Slippery Slope?

BY LORRI CARPENTER

I read the article, “ Frame a Travel Strategy ” ( JofA , Mar.05), and was troubled by one of the lines in the case study that reads, “To sidestep the limits that corporate-card vendors set on monthly charges, [the principal partner] applied for the cards in his own name and assumed personal responsibility for the payments.”

I’m no fan of credit card companies, with their blizzard of easy-credit schemes, sky-high interest rates, sale of personal information and refusal to accept any responsibility for burgeoning consumer debt and resulting bankruptcies. But neither do I believe integrity should be based on what the other guy is doing.

Sidestepping the limits sounds like a small thing, but first steps off the straight and narrow often are. Just ask Arthur Andersen.

Lorri Carpenter, CPA
Ocala, Fla.

Editor’s note: Perhaps our use of the word “sidestep” gave the wrong impression in this case, and if so, we apologize to our readers and to Bruce Malott, the subject of our case study. Malott’s use of a personal credit card to make purchases for the firm is hardly “stepping off the straight and narrow.” Credit card companies set lower limits on corporate cards to protect themselves in case the company goes out of business, and higher ones for individuals who are willing to assume personal responsibility for charges—as Malott did. His clever use of the card, in fact, benefited his firm, his clients and the credit card company.

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