Can you provide examples of an ethical accountant with strong moral values who follows the rules and regulations?
WHITE-HAT ACCOUNTANT WITH MORAL COURAGE
James F. Alderson Was Working As a Finance Officer at Montana Hospital, America. One of the management members Mr. Eder asked him to make two different sets of the cost report. One for the government and one for themselves. James F. Alderson oppose this and refused to make two different cost reports as it was fraudulent activity and against law and also not ethical. He got fired after refusing to do this and not being able to a job that pays well. With all these obstacles he didn’t stop he fought a long battle by filing a lawsuit. For this, he suffered a lot with his family. In the end, he won and got a good reward. But it was not easy. Everything was going well until 1990 when the existing management moved to a new job and the hospital decided to hire a new management Quorum.
The new management Quorum start their Later he found many organizations are involved with these similar types of fraudulent and suspicious activities, it included HCA and some of its subsidiaries. In a management meeting, Quorum’s top management explained to James F. Alderson how they prepared two cost seats, one they submitted to the Government preparing two different types of cost reposts by putting fake expenses to the government. and another they used to keep with them for backup. The top management also asked James F. Alderson to create two cost seats to manipulate the Government by showing fake expenses in the report. James F. Alderson was an honest and ethical person. He then and there refused to do this and as a result, after a few days, he got fired. This not only makes James F. Alderson suffer but his family too (Miethe, 2019, p.37).
Alderson called his friend Mr. Jessup, the hospital’s former administrator. And explained the incident that happened to him. Mr. Jessup asked Alderson to file a lawsuit against Quorum which he saw in an interview recently. This gave a solution to Alderson’s problem. Then in 1992, Mr. Alderson wrote a letter to the Attorney General of the United States, to bring this issue in front of him. This process was very slow but so the patient was Alderson. He got a reply from the department, it was to start an investigation that require a written complaint at the Federal Courthouse in Butte. Mr. Alderson did so and the investigation started.
In May the investigation speeds up. In August, the investigators wanted to meet Mr. Alderson to get more details about the fraud. And Mr. Anderson decided he would need a cost export to explain the case more neatly to The Government. They both studied all the documents well and went to the judiciary court to brief about the case but then realized that he need a lawyer to oppose the government lawyers which he has to pay in his pocket. He took a flight to California to hire the lawyer Mr. Meagher. Alderson explained him everything and he took the case. It gave great hope to Mr. Alderson, He has already sacrificed many things for this. After a year finally, the day came when he won and all got to know him as a whistleblower. The government awarded him and he got appreciation from the organization he was working in. The hospital said didn’t pick the right person to run the management (Rosenthal, 2020, p.186).
A quorum was preparing two sets of cost records and entering fake expenses in the report to show more lager reimbursements to the Government. This could create social issues like an increased tax burden on the government. This will increase the tax burden of the common tax paper. These types of activities are fraudulent and unethical activities. This will create legal disputes which will later bring other employees into a problem (Trevino and Nelson, 2014, p.6).
James Alderson proved that one person’s courage and ethic can make a difference. This investigation was the largest Government investigation in history. His moral courage and ethics inspire and encourage many accountants and other professionals. One’s honesty and effort can truly make a difference, in history and can inspire many.
Miethe, T. D. (2019). Whistleblowing at work: Tough choices in exposing fraud, waste, and abuse on the job. Routledge.
Rosenthal, M. S. (2020). The Unethical American Healthcare System: Sicko (2007). In Healthcare Ethics on Film (pp. 185-228). Springer, Cham.
Trevino, L. and K. Nelson. 2014. Managing Business Ethics – Straight Talk About How To Do It Right. 6th Edition. Wiley.