Diamond Foods, Inc.: A comprehensive case in financial auditing
Gujarathi, Mahendra R.
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Diamond Foods is a comprehensive case that provides an opportunity for students to apply several financial auditing concepts and professional auditing standards to a real-world context. Diamond overstated its earnings of fiscal 2010 and 2011, by 38 percent and 47 percent, respectively, by delaying recognition of the cost of walnuts acquired to later accounting periods. The case requires students to determine whether Diamond’s external auditor—Deloitte & Touche, LLP (Deloitte)—fulfilled its responsibility to obtain reasonable assurance that the financial statements were free of material misstatement. Students need to determine whether Deloitte’s issuance of an unqualified opinion on Diamond’s financial statements and internal controls violated professional auditing standards. In addition, students are required to evaluate whether Deloitte obtained sufficient understanding of Diamond’s business and industry, exercised the needed professional skepticism, and used appropriate analytical procedures to discharge its professional responsibilities. The case presents an opportunity to achieve several learning objectives, including the development of research, critical-thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. The case is appropriate for use in a graduate or undergraduate course in financial auditing. It can also be used in a fraud examination course, or in a capstone course in the accounting curriculum.
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