CPA firms predict economic recovery will begin late in 2009

Forty-seven percent of small- to medium-sized CPA firms believe the economy will begin to recover in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' 2009 CPA Firm Top Issues Survey. Ten percent of firms believe the economy is already improving.

"The majority of CPAs in small- and mid-size firms counsel businesses on financial matters, so it is encouraging that they believe recent signs of economic improvement will continue," said James Metzler, AICPA vice president for small firm interests.

The CPA firms surveyed reported that the biggest issues confronting them as a result of the economic crisis are strains on accounts receivable and revenue reductions because of client attrition and fee pressure. Twenty-four percent of sole practitioners, 19 percent of firms with two to five professionals, 18 percent of firms with six to 10 professionals, and 22 percent of firms with 11 to 20 professionals said the current economic situation has had no impact on their business. More than 10 percent of CPA firms with 10 or fewer professionals are actually seeing additional client opportunities because of the recession.

CPA employment is expected to remain steady with 83 percent of sole practitioners, 75 percent of firms with two to five professionals, 56 percent of firms with six to 10 professionals, and 49 percent of firms ranging from 11 to 20 professionals expecting no increase or decrease in staffing.

The AICPA expects to announce the complete results of its 2009 CPA Firm Top Issues survey early next week. Key issues will include client retention, succession planning and marketing to new clients.

Methodology

The 2009 CPA Firm Top Issues Survey was conducted for the AICPA by IntelliSurvey from April 29 to May 30 via an e-mail questionnaire sent to the AICPA's Private Companies Practice Section Membership. Of the 1,012 respondents, 235 were sole practitioners; 431 were from small firms with two to five professionals; 151 were from firms with six to 10 professionals; 99 were from firms with 11 to 20 professionals, and 96 were from firms with 21 or more professionals. The margin of error was plus or minus three percentage points.

You can read more information and full poll results.

You may like these other stories...

For the first time since 2006, more than 50 percent of CFOs believe the US economy will show signs of improvement over a six-month span rather than remain the same or worsen, according to a new study from Chicago-based...
By Jason Bramwell, Staff Writer CPAs in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania believe economic conditions in the United States will likely be the same one year from now, and while they predict higher business revenues...
By Jason Bramwell Managers in accounting, finance, and IT are cautiously optimistic about their hiring plans for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a new hiring outlook survey from staffing firm Brilliant. ...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 16
Hand off work to others with finesse and success. Kristen Rampe, CPA will share how to ensure delegated work is properly handled from start to finish in this content-rich one hour webinar.
Jul 17
This webcast will cover the preparation of the statement of cash flows and focus on accounting and disclosure policies for other important issues described below.
Jul 23
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.