WebCPA received a letter from American Institute of CPAs president and CEO Barry Melancon taking issue with a recent story on a Gallup Poll ranking of the honesty and ethics of various professions.

To the Editor:

The headline of your December 2 article "Accountants Rank Below Funeral Directors in Ethics" distorted the results of the Gallup Poll on public perceptions of different professions in a way that was counter to Gallup's own conclusions.

Moreover, the article itself neglected an important result. The poll sought public attitudes toward 21 professions. Accountants ranked in the top 10.

That aside, the poll did not distinguish between accountants and CPAs. The AICPA has just concluded research in which we sought to determine the reputation of the CPA among investors and business decision makers. The CPA was viewed more positively by these groups than any other business professional. Overall, the CPA came in second only to physicians.

In terms of attributes, the CPA was strongly associated with integrity and competence, two qualities that have always been hallmarks of our profession.


Barry C. Melancon
President and CEO

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