This study examines the impact of the Business Risk Audit (BRA), a development in audit methodology implemented in the late 1990s, on actual audit practice and on practitioners. Evidence is presented through a longitudinal case study developed from a set of actual audit files over a five year period spanning the implementation of the BRA, together with interviews with audit team members. The study contributes to our understanding of the nature of the audit techniques underlying the BRA and the difficulties experienced in implementing them within the existing organizational structures. In addition, the study illuminates the potentially conflicting roles of audit methodology in its organizational context, both in mediating the complex relationship between the administrators and practitioners in the large accounting firms and as the knowledge management structure used to support delivery of the "audit product". © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.