The FT's noted that:
Big companies and their outside auditors often have close professional relationships. But now, for the first time, US regulators have taken enforcement action over relationships that became a little too close: it has fined professional services firm Ernst & Young $9.3m for failures including an auditor’s romantic involvement with a client.
The cases include two instances of an auditor and a senior manager in the audit client getting intimate. When the most basic rule of auditing is independence you have to wonder how far professional ethics have fallen when firstly the auditors in question let these situations continue and secondly others did not intervene to effect changes.
Superficially this look like a minor issue; actually it's about an environment in which the most basic of rules are not complied with. And that's worrying.