Growing optimism among professional accountants in senior positions: CPA Canada Business Monitor

TORONTO, June 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadian professional accountants in senior positions are feeling much better about the prospects for the country's economy over the next 12 months, according to the latest CPA Canada Business Monitor (Q1 2014).

More than half (55 per cent) of those surveyed shortly after the first quarter of 2014 are optimistic about the economy. That is up sharply from the last quarter of 2013 when 34 per cent expressed optimism. Only six per cent are pessimistic according to this latest survey while the remaining respondents are neutral.

The positive outlook percolates throughout the survey findings in many ways. There are encouraging projections for revenues and profits. Seventy-three per cent of respondents expect their revenues to grow in the next year and 66 per cent are forecasting an increase in profits.

Regarding employment, 43 per cent forecast a growth in employee numbers in the year ahead. Thirty-nine per cent of the respondents predict no change, 17 per cent expect a drop and one per cent do not know.

"There definitely is a strong undercurrent of optimism flowing through the survey findings," says Kevin Dancey, FCPA, FCA, president and CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). "However, as we have said before, one quarter does not represent a trend but in this case the many encouraging signals do offer hope of a strengthening Canadian economy."

The majority of respondents continue to feel positive about the prospects of their own company over the next 12 months. Sixty-two per cent expressed optimism, essentially unchanged from the previous quarter.

Challenges/Opportunities

The state of the U.S. economy is viewed as the biggest challenge to the Canadian economy, referenced by 32 per cent of respondents. The survey also finds that 73 per cent of respondents believe the American economy is growing. Five per cent of those surveyed view the growth as considerable while 69 per cent say the U.S. economy is growing somewhat.

The survey respondents also strongly believe that trade opportunities beyond the U.S. should be explored. Ninety-one per cent feel that Canadian exporters should target other countries and just over three-quarters (77 per cent) believe the Canadian government should sign more trade agreements to take advantage of emerging markets.

Background Information

The CPA Canada Business Monitor is issued quarterly, based on a survey commissioned by CPA Canada. The report draws upon business insights of professional accountants in leadership positions in privately and publicly held companies. This marks the first time that the survey included Certified Management Accountants in addition to Chartered Professional Accountants and Chartered Accountants.

For the Q1 2014 study, emailed surveys were completed by 693 of 5,428 identified by CPA Canada as holding senior positions (CFOs, CEOs, COOs and other leadership roles). The response rate was 12.8 per cent, with a margin of error associated with this type of study at ±3.7 per cent, with a confidence level of 95 per cent. The survey was conducted by Harris/Decima from April 15 to May 1, 2014. A background document is available online at www.cpacanada.ca/businessmonitor.

About CPA Canada

CPA Canada is the national organization established to support unification of the Canadian accounting profession under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. It was created by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and The Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) to provide services to all CPA, CA, CGA and CMA accounting bodies that have unified or are committed to unification. As part of the unification effort, CPA Canada and the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) are working toward integrating their operations this year. Unification will enhance the influence, relevance and contribution of the Canadian accounting profession both at home and internationally. www.cpacanada.ca

SOURCE CPA Canada

For further information:

or to arrange an interview, contact:
Tobin Lambie, principal, media
CPA Canada
(416) 204-3228
tlambie@cpacanada.ca