TORONTO, Oct. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Executive chartered accountants are more optimistic about the Canadian economy and many expect employee levels to rise at their companies, according to the latest CICA Business Monitor (Q3 2012).
Roughly one-third (34 per cent) of those surveyed in the third quarter expressed optimism about the prospects for the Canadian economy over the next 12 months. That is up significantly from 21 per cent in the previous report. Most respondents (55 per cent) remained neutral about how the economy will perform over the coming months.
"The results are encouraging but we cannot overlook the fact that economic uncertainty has caused optimism among executive chartered accountants to fluctuate from quarter to quarter for some time now," said Kevin Dancey, FCA, president and CEO, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). "Optimism is moving upward but we do not know if this is the start of a sustained climb."
With the increased optimism, there is a corresponding bump in employment projections.
Forty-six per cent of respondents expect the number of employees at their companies to increase in the next year, up slightly from the second quarter (41 per cent).
Among those anticipating an increase:
- Thirty per cent expect employee numbers to increase by less than five per cent
- Nine per cent are forecasting an increase of between five and ten per cent
- Seven per cent anticipate a jump of more than 10 per cent.
Four in 10 (41 per cent) do not anticipate any changes in employment numbers at their company and only 13 per cent expect employee numbers to drop.
Finding Skilled People
While a significant number of the executive CAs anticipate employee numbers to rise or hold steady, almost half of those surveyed (45 per cent) stated that their company is having trouble finding skilled people. A wide variety of talent is being sought with skilled labour (78 per cent) and mid-level management (57 per cent) being the two most referenced among respondents. Closing out the list were recent graduates (31 per cent), unskilled labour (21 per cent) and senior management (17 per cent).
Most respondents (95 per cent) said their companies are searching within the province where the employees are needed. Thirty-nine per cent are looking outside of the province but within Canada and 36 per cent are looking outside of the country.
Note: For the above two topics (talent being sought and where searching), respondents were allowed to choose more than one option.
Optimism among the executive CAs about the prospects for their own company essentially held steady at 50 per cent in the third quarter. Sixty-eight per cent of the respondents expect their revenues to increase in the next year and 63 per cent are forecasting an increase in profits.
The survey respondents believe the three biggest hurdles for growth in Canada are the state of the U.S. economy (40 per cent), the European debt crisis (20 per cent) and uncertainty surrounding the economy (18 per cent).
"Solid revenue and profit forecasts have been emerging on a consistent basis even while optimism about the Canadian economy has been on a lengthy roller coaster ride, largely due to international influences," said Dancey. "Many of those surveyed continue to believe in the ability of their company to perform in today's unsettled global economy."
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 members) in leadership positions in privately and publicly held companies.
For the Q3 2012 study, emailed surveys were completed by 230 of 4,275 identified by the CICA as holding senior positions (CFOs, CEOs, COOs and other senior executive roles). The response rate was five 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 September 6 to 21, 2012. A background document is available online at www.cica.ca/businessmonitor.
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 82,000 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).
SOURCE: Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
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