McGuigan_Nick_and Weil_Sidney_2007

McGuigan_Nick_and Weil_Sidney_2007 - Meyers N.M Smith B.N...

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Meyers, N.M., Smith, B.N., Bingham, S.A. and Shimeld, S.F. (Eds.). (2007). Proceedings of the Second Innovation in Accounting and Corporate Governance Education Conference. 31 January – 2 February. Hobart, Tasmania. ISBN: 978-1-86295-375-8 AN INTEGRATED CASE STUDY IN AUDITING: AN EXERCISE IN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Nick McGuigan and Sidney Weil * corresponding author: Centre of Accounting, Education and Research - Lincoln University, PO Box 84, Canterbury 7647, New Zealand. [email protected] ABSTRACT This paper describes the introduction of an integrated case study into an auditing course taught at a small New Zealand University. The case study facilitated the redesign of the course to incorporate the principles of experiential learning, whereby learners actively participate in a financial audit within an environment comparative to current industry practice. Using a participant observer approach, the paper documents the introduction of the integrated case, whilst referring to the relevant educational theory. A student’s progress is clearly mapped through an experiential learning spiral in which learners continually build upon previously acquired skills. The paper articulates effective aspects of the teaching innovation and highlights areas which may need further development and support. Informal feedback from students suggests that the redesign has increased their interest in and motivation for the auditing course. This course development has created a cohesive auditing course with a clearly demonstrated practical aspect, which allows students to link theory to real-world experience. INTRODUCTION Auditing is a core component of the Commerce degree for students majoring in Accounting at Lincoln University, New Zealand. The study of auditing draws on knowledge and skills from a variety of areas, including accounting, information management systems, management and ethical considerations (Leung, Coram, Cooper and Cosserat, 2005). A major challenge in delivering the course is the integration of its diverse parts into a single body of knowledge, providing students with a holistic view of the auditing environment and process, enabling them to relate auditing theory to practice. In 2005, this challenge was addressed by introducing an integrated audit case study into the course. A case study was used, as it is a proven pedagogical technique for exposing students to real- world complexity, especially with respect to decision-making (Weil, Oyelere, Yeoh and Firer, 2001). The case study was comprehensive in nature, comprising an entire audit. The audit is fully integrated, enabling students to understand the interrelationships among decisions involved in audit planning, audit testing and the formation of the auditor’s opinion. This pedagogical approach is best described as experiential learning, as the learners actively participate in a financial audit within an environment comparative to current industry practice.
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