Characters: Barbara, the controller of Atex, Inc., a small manufacturing company Sam, the controller of Smith, Inc., a small manufacturing company
Barbara is a controller of Atex, Inc., a small regional manufacturing company. During her four years of employment at Atex, she has worked her way up through the ranks. She has been the controller for the past year and has consistently received favorable evaluations. Barbara enjoys her work and is good at what she does.
Atex, Inc., is close to finalizing a merger with Smith, Inc., a similar manufacturing company. The merger will be finalized in two weeks, on July 1. When the companies merge, various positions will be eliminated to avoid duplication of efforts in the merged company. A variety of positions will be cut, including manufacturing workers, office staff, and management positions. The decisions on personnel cuts will be announced August 1.
Sam, the controller of Smith, Inc., has been with that company for less than a year. He is perceived favorably by management. The newly merged company will need only one controller, and Barbara has received unofficial confirmation that she will be the controller of the new firm and that Sam will be dismissed.
Barbara has had significant responsibility for her parents during the past two years. Her father has terminal cancer, and the specialist has given him only six months to live. Her mother is emotionally distressed and needs special attention from time to time. In addition, after years of trying, Barbara has recently found out that she is pregnant. She plans to take a short maternity leave and then return to work full-time.
Barbara realizes the time demands of her current and experted family and also the time demands of working as the controller of the newly merged company. She feels that she will be able to balance her personal and professional life in such a way that her job performance will not suffer. Yet, she wonders if she should make her boss aware of her responsibility to her parents and her pregnancy.
Author: Dr. Cynthia J. Rooney, CPA, CMA, Asst. Prof., College of William & Mary
Co-author: Mary Loyland, Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota