Teaching audit reports: A flowchart approach


The effective and efficient communication of audit report material for historical generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)-based financial statements is a challenging task for auditing educators. A sizable number of auditing standards focus on this subject matter. Moreover, several recent expectation-gap standards, notably Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 58, impact directly on the reporting issue. Two instructional issues are of concern with regard to audit report materials. They are (a) the complexity of the material and (b) timing-when this material should be presented. With respect to the complexity issue, SAS No. 58 and related standards are so complex that many auditing students are overwhelmed by the topic. With regard to timing, some instructors feel a need to communicate an overview of the reporting process when the topic is first introduced and then deliver a more detailed discussion later in the course. To address the complexity and timing issues, this paper illustrates two different levels of flowcharts. These materials may be used in the classroom by accounting educators to effectively communicate the set of reporting conditions and the related audit report responses.

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Journal of Accounting Education