Instructional Case: Using Professional Judgment in Control Environment Evaluation

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Although auditing students are rigorously trained in the skills required to be financial specialists, they often lack comparable training in using professional judgment to evaluate more subjective audit evidence. This paper describes a case study exercise that requires students to make difficult, preliminary subjective judgments about a small service company's control environment (CE) based on oral assertions provided in an interview between an audit manager and the company's owners.

The purpose of this exercise is to assist educators in communicating to auditing students the importance and difficulty of exercising professional judgment in the audit process. The exercise combines: (a) a systematic evaluation of the control environment; (b) the use of inquiries as a form of evidential matter; and (c) the potential effects of framing on auditing judgment. Examples of how to use the case and a control environment decision aid are provided.

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Sarasota, v. 11, issue 2, p. 419-441.