentorship program and professional

development within Financial Planning. Wizard Finance is a relatively close-knit organisation and they usually

multi-task given the limited number of staff within the organisation. It is expected that a staff member would

also assist in other areas of work such as marketing, finance and reporting divisions of the company. Harry was

assigned mentor who was the Head of his division, Lucius Malfoy. Lucius had significant experience and a large

group of clients under his belt in the company and is considered a veteran in the industry.

Harry was asked by Lucius to assist with preparing the financials for his division given the person handling this

was allocated to another project. While Harry was going through some of the financial records, he discovered a range of significant and material costs arbitrarily allocated as other expenses including being classified as

donations. On further investigation and looking at the original source documents, you found that some of

these expenses were used for lavish spending on staff “training, development and team building

entertainment” programs. However, there were extended concerns when you learnt that these events were

also attended mostly by friend and family of Lucius and other senior colleagues in other divisions and expensed

against Lucius’s division budget.

Harry has also discovered that this has been happening for a while and these events were considered as the

norm by Lucius, though there are clear guidelines within the company policies which does not support these

activities and the current classifications & disclosures of such expenses may not be appropriate. Furthermore,

there may be additional external implications of the cost classification within the Tax system and the ATO,

which may have fringe benefit tax implications.

Based on Harry’s education at Hogwarts Business School and induction training within Wizard Financial

Planning, Harry is of the view that these activities and expenditures may not an appropriate use of company

resources and also not a beneficial use of corporate funds given significant part of it is used mostly on non

employees. You are also concerned that it may be breaching corporate policy and possibly tax laws. Harry has

also calculated that given the significance of the expenditure, there was scope to reduce the consulting fees

and give a better deal to the financial planning clients if these material costs were reduced, which may lead to

an increase in the client base with more competitive consulting fee structures, resulting in increased profits

for the firm.

Harry is considered a rising star within Wizard Financial Planning and as mentioned above, is creating a name

for himself not only with Lucius but also with extended senior managers in parallel divisions and his fellow

peers. Harry had attended one of these events with Lucius in the past, and now he is more reluctant to attend

them after realising that its more of a “private party” atmosphere as opposed to genuine training, team

building and networking for staff.

Harry feels that given the circumstances, he needs to fully evaluate the current situation and context and raise

the issue with the appropriate chain of command. However, given that the financial task was allocated to him

by Lucius and Lucius is significantly involved with the events in question, Harry is unsure whether it is best to

go to him in the first instance. Harry also feels that his actions will have a significant impact on his future career

prospects within Wizard Financial Planning and also with some of the other Financial Planning firms, given

Lucius’s extensive reputation within the industry. You feel that if angered, Lucius may influence his contacts

within the industry to exclude you for gaining a position in other Financial Planning firms.

There are number of implications of the findings. There may be a possibility that legal proceedings may be

brought against the firm by the ATO due to fringe benefit tax implications, which may lead to reputational loss

of Wizard Financial Planning. This may have a significant impact on the going concern of Wizard. Overall,

Wizard Financial Planning has been providing significant service to its clients and if the firm goes into

administration and eventual closure, it may affect a significant stakeholder groups including clients and

employees.

Harry is at cross-roads in terms of what actions he should take. What will be Harry’s best course of action?

Please use the following guidelines in addressing the issue.

Page 2 of 9PART A:

In responding to the case, you must do the followings:

1. Outline and detail the ethical decision-making model of your choice (300 words)

2. Justify why you have chosen this model (as opposed to alternate models) as the approach to resolve the

ethical dilemma (200 words)

3. Apply the chosen model to the case. (1500 words)

Specific Requirements – PART B:

PART B is an opportunity for you to reflect on your personal and professional development in ethical

awareness and ethical decision making. In this assessment you are encouraged to draw upon your experiences

in this unit and PART A of the assessment task, and in your general ethical development, as both an individual

and as a future financial professional.

In preparing this self-reflection you must do the following:

1. Provide an initial overview of your ethical perspective when you completed the Ethical Lens Inventory:

reflect on what was new to you about the results, and what was already familiar to you.

2. Throughout the unit you had the opportunity to apply ethical perspectives and theories in seminars and

assessment tasks. With respect to applying your ethical perspective and views to resolve an ethical dilemma:

reflect on your strengths and blind spots. Provide an example from your personal experience and one

work/study example.

3. Reflect on what you have learned in this unit: what skills and values were you able to develop, and what

skills and values you need to further develop as a future professional.

Guidance on what will constitute a strong self-reflection can be found in the assessment rubric. In general,

you will need to demonstrate a genuine reflection of your ethical development and avoid making

generic statements on ethical theories, values, and principles. A good reflection will also incorporate

experiences from prior unit activities and assessment tasks when providing a reflection on your

ethical development. Importantly, you need to apply your understanding of the ethical theories and

principles learnt to date.

PART B:

1. Write a 500-word self-reflection on your ethics and your ethical development addressing the above

criteria.

Guidance on what will constitute a good case analysis and reflection can be found in the assessment rubric.

In general, you will need to understand well the facts of the case as opposed to simply restating information.

When applying your chosen model, it is important that you clearly identify the relevant stakeholders of

interest who would be affected by the chosen actions. Importantly, you need to apply your understanding of

the ethical theories and principles learnt to date.

Requirements: 2500

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