PracticeAccounting FirmsMeans to an end?

Means to an end?

With records of media coverage on some 15,000 companies across 45 sectors going back over the past eight years, the PressWatch index measures the balance of positive and negative publicity on different sectors of the economy. And its most recent figures - which include an assessment of the recent performance of the accountancy sector in PR terms - make for decidedly grim reading.

Accountants score minus 42 on the latest rankings, ahead of software and electricity companies but well behind even banks and transport businesses.

Overall the accountancy sector ranks 36 out of 43 sectors measured. It’s all Big Four-related, but the negative perception that is presented of these firms in the national press has implications for the standing of accountants everywhere.

And it’s no wonder that some accountants are beginning to question the value of their qualification. More than one in four of the 350 finance directors who responded to our Big Question this week say they could do their job just as well without an accountancy qualification. That’s not a new argument, of course.

An accountancy qualification has always been seen as more of a passport, less as a tool. But the argument is much more worrying in fragile times as these. With questions being asked of the qualification’s value as a passport, it must more than ever prove its usefulness on a day to day basis.

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