manage the internal and external reporting | My Assignment Tutor

This material is part of the Giving Voice to Values curriculum collection (www.Giv ingVoiceToValues.org).The Aspen Institute was f ounding partner, along with the Yale School of Management, and incubator f or Giving Voice to Values (GVV).Now Funded by Babson College.Do not alter or distribute without permission. © Mary C. Gentile, 20101Is This My Place? …Speaking “UP” (A)1Ben was pleased when he was hired out of college, with an accounting degree, to manage the internaland external reporting for a non-profit organization whose work he respected. The organization collecteddonations of medical supplies from U.S. producers and shipped them to developing countries where theneed was great and where they had partnerships with service providers on the ground.It was a small, thinly-staffed office and that also appealed to Ben. He knew their small size was thereason he had the opportunity to take on so much responsibility so quickly, and he approved of the thinoperating expenses. The more efficient their operations, the greater the services they could provide tothe individuals who most needed them.However, shortly after starting work, he began to see the downside of the organization’s thin staffing.The Executive Director was over-worked and stressed. Although by nature a micro-manager, necessitydictated that she delegate everything she could to her staff. And he quickly began to recognize that theorganization had no formal system for monitoring the value of donated supplies for tax purposes. Theyrelied on donors who might feel pressures from their own organizations to inflate the values.Ben struggled with several questions at first: shouldn’t he just trust the donors? After all, they wereengaging in corporate philanthropy. And how much did it really matter? The point was to get thesupplies to those who needed them overseas. He didn’t want to do anything that would discourage thedonations. And he felt confident his Executive Director was aware of the conflict but just didn’t see it asa priority. In fact, when instructing staff on what she needed from them with regard to reporting, sheoften commented that she wasn’t interested in “data,” but rather focused on relationships and real worldimpacts. Wouldn’t she know better than he did how to prioritize this issue? And where was theorganization’s accountant on this question?On the other hand, as time went on, Ben became quite certain that some of their donors were deceivingthe IRS, and that he – and his organization – were enabling that deception. He knew he didn’t want to bepart of that.1This case was inspired by interviews and observations of actual experiences but names and other situational details havebeen changed for confidentiality and teaching purposes.This material is part of the Giving Voice to Values curriculum collection (www.Giv ingVoiceToValues.org).The Aspen Institute was f ounding partner, along with the Yale School of Management, and incubator f or Giving Voice to Values (GVV).Now Funded by Babson College.Do not alter or distribute without permission. © Mary C. Gentile, 20102And although he was young, he was a cocky sort. In fact, it had been his outspoken identification of anaccounting error during his interview that had secured him the job in the first place, despite his relativeyouth. Of course, that error was simply a mistake and had had no ethical implications.What should he say, to whom, when and how?Discussion QuestionsWhat are the main arguments Ben is trying to counter? That is, what are the reasons andrationalizations you need to address?What’s at stake for the key parties, including those with whom Ben disagrees?What levers/arguments can Ben use to influence those with whom he disagrees?What is Ben’s most powerful and persuasive response to the reasons and rationalizations heneeds to address?Last Revised: 02/28/2010

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