TORONTO, March 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Optimism about the national economy is
down among Canada's executive chartered accountants for the second
straight quarter, according to the latest CICA Business Monitor (Q1 2013).
Only 26 per cent of those surveyed in the first quarter of 2013 are
optimistic about how the Canadian economy will perform over the next 12
months. That is down from 31 per cent in the final quarter of 2012 and
from 34 per cent in Q3 2012. Most respondents are neutral or taking a
wait and see approach (64 per cent) while 11 per cent are pessimistic
about what lies ahead for the economy.
Forty-four per cent of the respondents believe the state of the U.S.
economy is the strongest challenge to economic growth in Canada.
Uncertainty surrounding the Canadian economy and consumer confidence
both rank second at 12 per cent. It is worth noting that just seven per
cent of respondents cited the European debt crisis.
"Uncertainty both at home and south of border is reflected in the survey
findings," says Kevin Dancey, FCPA, FCA, president and CEO, Canadian
Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)*. "Clearly, most of the
executives are waiting for a clearer picture to emerge."
Just like with the national economy, the executive CAs surveyed are less
optimistic about how their companies will perform over the next 12
months. Forty-six per cent of the respondents are optimistic compared
with 56 per cent in Q4 2012.
"Company optimism generally runs ahead of economic optimism in our
research," explains Dancey. "The executives have the best read on their
Despite the dip in company optimism, some encouraging projections are
emerging. Seventy per cent of respondents expect their revenues to
increase in the next year and 63 per cent are forecasting an increase
Turning to employment forecasts, 39 per cent of the respondents expect
the number of employees at their companies to increase in the next
year. Forty-one per cent anticipate no change and only 19 per cent
expect a drop in employment numbers.
There also is good news for university and college graduates. Twenty-one
per cent of the respondents anticipate that their company will increase
the number of graduates hired, 59 per cent expect no change and only
seven per cent are forecasting a decrease. The remainder either does
not know or the hiring of post-secondary graduates does not apply to
The executive CAs ranked improving productivity, reducing costs,
increasing sales domestically and employee training and skill
development as being most important for their companies in 2013.
The CICA Business Monitor is issued quarterly, based on a survey commissioned by the CICA. The report draws upon business insights of
Canadian CAs (including Quebec CPA, CA and Ontario CPA, CA members) in
leadership positions in privately and publicly held companies.
For the Q1 2013 study, emailed surveys were completed by 226 of 4,277
identified by the CICA as holding senior positions (CFOs, CEOs, COOs
and other senior executive roles). The response rate was 5 per cent,
with a margin of error associated with this type of study at ± 6.5 per
cent, with a confidence level of 95 per cent. The survey was conducted
by Harris/Decima Inc. from February 12 to 28, 2013. A background
document is available online at www.cica.ca/businessmonitor.
* CICA and CMA Canada joined together January 1, 2013, to create CPA
Canada as the national organization to support unification of the
Canadian accounting profession under the CPA banner.
Chartered Accountants (CAs) are Canada's most valued, internationally recognized profession of
leaders in senior management, advisory, financial, tax and assurance
roles. Through their integrity, expertise, and internationally
recognized qualification standards, Canada's 83,000 CAs sustain their
influence and leadership position both in Canada and globally. As
trusted business advisors to Canadian organizations of all sizes,
Canada's CAs foster confidence in Canadian business and contribute to
the health and sustainability of Canada's capital markets and economy.
The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) represents
Canada's CA profession both nationally and internationally. The CICA is
a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
and the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).
About CPA Canada
CPA Canada is the national organization representing the Chartered
Professional Accountant (CPA) profession in Canada. The Canadian
Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and The Society of Management
Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) created the organization on January
1, 2013, to support unification of the Canadian accounting profession
under the CPA banner. CPAs will serve the public interest across all
sectors of the economy with integrity, sound ethical practices,
disciplined regulation and proven strategic management and financial
expertise. Accounting bodies representing over 80 per cent of Canada's
professional accountants are committed to unification or have already
merged under the CPA banner.
SOURCE: Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
For further information:
or to arrange an interview, contact:
Tobin Lambie, Manager, Media, CICA