Jacquie Boyton was just hired as the assistant treasurer of Key West Stores. The company is a specialty chain store with nine retail stores concentrated in one metropolitan area. Among other things, the payment of all invoices is centralized in one of the departments Jacquie will manage. Her primary responsibility is to maintain the company’s high credit rating by paying all bills when due and to take advantage of all cash discounts.
Phelan Carter, the former assistant treasurer who has been promoted to treasurer, is training Jacquie in her new duties. He instructs Jacquie that she is to continue the practice of preparing all checks ‘net of discount’ and dating the checks on the last day of the discount period. ‘But,’ Phelan continues, ‘we always hold the checks at least 4 days beyond the discount period before mailing them. That way, we get another 4 day of interest on our money. Most of our creditors need our business and don’t complain. And, if they scream about our missing discount period, we blame it on the mailroom or the post office. We’ve only lost one discount out of every hundred we take that way. I think everybody does it. But by the way, welcome to our team.’
a) What are the ethical consideration in this case?
b) Who are the stakeholders that are harmed or benefitted in this situation?
c) Should Jacquie continue the practice started by Phelan? Does she have any choice?