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Are accountants more likely to be criminals?

Are accountants more likely to be criminals?

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This is a bit of a tongue in cheek question but it seems that every time I log into AccountingWeb there is another news story relating to the criminal activity of an accountant. Does this mean that accountants are criminally more active than other professions or are they just very bad at getting away with it? Could it be because they are dealing with individuals with large bank balances that they are coveting their neighbours ox and not only that have access to lead the ox to their own stable? Have there been any studies carried out as to which professions are guilty of carrying out the most offences?

Answers on a postcard please.


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06th Nov 2013 10:10

Possibly your sources?

If you are using reports on AccountingWeb as the basis for this, may I suggest they might have a certain focus when it comes to the criminals they report on? :-)

Thanks (8)
06th Nov 2013 10:04

There's a lot of it about!

There is a lot of theft / fraud going on.  Much of it is conducted by employees against their employer or by professional people (accountants, solicitors, etc) or people who work with customers' money (bank / post office employees, etc).

In addition sometimes the wider media will describe a person who performs some sort of function involving financial records as an "accountant" whereas most accountants would not.

I do not think accountants are more active in criminality than others - but when a professional person 'crosses the line' it is generally not for just a few hundred pounds and it is more newsworthy!


Thanks (4)
06th Nov 2013 10:57

Other professions

I guess if you look at similar websites to this for other professions (solicitorsweb??), you will see similar reports. I don't believe accountants are any more prone to being criminals than the average for the population, in fact I would imagine it is a lot less.

Thanks (1)
06th Nov 2013 11:06


One of my job my boss said to me once the biggest con artists are accountants and solicitors lol, now that I am going down that route myself as an accountant, I would hate for people to think me the same way, that is why I shall make sure I have a one to one chat with my client every so often and discuss their financials making sure they understand and know what's going on. I believe honesty is the best policy in such a field thus! giving me a good reputation and hopefully to succeed in my business that way.


I've ran a Cleaning business for five years and honesty did pay me big time, I had more clients than I can deal with also when I decided to shut up shop my clients gave me such a lovely reports and of course trying to persuade me to stay but running a cleaning company was very hard doing indeed working day and night times. It was a good experience but I returned back to my main career Office Manager/Accounting.



Thanks (1)
By Old Greying Accountant
06th Nov 2013 12:42

From lectures I have been to ...

... solicitors are highest on the list of fraudsters, it seems they can't seem to keep their fingers out the client account, with teeming and lading skills seeming almost the only talent a solicitor needs.

If I had a pound for every story I have heard of beneficiaries finding trusts bare in every sense of the word and neither hide nor hair of the solicitor to be found I would be a very rich man!

Thanks (3)
to sarah douglas
06th Nov 2013 13:29

ML Report required?

Old Greying Accountant wrote:
If I had a pound for every story I have heard of beneficiaries finding trusts bare in every sense of the word and neither hide nor hair of the solicitor to be found I would be a very rich man!
What's all this about you becoming rich by repeatedly taking pounds?
Thanks (1)
06th Nov 2013 13:49

particular crimes

I expect the criminal gains the position or is in the position required to carry out the crime?

for financial fraud this is likely to be the "accountant" used in it's general media sense to mean anyone who got near the numbers and the cash.

for child abuse it will be the "teacher" "carer""celebrity" "social services""priest/monk"

credit card cloning will be the check out person

100% of drug dealers are drug dealers? I should think that's high up on the list of professions involved in crime along with thieves, bandits, and people traffickers.

Thanks (1)
By Old Greying Accountant
06th Nov 2013 13:56

Unfortunately ...

... the only pounds I get go on my waist line, not my bank balance!

Thanks (1)
By plummy1
07th Nov 2013 09:40


Thanks to everyone for responding to the question. I don't really think that accountants are more criminally active than other professionals although I am sure there are factors which lead them into temptation. One of the factors has to be opportunity which is always present when dealing with others financial affairs.


Thanks (0)
08th Nov 2013 13:09

Many years ago I checked out some "withholding" tax regulations in Japan for an Architect client who had got a contract in Japan & had been told that the payer was required to deduct 10% of Fees & pay over to the Japanese Tax Authorities.  The system seemed similar to the UK CIS regs.  There was a table of rates for different PROFESSION (!!).  If memory serves me right, Architects were 10%, Accountant 20% & Solicitors topped the bill at 35% !!!! 

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