Auditing, as its name implies, should involve listening. A string of scandals suggests the profession needs its ears syringed. The latest of these features PwC. Its failure to spot a $1.7bn fraud means it has been banned from auditing listed Indian companies for two years. At last, a proportionate penalty. Shame it is the wrong one. Retribution is overdue. The rap sheet of accountants is starting to rival that of the tattooed gents who frequent the police courts. At new year, a US judge ruled audit oversights by PwC amounted to negligence. Last September, KPMG’s incestuous ties with SA’s controversial Gupta family triggered a government review of audit relationships. KPMG had allowed a Gupta company to expense costs of a family wedding attended by four of its partners. This week, a report from the Securities and Exchange Board of India accused PwC of ignoring "glaring anomalies" in the accounts of Satyam Computer Services. Ramalinga Raju, former chairperson of the defunct business w...

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