11 August 2017

Australians view accountants as more ethical than lawyers

Only politicians and estate agents are viewed as more unethical than lawyers in an annual governance poll.

Australian lawyers are deemed less ethical than accountants, tax advisors, financial planners and bank managers, a new poll has revealed.The Governance Institute's 2017 Australian Ethics Index Survey rated occupations for their ethics - and accountants were rated far ahead of lawyers with a score of 34. Lawyers received -3, a marginal improvement from last year but well below many other occupations. They did however beat politicans who received a score of -23 and estate agents who were -29.

Ethical behaviour

The criteria for ethical behaviour was deemed to be accountability, transparency, highly ethical leaders, whistleblower protection and a strong legal framework. The top five aspects of unethical behaviour was viewed as: corruption, company tax avoidance, misleading and deceptive advertising, executive pay and discrimination.