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The VSCPA Wants Your Ethics Case Studies

September 30, 2018

As developers of the annual Virginia-specific Ethics course required by the Virginia Board of Accountancy (VBOA), the VSCPA wants to make sure the course is useful for, and representative of, as many Virginia CPAs as possible. One way to do that is through diverse, representative case studies from as many practice areas as possible, and we want your help accomplishing that goal.

The VSCPA wants to include real-life ethical dilemmas in the upcoming 2017 Virginia-specific Ethics course. Anyone who takes this year’s course is eligible to submit their own case for inclusion in next year’s course. If your case study is chosen, you will receive a free Ethics class in 2017 from the VSCPA in the format of your choosing.

The VSCPA is seeking case studies in all practice areas, not just public accounting. Your submissions from industry, government, nonprofit, business valuation and other areas will help ensure the 2017 Ethics course is relevant to all practice areas.

To submit a case study:

  1. Click here (PDF) to download the case study submission form. (You won't be able to submit it if you view it in your browser.)
  2. Open the form in Adobe Acrobat.
  3. Fill out the form with the necessary information.
  4. Click the "submit" button at the top of the Acrobat window.

A good case study covers topics you or your colleagues can relate to. The goal is to ensure that attendees will feel that case is speaking directly about their area of practice. When you read about something pertaining to a system or product you use, you are more likely to put yourself in the same situation and work through the issues.

Your case study should tell a believable story from start to finish, raising thought-provoking issues based on conflict. It lacks an obvious or clear-cut right answer and demands a decision reached through critical thinking and reasoning.

When writing your case study, think about your goals and the problem you want the case study to address. Think about your decision-making process when you faced the issue. What did that look like for you?

Here is an easy opportunity to give back to your profession by providing examples of ethical dilemmas you have faced.

Please make sure your case study contains the following elements:

  • Title: Keep it short. Focus on highlighting the most compelling facts.
  • Executive Summary: This should be a 2-4 sentence summary of the entire story.
  • About: This serves as an introduction to the major figures in the case study.
  • Challenges: This section should include 2–3 paragraphs describing the challenges as well as the ethical dilemmas you want the attendees to think about.
  • Results: This section should include leading questions that will help guide the student’s discussion.

Click here for more guidelines on creating the most effective case studies.

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