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IMA Announces Winner of 2017 Carl Menconi Ethics Case Competition

A new faculty member at the College of William & Mary has authored the winning case in the 2017 Carl Menconi Case Competition, a joint program of the IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) Committee on Ethics and IMA’s Professor-in-Residence. This year’s winning entry, “Trouble with Transfer Pricing,” was submitted by Margot Howard, who joined the College of William & Mary as an assistant professor in 2015 after earning her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill that same year.

This annual competition is named in memory of Carl Menconi, an educator who held leadership positions in IMA for many years, served as chair of the Committee on Ethics, and taught part time at his alma mater, Northern Illinois University.

The case developed by Howard describes the fictitious dilemma faced by Oliver Bloom, a member of Dex Corporation’s Leadership Development Program, which rotates young staff through various company departments. The company, started by two friends, is headquartered in the U.S., but has recently opened several plants in Ireland. After Bloom completes his rotational program, he elects to join the accounting department at the company’s headquarters, but during his first week on the job, he notices something strange. While reviewing the document for the Irish factories’ transfer pricing, he realizes that the amounts listed for labor and overhead in the plants are much lower than what he expects. Bloom brings his concerns to his new boss, but is not satisfied with her explanation, fearing that ethical violations may have occurred. He’s reached a crossroads and must decide what actions to take.

Ed Manley, CPA, chair of the Committee on Ethics, said, “We congratulate Dr. Howard on her engaging and thought-provoking case study, which will no doubt be highly useful for educators in their classroom teaching. For the second consecutive year, the Committee on Ethics had assistance with judging this competition from the eight students selected to participate in IMA’s Student Leadership Experience. These individuals provided our Committee with valuable insight into what students find helpful in the classroom. We greatly appreciated their assistance and with their help, believe we have chosen a case that will resonate with graduate and undergraduate students as well as professionals.”

The goal of the Carl Menconi Ethics Case Writing Competition is to develop and distribute teaching cases that focus on business ethics with specific application to management accounting and finance issues. Among other submission guidelines, eligible cases must employ the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice as a tool or reference and be suitable for use in undergraduate or graduate classrooms or in IMA chapter continuing professional education (CPE) programs.

As the Menconi winner, “Trouble with Transfer Pricing” will be featured in the July 2017 issue of Strategic Finance magazine. Howard also will be recognized at IMA’s Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, Colo., in June, as well as receive a $500 cash prize and one complimentary Conference registration.

For more information on the Menconi competition, please visit Carl Menconi Case Writing Competition or contact Luda Volkov, IMA research and academic/student community coordinator, at lvolkov@imanet.org.