This paper seeks to address the perceived failure of university teaching to foster critical understanding of audit practice and to identify a potential remedy. It contributes to the debate (Maltby, 2001, “Second thoughts about ‘Cases in Auditing’,” Accounting Education: an international journal, 10(4), 421–428) by investigating the double-faceted nature of auditing: as a sub-set of the academic discipline of accounting and as professional practice. Although case studies are helpful for students of auditing, they tend to be artificial, or at best, retrospective. This paper introduces a different type of case study for audit education using corporate failure stories from the media as an example, proposing and explaining the notion of the ‘living case’ in order to foster critical appraisal of audit practice. It contributes to the literature on audit education by describing how this different type of case can address both the technical activities and the social practice of audit through Kolb's (1984, Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall) experiential learning theory and thus concludes that there is a place for the practical nature of auditing in academic study, in order to fully appreciate the social aspects.