You have recently been hired as the assistant controller for Stanton Industries. Your immediate superior is the controller who, in turn, reports to the vice president of finance.
The controller has assigned you the task of preparing the year-end adjustments. For receivables, you have prepared an aging of accounts receivable and have applied historical percentages to the balances of each of the age categories. The analysis indicates that an appropriate balance for Allowance for Uncollectible Accounts is $180,000. The existing balance in the allowance account prior to any adjustment is a $20,000 credit balance.
After showing your analysis to the controller, he tells you to change the aging category of a large account from over 120 days to current status and to prepare a new invoice to the customer with a revised date that agrees with the new aging category. This will change the required allowance for uncollectible accounts from $180,000 to $135,000.
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Tactfully, you ask the controller for an explanation for the change and he tells you, “We need the extra income; the bottom line is too low.”
Required: What is the effect on income before taxes of the change requested by the controller? Discuss the ethical dilemma you face. Consider your options and responsibilities along with the possible consequences of any action you might take. Who are the parties affected? What factors should you consider in making your decision? Each analysis will include a minimum of four sections:
1. Ethical situation and people who will be affected.
2. Options for alternative courses of action .
3. The impact of each option on the stakeholders.
4. Decision and reasoning underlying the decision.