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Is Trust in Crisis?

John Chisholm, Partner and CEO publishes a column in BIZ Magazine each quarter.  The following was published in BIZ Magazine’s Q1 issue.

January to April is the busiest time of year for CPA’s.  Although demanding, it is also the most rewarding for me. 

Nothing can replace the value of face to face meetings with your clients.  This is a business of mutual trust.  Trust is hard to gain; easy to lose.  It’s about relationships, not solely numbers on a balance sheet.  

We know that trust, integrity, and values go hand in hand; however, over the past several months, we have seen that trust is in crisis.  In the book, Cooperation Without Trust by Karen Cook, Russell Hardin, and Margaret Levy, they say “trust is necessary for the smooth functioning of a democratic society.”  The lack of trust creates fear and worry.

Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, released their Global Trust and Credibility Barometer for 2019.  The survey collects responses from 33,000 people in 26 countries.The survey found that 79% of Canadians feel that company CEO’s should “take the lead on change, rather than wait for government to impose it.” Not only to increase profitability but also to improve economic and social conditions in the community in which they operate.  Respondents felt most strongly that CEO’s could create positive change through pay equity, policies around prejudice and discrimination, and training for the jobs of the future.

SB Partners is an independent, local firm. Whether large or small,  I believe there is a role CEO’s can play in rebuilding trust.  Our purpose is expressed through the tag line, “Accounting for our Community”  which speaks to both our corporate and social aspirations.  Employees like working with organizations who reflect their values.  We are working hard to get it right, and I know many others are as well.  Success in business has always been founded on trust, honesty, and integrity. 

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