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Business ethics (BBDE Health Center)

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Business ethics are the moral principles that determine the approach of any company towards its operations. An ethical person has the capabilities to differentiate right from wrong and make the right choice. A morally upright person finds it easy to identify unethical business practices. Businesses should always abide by the law since it is the preparatory point for all businesses. This is the reason why businesses have their own proclamation of moralities that spell out their fundamental tenets and criterions that direct them. The purpose of the current paper is to identify the ethical issues arising before BBDE health center, analyze the issues and give recommendations on how to deal with them.

Issue statement

The CEO of BBDE Center, Rulan, has taken some questionable actions, for example, not handing in any receipts or airfare ticket stubs to Jamie, the accounts payable check. Rulan submitted a travel itinerary that was printed five weeks before the trip and also included motel receipts from different cities, taxi receipts, visa acquiring receipts, and a meal per-diem request form for his wife (Miller,Peffer, Sooy, & Stone, 2014). In addition to that, Rulan always had his children included in the trips meant for the troubled youth. Rulan made the company decision without including anyone in the process.

The board of directors acted questionably by signing and authorizing the travel check that amounted to $ 6,140.50 which was quite a large amount of money. Rulan went round Europe before the conference date. Worse still, Rulan’s wife travelled with him, and the company covered the expenses. Furthermore, Dave Brooks, a board of directors’ member and a local surgeon, acted wrongly when, instead of standing up to Rulan, he went to discuss these confidential matters involving the top management and the board of directors with one of the employees. (Miller et al., 2014). Don Blake, the company controller, didn’t do anything about the information he received concerning the fraudulent activities that were taking place, which was unethical as well.

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Analysis

Following the events described above, Rulan’s misuse of company funds was discovered, and this has landed him in a lawsuit. Rulan wanted to take advantage of the property being purchased for the kids aided by the BBDE Center for his own use. It was detected that he presented personal expenses for the company to incur (Miller et al., 2014). Rulan has also lost direction since insignificant things like the color of the carpet seem to interest him more than developing corporate strategies to help the company. Don Blake was also affected by these events; he cannot work properly anymore after he discovered many unethical issues that do not add up. Besides holding the title of a controller, Don spends most of his time preparing medical reports; he should be supervising, planning, making decisions and implementing strategies that will help the company.

The board is also affected by the lawsuit caused by Rulan’s selfishness and the fact that they authorized his trips and expenses that were not transparent. The board has lost strategic direction which may lead to the collapse of BBDE. The board was wrong to be involved in unethical issues with Rulan instead of correcting or even firing him. The employees of BBDE Center have become dishonest and lack integrity since they demand reimbursement for any reasonably receipted airline ticket. The funding sources are greatly affected as they keep injecting funds to the center for a smooth running but the funds are mishandled, misused and misappropriated (Miller et al., 2014).

Recommendations

To resolve all these issues, the CEO, the controller and the board of directors should take corrective actions. The CEO should practice honesty and integrity and start doing things the right way. First, he should be honest with his expenditures and differentiate personal and work-related expenses and be ethical enough to present only the official receipts that the company should incur. He should also be fully responsible socially and give back to the community without gaining in the process. For example, the property that was attained should only benefit the kids helped by BBDE Center and not provide profit for Rulan from placing horses on the land (Miller et al., 2014). The CEO should go back to implementing the mission and vision of the company to provide behavioral health services to individuals and stop being more focused on how he and his family can benefit. Rulan should also include the employees in the process of making decisions that affect the company.

The board of directors should keep in mind that they are the guards of the company, and they should be accountable for the activities of the company and ensure that there are no misappropriations. The board of directors should ensure the maximization of the organization’s profit and the shareholders’ wealth. They should not authorize exaggerated budgets and neither should they authorize unofficial expenses. The board should threaten the CEO with dismissal to make him work for the good of the company. Lastly, the board should be more careful with handling the resources of the organization (Miller et al., 2014).

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The controller should also do his work properly and always keep in mind that he should not simply count the figures but make sure that the receipts he works with are real and reasonable. He should certify that all the expenditures are accompanied with a receipt or coupon(Miller et al., 2014). If the controller bears in mind all the accounting doctrines and principles, all the books of accounts will be kept properly. Properly kept records advocate for accountability hence speed up the auditing process and ensure the records showing a true and fair view of the organization. The controller should also address the management with any ambiguities that might be going on.

Following IMA guidance, Don Blake should present his concerns to his immediate boss, Randy, as he already did (The Association for Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business, n.d.). Don wasn’t satisfied with how Randy handled the issue. Therefore, he should forward these issues to the board of directors as they involve the company director and he can’t solve them himself. Among the four standards, Don should adopt competence, credibility, and integrity (The Association for Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business, n.d.). The guidance by the IMA is not appropriate because the board of directors is the final step in settling these issues but they are partly involved in the problems.

In conclusion, the organization personnel and the board of directors should be morally accountable for all activities and constantly do what is expected of them. They should embrace the honorable qualities such as trustworthiness, truthfulness, reliability, proficiency and discretion. An ethical business prospers when all its procedures are transparent.

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