Southeast Suites operates a regional hotel chain. Each hotel is operated by a manager and an assistant
manager/controller. Many of the staff who run the front desk, clean the rooms, and prepare the breakfast buffet work part time or have a second job, so employee turnover is high.
Assistant manager/controller Terry Dunn asked the new bookkeeper to help prepare the hotel's master budget. The master budget is prepared once a year and is submitted to company headquarters for approval. Once approved, the master budget is used to evaluate the hotel's performance. These performance evaluations affect hotel managers' bonuses, and they also affect company decisions on which hotels deserve extra funds for capital improvements.
When the budget was almost complete, Dunn asked the bookkeeper to increase amounts budgeted for labor and supplies by 15%. When asked why, Dunn responded that hotel manager Clay Murry told her to do this when she began working at the hotel. Murry explained that this budgetary cushion gave him flexibility in running the hotel. For example, because company headquarters tightly controls capital improvement funds, Murry can use the extra money budgeted for labor and supplies to replace broken televisions or pay "bonuses" to keep valued employees. Dunn initially accepted this explanation because she had observed similar behavior at the hotel where she worked previously.
In deciding how to deal with the situation, answer the following questions:
1. What is the ethical issue?
2. What are the options?
3. What are the consequences?
4. What should be done?
1. When the manager asked the bookkeeper for increment in the budgeted amount by 15% for labor and supplies and he did not... View the full answer