(Solution Download) 1 Identify the ethical issues in this case 2 Who


1. Identify the ethical issues in this case.
2. Who are the stakeholders and what are their stakes?
3. What is your appraisal of the ethics of the travel expense billing practices described in the case? What are the ethical arguments for and against them?
4. Did Roberts?s complaint to the ethics department help or not? Did his firm seem receptive to his concerns?
5. What does the travel billing practice tell you about the culture of professional firms such as accountants, consultants, lawyers? Does it make you wonder what other practices are being used in which the clients are not being informed?
6. The case ended with the company paying a huge settlement and eventually providing the discounts to the clients that Roberts and others were calling for. Is this a case of a firm?s greed and self-interest getting in the way of their sense of fairness to their customers?
7. What is your assessment of the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act? Does this provide a financial incentive for employees to want to gather ?dirt? on their employers and use it for their own financial gain? What are the strengths and weaknesses of such a law?

Early in 2000, Neal A. Roberts, an employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the major accounting firm, learned that his employer was earning millions of dollars a year by way of a billing practice that he thought was questionable. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the accounting Goliath, had been collecting large rebates on airline tickets and other travel expenses being charged as expenses to clients of the firm. It turns out that these rebates were not being returned to the firm?s clients in the form of savings, but rather, the firm was keeping these rebates for itself. In short, travel expenses had become a source of profits for the firm, and their unknowing clients were footing the bill.

 







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