This role play requires students to consider the complexities of a small CPA firm urgently attempting to replace the unique industry knowledge and experience possessed by a terminally ill audit partner. In this role play, students assume the position of either an existing partner or a former partner who is considering rejoining the firm. This role play includes two sections. First, in the planning stage, students brainstorm mutually equivalent options that satisfy their critical financial and nonfinancial interests to address the problem of replacing the terminally ill partner in their respective existing partner and former partner teams. Second, students engage in a “table” negotiation with their assigned counterpart to reach an amicable agreement to this firm crisis and participate in a debriefing session and prepare a debriefing document. The small firm context provides a unique opportunity to make contributions to the existing accounting and auditing literature related to enhancing students' critical thinking and negotiation skills. Distinctive small firm role play elements that should enhance critical thinking and negotiation skills include considering contingent agreements that dovetail differences in future legal liability forecasts, and dovetailing differences to take advantage of complementary skill sets to mitigate industry-specific auditor detection risks and related business risks.1 Critical thinking skills also should be strengthened through negotiating a package of interests and related options including the impact of various tradeoffs that are not fully known until the table negotiation commences so that the final agreement does not exceed the firm's non-negotiable budgetary constraints.

You do not currently have access to this content.