Feb 25, 2013

What Do Your Clients and Employers Think about You?

By Mike Colgan, PICPA Executive Director and CEO
Reputation is important in business. Warren Buffet once said that it takes 20 years to build your reputation and five minutes to destroy it. PICPA’s strategic initiatives include advocating on behalf of members. We are fortunate that we advocate for a professional group known for its independence, integrity, and objectivity, so it provides us with a high level of credibility right out of the chute.

One of our objectives is to position CPAs as thought leaders within the business community and as resources for the public on key issues. Within our current fiscal year, which began last May, we have placed CPAs with print and electronic media on well over 100 occasions to discuss key issues such as the fiscal cliff, health care reform, and personal and business tax issues, among other topics. We have also provided more than 50 presentations to general public groups on financial literacy topics. The PICPA Image Enhancement Committee assists us with creating these opportunities and allocating funds toward various advertising campaigns to promote CPAs and the profession.

The exposure you receive in Pennsylvania, and nationally through the AICPA, continues to result in favorable trends within branding studies of the CPA credential. AICPA measures the strength of the reputation of CPAs every three years, and the 2012 results show CPAs ranked second (only behind physicians) as the profession with the most positive perception.

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For those of you wondering, professions not listed fell below the 24 percent ranking.

In addition, the research showed that over the past three years, opinions of CPAs’ skills have improved in a number of areas.

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The vast majority of CPAs (95 percent) believe their CPA credential is valued and respected at their workplaces.

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Business decision-makers (BDM) agree, with 87 percent saying their CPA credential is either “very” or “somewhat” valuable within their organizations. The slide below  takes a look at how the CPA credential compared with other credentials.

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Finally, Fortune magazine polled its readership on reliability and trust of various organizations, and accounting firms rated highest among the up-and-coming “echo-boomer” group.

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The profession has come back a long way since the financial scandals of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Your standing as a trusted business advisor is solid again, and the PICPA will continue to advocate with those outside the profession to strengthen your brand.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.