For ages, the profession has devoted time to discussing and trying to address the existence of a huge gap between the views of the public about auditors' responsibility for finding fraud (when a fraud is uncovered, they say the auditors should have found it) and what auditors view as their responsibility for finding fraud (most have long held that it's not their responsibility and that they aren't properly trained to detect fraud).

It may no longer matter. It seems that the head of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board -- a man who could arguably give audit firms some very big headaches -- is siding with the public on this one, so it may not matter what audit firms think about the issue.

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