This paper examines work experience and formal studies as alternative means of audit education and training. The research instrument used in Gramling et al. (1996) was administered to Canadian and Australian undergraduate students at the beginning and end of their first audit subject. An important difference between the two groups was that the Canadian students had completed prior work experience under a Co‐Operative (co‐op) Education Program. We find that: (1) co‐op (Canadian) students have pre‐scores that are closer to practicing auditors relative to the pre‐scores of nonco‐op (Australian) students (an effect that we attribute to experience); (2) after completing their first undergraduate audit subject, nonco‐op students have post‐scores that are closer to those of practicing auditors relative to pre‐scores (effects which we attribute to education); (3) the pre–post change referred to above is muted for co‐op students (which we attribute to a hypothesized interaction effect between experience and education); and (4) co‐op students have post‐scores that are marginally closer to practicing auditors relative to the postscores of nonco‐op students (implying that work experience and formal education are not perfect substitutes in audit educational training).

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