This case introduces students to engagement planning, risk management, independence, and execution in the setting of attestation engagements by examining the auditor’s role in the Academy Awards (also “the Oscars”). Specifically, this case focuses on an error made by PwC during the 89th Academy Awards ceremony in 2017, which resulted in the announcement of the wrong “Best Picture” winner (“the error”). Students are required to research attestation engagements and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, analyze the benefits and risks associated with the Oscars engagement, evaluate the controls that were in place, and think critically about what additional control considerations may have prevented the error. Finally, students are asked to assess the potential consequences of this error for the engagement partners, the firm, and its clients. The visibility of this error is a unique opportunity to evaluate the roles and responsibilities of accountants in practice.

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