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Posted by:
Anthony Asher

What would you do? Your weekly ethical dilemma challenge

A company is going through the interview process in order to hire a chief financial officer. In the last interview session, each of three finalists is given the company's financial data and asked by the CEO, ‘What are the net earnings?’

Two applicants diligently compute the net earnings. Neither of them gets the job. The candidate who lands the position answers the question by replying, ‘What do you want them to be?’

What would you do? What ethical considerations would you give to your decision-making? Why? Why not? 

We encourage you to post your answers in the comments so we can create a healthy discussion, with the aim of learning from our peers, becoming aware of differing perspectives and challenging our own biases.

We need more dilemmas please! If you would like to submit an ethical dilemma to feature in an upcoming weekly challenge please email: dilemma@thebfo.org.   

Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash

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Caroline on Monday, 15 Jul 2019
Agree with Martin P - honesty and integrity is key. I would always look for the goodness in people.
Martin Pearce on Tuesday, 09 Jul 2019
If I am the company owner and/or director being part of this decision, I would actually want a person who is going to be honest, accurate and compliant to all external interested parties eg banks, ATO, Accountants, ASIC etc. A person asking that question to me indicates someone who is likely to produce accounts that will be questionable and more than likely to be inaccurate or doctored. He wouldn't get the job in my eyes.

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