A panel of audit professionals (two audit partners, two audit managers, and two audit professors) reviewed the tasks for authenticity and completed the post-case assessment. We constructed our suggested keys as a composite of all of their responses (see Table 1), but no one respondent matched our key completely. This highlights one of the markers of a good “thinking” case—a situation that is unstructured and rich enough such that experts do not always agree (King and Kitchener 1994).

The “count” of pieces of evidence is somewhat balanced between confirming and disconfirming (i.e., a similar number of pieces of confirming and disconfirming pieces of evidence). However, the disconfirming evidence is generally stronger (more persuasive) than the confirming. That is, external data (actual warranty claims and bad debt write offs) are more persuasive than estimates, smoothed accruals, and consistency of internal documentation. Thus, both of these accruals should...

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