Accountants ‘more trusted’ than banks?

A survey conducted by Sage Omnibus states that accountants are ‘more trusted’ than banks, but why are accountants deemed to be so trustworthy?

Accountants are professionals who, according to Wikipedia “[are] a practitioner of accountancy or accounting, which is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resources”. The survey found that exactly 50% of those surveyed believe that their accountant provides the most valuable business advice, while only 2% believe this to be the case with their bank or solicitor.  Overall 44% confirmed that they turn to their accountants first for business advice.

So why are Accountants viewed so highly? Well the rigorous exams and continuing professional development required for membership to any of the accounting institutes is a good starting point, supported by the emphasis on ethics and an ethical code that underpins all of the accounting qualifications.

Another reason may be that accountants will work on building a relationship with their clients – so being a successful accountant, and ‘advisor’ is not just about knowing the numbers, but having so-called ‘people skills’ – so the ability to interpret information, explain topics in a non-technical way and to look at the larger picture, not just the numbers in front of them. Helping companies to put together their accounts, or auditing them, gives the accounting professional a real insight into the workings of the whole company, not just the overall profit or loss.

This could be why the survey also found that a fifth of businesses say they are more ‘open and honest’ with their accountants than their bank managers. They found that 15% of small business owners also claimed they are more honest with their accountants than even friends, family or spouse. This is where the strong focus all the qualifications have on ethics proves its importance. You will see ethics at all stages of an accounting qualification, and once you have been granted membership you would adhere to a professional code of ethics. ACCA for example have lots of information on ethics and why they are important on their website.

This means that when you are studying to become an accountant you will see a whole range of modules or papers designed to develop different skills needed as a ‘complete finance professional’ in the words of the ACCA. Becoming an accountant isn’t just about completing exams, but you also need to gain experience in a relevant area.

Are you interested in becoming an accountant? Want to find out what studying towards a professional qualification entails? Why not try BPP’s free ACCA Starter Pack to help you start studying for free? Visit our acca webpages to find out more or enrol.

To find out more about our other qualifications please visit our website

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