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If KPMG is starring in its role as the whipping boy of all things wrong with the audit profession, then it is important not to lose sight of the fact that there are other large audit firms whose conduct has and continues to do the profession’s reputation no favours. As KPMG feels the blowtorch of opprobrium, one would have thought rival firms would be licking their lips at the prospect of windfalls from former KPMG clients, but their response has been muted, making one wonder why the reticence. A possible answer might be that many of the rival firms that have also audited or provided advisory services to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are concerned that they, like KPMG, might be similarly complicit in state capture and that by downplaying the situation, they may be able to fly below the radar. Unfortunately for the auditors of SOEs, annual financial statements over recent years bear witness to their apparent participation in state capture. If the statements are all about numbers and...

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