CPAs and CFPs Top Trust/Ethics List

December 20, 2005 ( - A new survey found that CPAs and certified financial planners were the easiest to trust and showed the most ethical behavior of all the professionals providing financial advice to individuals.

A news release from AFA Financial Group also said that those at the other end of the ethics and trust scale included television and radio show financial hosts.

The announcement said the respondents were asked to rate 11 professions using a five-point scale ranging from “not trustworthy at all” to “extremely trustworthy.”

The press release said that CPAs had the highest overall score and were selected more than any other profession as being “extremely trustworthy” (22.77%). Certified financial planners had the second highest overall score and were selected as being “extremely trustworthy” by 18.32%. Meanwhile, financial television show hosts attracted the lowest ranking, with only 2.77% calling them “extremely trustworthy.”

More than 61% of respondents said that they would be comfortable with a CPA, who is licensed to provide financial products/services also giving them personal investment advice. Some 83.84% indicated that they would be comfortable with the CPA also providing financial advice after full and complete disclosure of his/her commission.

Of the survey respondents who have employed a certified financial planner (CFP) in the last five years, 17.82% said they were “extremely satisfied” and 58.08% said they were “satisfied” with the CFP’s performance.

When asked “how do you primarily make financial investment decisions,” 30% identified “with counsel from a certified financial planner” and 16% “with counsel from an accountant or CPA.” The most frequently identified source of outside input was “from family and friends.”

Amplitude Research conducted the survey using its Panelspeak Web panel December 15 to 17, 2005. Respondents had investments besides their primary residence (stocks, bonds, mutual fund, money market fund, real estate, or individual retirement account). Some 55% of the respondents had household income over $60,000, with 20% having household income over $100,000. There were 1,007 survey completions.

For an executive summary contact Michael Krems of KremsPR on behalf of AFA Financial Group at 805-496-8166 or send an email to .