April 19, 2011

GPS: Accountants

This is April 19, 2011… the day after tax day!  In honor of those certified public accountants who helped most of us get from point A to point B for our various 1040, 1099, K-1 and PIT forms, lets see what New Mexico residents think of the time honored profession.

The Garrity Perception Survey queried a random sample of New Mexico residents to gauge their trust of 16 professions.  Sandwiched between judges and lawyers (I know there is a joke in there somewhere), the eighth most trusted profession in the Land of Enchantment is the accountant.

New Mexico residents who earn less than $20,000 a year and those who earn more than $80,000 a year completely trust accountants; putting to rest the myth that the more money you have the more trust you place in accountants.

When it comes to party affiliation, Democrats and Independents completely trust accountants, outpacing Republicans and unregistered voters.  The age-old argument that accounts and republicans are bedfellows to “milk the system” appears to fall short here… at least in New Mexico.

Trust among residents increases with formal education.  Those with a graduate degree have greater trust in Accountants than those with a high school education.  Females also have a higher trust level of Accountants than males.

The greatest area of opportunity to build trust for the Accountant is in the age range of 50-64 years.  This group, which includes some of the highest wage earners, has a lower level of trust than any other age group in New Mexico.  Perhaps the recession coupled with discussion of higher taxes clouds the trust.  Whether or not that is the case, accountants can increase their trust level through “plain speak” about the issues facing this age group and the solutions they might want to consider as they approach retirement.

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