US finance professionals cautious about 2015 prospects, says AICPA

Senior financial executives in the US have become more cautious about prospects for the year ahead according to research from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), which found expectations for profit, revenue and expansion have all dipped at the start of 2015


AICPA’s first quarter Economic Outlook Survey polled over 800 CEOs, CFOs and other public accountants. Under two thirds (64%) now say they expect to expand in the next 12 months, down from 71% last quarter. The number saying their businesses are hiring immediately also dropped from 23% to 21%.

Anticipated growth for profits in the coming year dropped from 3.9% last quarter to 2.8%. Revenue growth expectations also fell from 4.7% to 3.6%.

The CPA Outlook Index, which gauges executive sentiment within the AICPA survey by looking at a number of key categories, fell four points in the first quarter to 74, the first time it has dropped since the fourth quarter of 2012.

Arleen Thomas, AICPA’s senior vice president of management accounting and global markets, said: ‘It’s important to note that we’re seeing higher optimism on most business indicators we track than we did a year ago.

'But it’s also clear we’re seeing a reset this quarter on expectations for several key categories, and that’s something to be mindful of going forward.’ 

'In the UK, the Q1 2015 ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) also shows a drop in business confidence amongst UK businesses for the third successive quarter. The BCM Confidence Index now stands at 16.8, down from 28.6 last quarter.

The BCM data indicates growth in turnover and profits appears to have levelled off following an upward trend over the past two years, while after three quarters of strong growth, capital investment figures have slowed. The report identifies skills shortages and staff turnover as issue for businesses in Q1 2015. 

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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