Novel approach helps students understand accounting, auditing

Novel approach helps students understand accounting, auditing
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Professor co-authors novel to help students learn concepts of auditing, forensic accounting.

A Belk College of Business accounting professor is using a novel approach to teach students about accounting, auditing and fraud. 

David Kerr, associate professor in the Turner School of Accountancy, recently co-authored a mystery suspense novel that aims to not only entertain but also to help students learn key concepts about auditing and forensic accounting. 

The novel mixes fraud, crime, politics, ethics, computer techniques, cybercrime, expert witnessing, and auditing helping students learn many aspects of auditing, investigations and accounting in a better, easier, and more engaging way, Kerr said.

“I have taught auditing courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for over three decades, as well as CPA exam prep courses, so I have a pretty good idea of what students need to know about auditing prior to graduation and beginning a career in accounting,” Kerr said. “I was able to pull a lot of the information we cover in auditing and fraud courses into the novel.” 

Kerr first used the novel – “Trap Doors and Trojan Horses: An Auditing Action Adventure” – last semester in Financial Statement Auditing (ACCT 6220), a graduate-level auditing course. The novel tells the story of Professor Lenny Cramer, a forensic accountant who operates a small firm and teaches in the classroom. He uses auditing and digital concepts to investigate computer losses at a division of Coca-Cola.

Kerr said students are assigned to read the book outside of class. To help students learn the key concepts and material presented in the novel, Kerr provided them with a study guide. On the final exam at the end of the semester, he included several questions similar to those in the study guide to assess how well students have learned the material. 

Kerr collaborated on the novel with D. Larry Crumbley and Dr. L. Murphy Smith, professors of accounting at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. 

About the Belk College of Business

Established in 1970, UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business is one of the Carolinas’ largest business schools, with more than 5,100 students, more than 100 full-time faculty, and an alumni network of more than 34,000. Accredited by AACSB International, the college is committed to building strong partnerships in the greater Charlotte region and beyond as North Carolina's urban research business school. Learn more about how the Belk College is driving what’s next at, and on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.