This paper presents the results of two related studies. In Study One we examine US judges' attitudes toward the public accounting profession and the extent to which those attitudes have changed over three distinct periods of time: (a) early in the decade of the 1990s, (b) late in the decade of the 1990s, but before the Enron and subsequent corporate debacles, and (c) three years after the Enron debacle. We anticipate that attitudes of judges toward the public accounting profession will be relatively stable over time, but nonetheless subject to change if given a substantial stimulus. In Study Two we compare the most current judges' attitudes with those of law students, MBA students and auditors. In total, we find that judges' attitudes are significantly (1) more negative towards the profession in the most recent survey, (2) equivalent to attitudes exhibited by law students and MBA students, and (3) divergent from attitudes of practicing auditors. Conclusions and future research are also discussed.
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