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Critical Thinking in Business

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Date(s): Jul 07, 2021 - Jul 08, 2021
Time: 8:00AM - 12:00PM
Registration Fee: $179.00
Cancellation Date: Jun 30, 2021
Location: Online

Course Description

Organizations today are looking to their employees for company insights, risk and fraud expertise, in-depth industry knowledge, and forward-looking reporting. Individuals are expected to be open-minded and analytical thinkers. Decision-making skills and professional judgment are a daily necessity in today’s fast paced business world. Teaching individuals to utilize critical thinking skills throughout their work process strengthens their ability to identify and assess risks, prioritize tasks, align personal objectives with business objectives, and identify true value-add activities.


This course provides the skills and techniques necessary to embed critical thinking skills in all aspects of business. The tools and techniques shared will guide your use of critical thinking skills in risk assessment, relationship building, teamwork, and setting and meeting expectations. Real-life examples of failures and successes of critical thinking in business will be covered to further the learning process. This course is interactive with multiple hands-on exercises and class participation to provide opportunities for you to practice what you learn.

Potential CPE Credits: 8.0

Instruction Type: Live
Experience Level: ALL
Category: 02 Auditing

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

         Understanding the process of critical thinking and intellectual traits

         Discussing the meaning and application of professional judgment

         Demonstrating how critical thinking helps improve all aspects of business

         Comparing and contrasting professional judgment and critical thinking skills

         Reviewing ways to develop critical thinking to enhance work relationships and situation outcomes



Critical Thinking

         Key terms and definitions

         Critical thinking levels and characteristics

         Reasoning and professional judgment

         Understanding biases, fallacies, and inferences in the thinking process

         Intellectual thinking traits and standards


Professional Judgment

         What is professional judgment?

         Applying professional judgment to the audit process

         Professional Judgment Framework

         Developing and strengthening professional judgment


Critical Thinking and Data

         Statistics and how they are misused

         Correlation and Causation

         Trends, case studies and other misleading information


Critical Thinking and Arguments

         Valid arguments versus biased arguments

         Characteristics of good arguments

         Limitations of deductive reasoning


Case Studies and Exercises

         Failures in Audit that could have been prevented with critical thinking

         Success stories using critical thinking in Audit

         Multiple hands-on exercises utilizing critical thinking skills



Professionals with at least 2 years of experience in order to draw upon their experience.


Bret Kobel

Bret Kobel is Managing Partner for Verracy Training & Consulting and has more than 20 years of professional finance, accounting, audit, risk and compliance experience. Mr. Kobel specializes in internal controls, process improvement, process transformation & implementation with organizations operating under GAAP and/or IFRS Standards. He brings a diverse background to the organization from venture-backed startups to global Fortune 500 companies.


Prior to joining Empower, Mr. Kobel spent two years on assignment in Singapore as the Regional CFO and Controller for an international logistics company responsible for seven countries in the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Kobel was tasked with transforming the financial organization and redesigning the financial processes to ensure timely and accurate financial reporting.


Prior to that, Mr. Kobel spent several years with a large international drilling services company operating in over 40 countries on six continents. He was responsible for developing the company’s initial policies and procedures and implementing the baseline internal controls framework for the company as well as the initial Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program. Mr. Kobel later led global Internal Audit teams performing the first ever internal audits in the company’s 120-year history.


Earlier in Mr. Kobel’s career, he was part of a team that interpreted the newly released 1992 COSO Internal Control – Integrated Framework that worked to define a set of policies and procedures for one of the largest university systems in the nation and later led teams conducting the initial internal audits for the newly-implemented procedures.


Mr. Kobel received his BS degree from Indiana University and his MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and is currently an instructor and conference speaker for the IIA and ISACA.

Additional Information

TAC Rule 523.142(g) requires the CPE Sponsor to monitor individual attendance and assign the correct number of CPE credits. Participants will be asked to document their time of arrival and departure in compliance with this Rule. Additionally, attendance will be monitored throughout the day and CPE certificates will reflect actual attendance of each participant.

If you are making travel plans to come to Austin, we recommend making "refundable" air and hotel reservations or waiting until 14 days before the class to actually book your reservations. Courses are occasionally canceled or rescheduled due to low enrollment. We determine whether a course has enough participants 16 days prior to the course date. If we cancel or reschedule, we will email the participant and his or her billing contact no later than 14 days before the original class date.

The course coordinator will contact you with parking information. Handicapped parking is free at the meters around the downtown area.

Vending machines with Coca-Cola products and various snack items are available. There is also a refrigerator and microwave in our coffee bar area. Feel free to bring in your own drinks and food if you prefer.

You might want to bring a light sweater or jacket, as room temperatures vary.

To see answers to our Frequently Asked Questions, visit

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