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Accounting Education: an international journal Vol. 20, No. 2, 203– 222, April 2011

Adding Value to Audit Education through ‘Living’ Cases
JULIE DRAKE
University of Huddersfield, UK Received: November 2009 Revised: July 2010 Accepted: September 2010

ABSTRACT This paper seeks to address the perceived failure of university teaching to foster critical understanding of audit practice and to identify a potential remedy. It contributes to the debate (Maltby, 2001, “Second thoughts about ‘Cases in Auditing’,” Accounting Education: an international journal, 10(4), 421– 428) by investigating the double-faceted nature of auditing: as a sub-set of the academic discipline of accounting and as professional practice. Although case studies are helpful for students of auditing, they tend to be artificial, or at best, retrospective. This paper introduces a different type of case study for audit education using corporate failure stories from the media as an example, proposing and explaining the notion of the ‘living case’ in order to foster critical appraisal of audit practice. It contributes to the literature on audit education by describing how this different type of case can address both the technical activities and the social practice of audit through Kolb’s (1984, Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall) experiential learning theory and thus concludes that there is a place for the practical nature of auditing in academic study, in order to fully appreciate the social aspects. KEY WORDS : Audit education, case method; media

Introduction The aim of this paper is to contribute to the debate on the kind of case studies that are useful in auditing education. The paper introduces the notion of a ‘living case’ which is a framework for analysis of a reported media story such as a financial event or crisis. It seeks to identify and explain a way forward for the auditing educator, addressing criticisms of

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