Accountancy will ‘always be considered an elite profession’

Accountancy will 'always be considered an elite profession'

Recent CABA findings reveal how individuals today perceive the profession.

Accountancy will ‘always be considered an elite profession’

CABA, the accountants’ wellbeing charity, has recently led a study that attempts to understand how the industry of accountancy is viewed by professionals in the sector – and how progression within the function is perceived.

In its research, CABA found that half of those surveyed agreed ‘accountancy will always be considered an elite profession’. This view was particularly  emphasised by individuals aged 18 to 24 years, in which 54% believe in the existence of a class ceiling. In comparison, only 25% of respondents over the age of 55 agreed to this statement.

The findings also highlighted the presence of an inequality within the industry. The research disclosed that two fifths believe individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds were put in difficult positions, in which they were not able to progress as well as those from affluent circumstances.

Perhaps most notably, CABA revealed almost half of accountants agreed the profession is designated for those educated to degree level, along with one in three believing nepotism will always break work ethic. This issue was once again strongly upheld by the younger audience, stressing the need for an improvement within the industry.

Keely Feehan, Service Director at CABA, commented: “The belief that accountancy is an elite profession, particularly among the younger generation, is an issue which needs to be addressed for the profession to remain competitive. Firms strive to attract and obtain the best talent, however, the perception of a ‘class ceiling’ within the field could potentially be damaging to the reputation of the industry, making it appear selective and restricted.”

The issue of diversity within any industry is of utmost importance. Diversity increases creativity, as well as driving innovation and improving the overall performance of a company. Therefore, it remains paramount that recruitment considers applications from all backgrounds, that candidates should be selected on their merit and that they are rewarded on their hard work and achievement when in role.”

Whilst most accountants consider the profession to be favouring the elite, CABA findings showed women agreed more with the statement than men.

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