Employee Costs, Govt. Regs Top Indiana Concerns

Indiana CPAs are guardedly optimistic with respect to the business climate in the U.S. economy for 2007 and slightly more optimistic about the prospects for Indiana’s economy, according to the recent poll conducted by the Indiana CPA Society. In comparison, in 2006, Indiana CPAs were a bit more neutral concerning Indiana’s economy.

On a continuous rating scale from zero to 100 with zero being very pessimistic, 50 being neutral, and 100 being very optimistic, Indiana CPAs were found to be guardedly optimistic about the prospects for the U.S. economy with an average rating of 64.2. When asked about the economic outlook for Indiana, the average was slightly higher at 65.5. The outlook for their firms was generally more optimistic with an average response of 74.

“Indiana CPAs have traditionally been regarded as influential business advisors and consultants,” said Indiana CPA Society Chairman Ben Kimmerling, CPA. “The CFOs and managing partners surveyed all play key roles in the success and growth of their respective businesses and firms. Their roles require them to keep the pulse of the economy and business environment. And the Indiana CPA Society has taken the opportunity to tap its members’ expertise and knowledge, and provide business owners and the public with the latest in economic factors and trends.”

The Society, in partnership with the Indiana Business Research Center, recently conducted its second annual Business Outlook Survey of Indiana CPAs who serve either as CFOs of Indiana businesses or as managing partners of Indiana CPA firms. The survey, which consisted of nearly 30 questions, was sent to over 395 Indiana CPAs. More than 22 percent responded.

The top six business concerns for 2007 are: 1) employee and benefit costs and governmental regulations (tie) 3) energy fuel costs, 4) materials, supplies and equipment costs, 5) litigation risks, and 6) cost or availability of credit (interest rates).

The survey found that a sizeable majority, 70 percent, reported that they expect wages and salaries to increase somewhat over the next six months. This response is higher than the outlook for 2006 where only 60 percent expected wages and salaries to increase somewhat. Also, respondents anticipate that overall capital investment and spending will increase modestly over the next six months, with information technology investing increasing from 3.57 percent in 2006 to 3.85 percent in 2007.

“Many Hoosiers have an interest in the state’s economy and business environment, whether they are business owners or not,” added Kimmerling, principal in charge of assurance and manufacturing and distribution for Somerset CPAs in Indianapolis. “This survey was conducted to give the state’s business community a tool by which to gauge their prospects this year. With the results of this poll, the Indiana CPA Society has provided a look into the state’s forecast for 2007, and a comparison with their outlook from the prior year.”

INCPAS is the statewide association for CPAs. It represents nearly 7,000 CPAs in public practice, business, government and education, along with 1,000 students, CPA candidates, associates and affiliates. INCPAS serves the public interest as well as its members through education, public awareness, government relations and promotion of high ethical standards.

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