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Anna is a Human Resources agent in a growing organization, she is also a very close friend to you. She has done an incredible job for the company and is well loved by all who work with her. You work in the accounting department and as you are reviewing an expense report, you begin to notice that there has been dubious spending on the company account. Including groceries, clothing and luxury items that were not approved by the company. Anna is the only person who has access to company funds, and reporting such a large offence will definitely result in her losing her job.

Sample CASPer Questions:

1. What is going through your mind?

Firstly, I will need to resolve the conflict involving these discretionary expenses and trace them to a source based on evidence. Though Anna is the only one who has access to company funds, I can’t confidently conclude that Anna is culpable without doing some investigation. It will be important to verify who’s been spending the money to avoid legal repercussions. Some companies authorize employees to use company credit cards for buying certain supplies or for gas, so perhaps the items that were purchased were authorized.  And even though using a company card for personal use isn’t immediately illegal, it is financially irresponsible for the company to conflate different expenses from an accounting perspective. 

2. What should you do?

Firstly, I would privately and calmly speak with Anna; not because I’m assuming she’s doing the spending, but because she is the only person, to my knowledge at this point, who has access to the card. I will if she knows why there are various personal expenses on the company account. If it becomes clear Anna isn’t the culprit, but someone was indeed wrongly using the account for personal use, I would inform our employer and help with the investigation, using the company account history as a guide. During the investigation, I will ask other members of the human resources department to create and disseminate a new policy outlining what employees are and are not allowed to spend using the company card. However, if Anna admits that it was her, and she accidently used the company card to cover her own expenses, I would tell her that this is a problem because the company card could get cancelled or limited if we violate policy, and that it's generally more difficult to manage our accounts if expenses are mixed together. At this point, I will have to inform our superior. Even though Anna is my friend, there are some serious consequences that could get the business into trouble if they aren’t resolved. Our employer might decide that Anna owes restitution, but this is for our employer to determine, not me.  

3. Describe a time when you made an ethical decision that was not popular with others.

I was working on a group presentation for a research assignment for one of my university classes and I had to ask the professor if I could switch to another group. In the initial stages of the assignment, our group was working well together. The research project, which was survey-based, went well and our results were significant. However, when it came to the writing portion and building the presentation, my three other partners weren’t pulling their weight. I tried organizing meetings and study sessions, but some of them wouldn’t attend. I created an online group messenger, but they were mostly unresponsive. I found that I was doing all the work, and with two weeks to the presentations, I went to the professor. He told me that I could either join someone else’s project, or present the project I’ve been working on, on my own. I chose the latter, which meant that my groupmates would get a lower grade for their lack of contribution. My groupmates were upset, so in a calm, non-accusatory manner, I explained, I understood that there were perhaps reasons for their lack of contribution that I wasn’t aware of, but that it wasn’t optimal for me to do all the work. In addition, my attempts to communicate with my team members on many occasions were ignored, even when I accounted for potentially preferred communication methods such as text, video call, and in-person meetings. 

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