Stat Corner

    CPA Outlook Index Survey 4Q 2015

    The CPA Outlook Index—a comprehensive gauge of executive sentiment within the AICPA survey— fell two points in the fourth quarter to 69, the fourth consecutive drop from a post-recession high of 78 in the fourth quarter of 2014. The index is a composite of nine, equally weighted survey measures set on a scale of 0 to 100, with 50 considered neutral and greater numbers signifying positive sentiment.

    CPA Outlook Index Graph

    Other key findings of the survey:

    • The percentage of companies expecting their business to expand dropped three percentage points over the past quarter to 57 percent. It stood at 71 percent a year ago.
    • Growth in IT investments led planned spending categories again, but dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 2.8 percent from last quarter.
    • For industry sectors, optimism about retail trade, wholesale trade and manufacturing dipped below the 50 percent mark in the quarter. In general, optimism was down across all sectors.
    • Professional services led all categories for expected headcount growth in the coming year at 2.7 percent. The mining and natural resources sector swung from a positive to a negative growth projection for headcount in the quarter.

    To speak to a member of the Business and Industry Executive Committee, contact Mitchell Slepian at 212-596-6177 or

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    Professional Issues Update (Part 1)
    Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA
    2015 Spring Council

    Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, AICPA President & CEO takes members on a journey through the AICPA initiatives that are positioning the profession for the future, and describes some of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

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