The Solitary Auditor fills a gap in the available instructional materials for undergraduate and graduate auditing courses. This innovative text tracks the timeline of an audit from the initial planning session through the completion of the audit as seen through the eyes of Michael Bishop, an audit senior. Bishop and his colleagues face a series of challenging circumstances as the five-month audit of BRIC Industries, a large public company, unfolds. Those circumstances include missing client documents, conflicting audit evidence, time pressure, and client personnel intent on subverting the work of the auditors. Bishop eventually learns that BRIC’s accounting records are being distorted by a large-scale fraud orchestrated by the company’s three top executives. To salvage the jobs, if not careers, of the senior BRIC accountants who have been browbeaten into participating in the fraud, Bishop agrees to cooperate with a plan developed by those accountants to end the fraud. But the plan backfires, and Bishop becomes a pawn in a three-handed cat-and-mouse game involving the fraudsters, federal law enforcement authorities, and a shadowy syndicate of inside traders who intend to make a “killing” in the stock market when the accounting fraud is exposed. Sound far-fetched? In fact, the circumstances woven into the entertaining storyline of the BRIC Industries audit were drawn from actual audit failures researched by the author over his 35-year academic career. The Solitary Auditor will capture students’ attention while at the same time revealing to them the nature and purpose of an independent audit. No other available auditing text provides such a realistic, comprehensive, and no-holds-barred view of the challenging work role of the independent auditor.
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