Money may not buy you happiness but it can win you more friends and prestige say young men, according to a new survey on our relationship with the filthy lucre.

Overall men are significantly more likely to see money as a way to gain status and social recognition and 60% of males under 34 think it’s a means to acquire a bigger friendship circle.

Commissioned by Leicester Accountants, Pro Active Resolutions to mark the second Love My Accountant Day on August 25, the survey canvassed opinions on how people view money and what it can do for them, with the sexes diverging slightly on some issues.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the vast majority felt it can provide the freedom to do what they want, with women more likely to see it as liberating and the means to an end.

But attitudes differed significantly on these issues among employment groups – almost 80% of the self-employed felt money can achieve objectives, compared just under 44% of those in non-paid positions.

And there were differing views on savings: employed respondents were significantly less likely to have been taught to put money aside than both the self-employed and non-employed.  Those who are their own boss were significantly more likely to have been exposed to the notion that people should not spend more money than they have.  They were also markedly more likely to believe that people should never have debts, in comparison to employed respondents.

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The results, compiled from over 1,000 respondents also showed that, as people age, they become less concerned with money as a way to gain prestige, power or friends. And the more mature generation was slightly less likely to have been exposed to the perception that people should use money to enjoy themselves with only 9.5% of over-45s believing funds should often be spent this way compared to 24% of the under-34s.

“It’s been a fascinating exercise,” says Pro Active Resolution’s Founder and CEO, Mahmood Reza, “and although we wanted to have a bit of fun encouraging people to appreciate their accountant, it showed us just what people consider important when it comes to their finances.

“It’s maybe not surprising there are slight differences of opinion between men and women and between different age groups. And it’s understandable that people with a more entrepreneurial spirit, who work for themselves, are more likely to feel that money gives them more freedom, the opportunity to decide how and when they want to work and what they do with their cash.

“The most important thing is that everyone looks after their finances in a way that benefits them most. As accountants we often get a bad rap, just looked upon as bean-counting number crunchers.  but we can make a real difference to people’s business and their work-life balance – and sometimes we deserve a little love and appreciation too.”