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ACCT1046 Accounting In Organisations And Society

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Case Study

This is a private company with 30 shareholders, and it has a highly integrated industrial value chain.Currently, the company has 6 departments namely, the Research and Development, Manufacturing, Finance, Sales and Marketing, Distribution and Human Resources department with a total of 150 employees. Managers in each department are given the authority regarding operational decisions and their performance is measured based on the company’s profit. In order to cut down costs, the manufacturing department manufactures computers locally using parts that are mostly imported from different suppliers in Bangladesh and China. Recently, the manufacturing department manager heard that some of their suppliers are exploiting their workforce in order to produce these parts.
These workers are forced to work long hours in unsafe working conditions on very low wages. The former accountant is unsure who should be responsible to ensure the quality of working conditions and wages to the local staff of suppliers and so she has decided to ignore it. As well as the manufacturing manager, the CEO of this company has noticed the unprecedented awareness from customers on the company’s social responsibilities. Many customers expressed the idea that they would not purchase any unethically produced or environmentally unfriendly products. So the CEO is passionate about the social and environmental issues, and wonders what positive or negative social and environmental impact his company’s computers might have.

1. As a newly appointed accountant, you would like to have a better understanding of the new company. You believe the most efficient way is to identify important stakeholders. Identify five relevant stakeholder groups and discuss how different accounts could be used to satisfy each group’s information requirements.
2. Regarding the social and environment issue, you found the major difficulty faced by
the CEO is to identify the direct and indirect social and environmental impacts of the company’s operations. You have been asked to assist the CEO with this task and are required to draw the supply chain, and select one or two stages, identifying a total of four possible social and environment impacts. If the impact is detrimental either socially or environmentally, give suggestions to minimize the impact. If the impact is positive, give suggestions as to maximize the benefit.
3. After the CEO has discussed his view on social and environmental awareness of customers, the manufacturing department manager approaches you to seek your advice on whether an investigation into the working conditions of the factories of their overseas suppliers should occur. You believe that the manager should take action immediately as it is important to work with ethical suppliers. Give either one or two real life examples to discuss how a business could be negatively impacted if they are working with unethical suppliers.
4. The CEO is considering an investment of $1m to establish a sustainability department. The CEO uses the five step process (see Module 2 Topic 1) to make decisions, and is wondering how you as an accountant could assist in the decision making process. Advise the CEO on how you can assist with his decision making. Be specific and in your response make reference to the five step process.
5. Subsequently a plan to establish a sustainability department is agreed upon. Some important shareholders attempted to block this proposal. Their belief as the owners of this company is that the company should aim to maximize the value of their shares, however, the new sustainability department could significantly increase the costs and therefore reduce the profit. Think of a potential sustainability project and explain whether and how that project could potentially increase the value of their shares in the long term. Further, discuss how value could be created for other stakeholders (if any) when the project is implemented.
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