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Public Confidence in Accountants Growing

After a public-perception downfall following the 2002 accounting scandals, accountants are regaining ground. In response to a Harris Poll, 68 percent of U.S. adults surveyed said accountants tell the truth, up 13 percentage points from 55 percent four years ago.

In comparison, about half (48 percent) of U.S. adults generally trust that the President tells the truth — down substantially from 65 percent in 2002. However, 12 of the 22 professions measured by the poll are trusted to be truthful by 60 percent or more of U.S. adults, with doctors (85 percent) and teachers (83 percent) topping the list.

Overall, accountants rank 9th on the list of 22 occupations (see table below).

This poll comes on the heels of a separate survey, also by Harris, that asked U.S. adults to rank the prestige of 22 occupations. On that list, accountants landed lower on the list in the 16th spot.br>
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll(R) conducted by telephone between July 7 and 10, 2006, by Harris Interactive among a nationwide sample of 1,002 U.S. adults.

The Harris Poll asked, “Would you generally trust each of the following types of people to tell the truth, or not?” The final ranking of the occupations:

1. Doctors
2. Teachers
3. Scientists
4. Police officers
5. Professors
6. Clergymen or priests
7. Military officers
8. Judges
9. Accountants
10. Ordinary man or woman
11. Civil servants
12. Bankers
13. The President
14. TV newscasters
15. Athletes
16. Journalists
17. Members of Congress
18. Pollsters
19. Trade union leaders
20. Stockbrokers
21. Lawyers
22. Actors

© 2006 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved. Republished with permission.

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