The Roy Morgan Image of Professions survey revealed that only half of Australians ranked accountants as “very high” or “high” for their ethics and honesty, compared to nurses who came first at 94 per cent.
However, accountants continued to lead the financial-related profession, outperforming bank managers, financial planners, insurance brokers, and real estate agents.
Speaking to Accountants Daily, the Institute of Public Accountants chief executive, Andrew Conway said it would be unfair to compare accountants with those in the health profession.
“We don’t save lives in the same way a nurse or doctor might but research from our small business white paper has revealed the pivotal role accountants play in the mental health of their small business clients,” said Mr Conway.
Instead, Mr Conway believes accountants should continue to focus on the quality of their services and build on the trust that they have with their clients.
“Do accountants stop and think when clients walk through the doors of our practice or when they give us a call that it’s possibly the most important conversation they’re having that day or in that week?” said Mr Conway.
“They could be coming with a whole raft of concerns and anxiety that, in that one interaction with us as an accountant, we have the power to reduce the stress and anxiety which has a direct impact on their mental health and wellbeing.”
“[Accountants] sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture, which is the social dimension of the work we do.”
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.