One in four accountants worried by economic situation at home and abroad

By Andrew Rickard | July 29 2016 10:03AM

Photo: Freepik

A recent survey has found that about a quarter of Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) in leadership positions are pessimistic about Canada's economic prospects. However, they do feel marginally better about their own company's position than they did in the first quarter of the year.

According to CPA Canada's most recent Business Monitor, the number of CPAs in management positions who say they are neutral about Canada’s economic prospects has increased from 47% in Q1 to 53% in Q2, while 26% describe themselves as pessimistic and 21% say they are optimistic.

Brexit fallout

Brexit is weighing heavily on the minds of Canadian CPAs, with 72% believing that Britain's departure from the European Union would have a negative impact on the global economy, and 42% predicting fallout for the Canadian economy. In light of recent events, 78% of the respondents think that negotiating a trade deal with the UK should be a priority for the Canadian government.

As for what the future has in store for their own companies, the poll found that the outlook was up very slightly from the previous quarter: 62% of those surveyed are projecting growth over the next 12 months (up from 59% in Q1 2016), 55% anticipate an increase in profits (up from 51% in the previous quarter), and 36% expect their firm will hire new employees (unchanged from Q1).

U.S. election

"The survey findings are not surprising as Canadian business leaders must confront challenges at home and brace for possible repercussions from elsewhere," comments Joy Thomas, president and CEO of CPA Canada. "Oil prices, a coming U.S. election and Brexit are all factors likely contributing to the wait and see approach."