Investors Trust Auditors the Most

Investors Trust Auditors the Most

Investors place the greatest trust in independent auditors, according to a new survey by the Center for Audit Quality.

The CAQ’s 2015 Main Street Investor Survey asked 1,012 investors by telephone how much confidence they have in a number of different entities when it comes to effectiveness in looking out for investors’ interests. The investors surveyed expressed the most trust in independent auditors (at a rate of 76 percent), followed by financial advisors and brokers (at 73 percent) and independent audit committees (71 percent).

The biggest gain in confidence seen this year was in corporate boards of directors, which increased 10 percentage points (from 49 percent last year to 59 percent this year). Like investors nationwide, Millennials have the most confidence in independent auditors (77 percent), followed by financial advisors and brokers (74 percent), and stock exchanges (74 percent).

Overall, 73 percent of the investors polled said they have confidence in U.S capital markets, holding steady from last year’s survey and up 12 percentage points from the post-crisis low. This confidence cuts across generations and geography. In contrast, confidence in non-U.S. capital markets decreased from 2014, edging closer to the lowest level recorded since 2007, the year the CAQ began the survey.

“Our 2015 survey results paint a fascinating picture of the American retail investor,” said CAQ executive director Cindy Fornelli in a statement. “Despite sometimes nerve-wracking fluctuations in the marketplace, our survey shows that U.S. investor confidence is resilient, a positive sign given the importance of financial markets as engines of capital formation and economic growth.”

The most frequently cited reasons by investors for their confidence were a generally positive view of the strength of the U.S. market system, recent good experiences with personal investments, and the historical stability of the U.S. markets.

Those with little or no confidence in the U.S capital markets pointed to a lack of leadership across the political spectrum, a general impression that the economy is not doing well, and perceptions of corporate greed or a growing gap between the rich and poor. Read more on Accounting Today