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CPA profession receives high marks from business decision makers, executives, investors.

New independent research shows the CPA profession continues to garner high marks from business decision makers, executives and investors, earning favorability ratings of 97%, 95% and 89%, respectively. In fact, business decision makers and executives ranked CPAs higher than physicians by several percentage points. CPAs also beat other financial-related professions hands down, such as insurance agents, bankers, management consultants and stock research analysts. The profession's ratings have remained relatively stable from 2003 to 2005.

On specific measures, CPA "heritage" attributes have improved from 2003 figures. The data shows CPA attributes ratings in the areas of "committed to the rules of the accounting profession," "reliable" and "consistently demonstrates integrity and ethics" have moved higher. These heritage values are the bedrock of the CPA reputation and are being reinforced through AICPA communications and public service programs.

There also was a statistical decline in the attribute "willing to cut comers for clients" from 2003. In 2003, 42% of business decision makers thought CPAs were "willing to cut corners for clients"--it dropped to 29% in this latest research. Among investors in 2003, it was 49% and now is at 36%.

Furthermore, when asked whether CPAs and the accounting profession have taken steps to fix the problems that had led to past accounting scandals, fully 80% of business decisions and 70% of executives said "yes." While just 52% of investors said "yes" to that question, 71% of investors responding to the survey admitted they are not familiar with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In addition, all three groups see CPAs as part of the solution to fighting or preventing fraud (86% for business decision makers, 75% of executives and 78% of investors).

The research was conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates. More than 500 business decision makers and executives and 500 investors responded to telephone interviews during Mar. 2005. Results of the research will be used to tailor future strategy and messages that support the CPA profession's reputation and position as essential to business and a most trusted financial guardian.
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Title Annotation:Certified public accountants
Publication:CPA Letter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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Next Article:AICPA, state societies, labor department expand national education campaign on fiduciary responsibilities and health benefits compliance.

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