TORONTO—More of Canada’s executive chartered accountants (CA) are optimistic about the Canadian economy and many expect revenues, profits and employment levels to rise at their companies, according to the latest survey from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
More than half of respondents remained neutral about how the economy will perform, but 34 per cent expressed optimism about the prospects for the Canadian economy over the next 12 months, a 13 per cent increase over the previous study.
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.
With the increased optimism, there is a corresponding bump in employment projections, with 46 per cent of respondents expecting the number of employees at their companies to increase in the next year.
Only 13 per cent are expecting employee numbers to drop.
Among those anticipating an increase:
• 30 per cent expect employee numbers to increase by less than five per cent
• Nine per cent are forecasting an increase of between five and 10 per cent
• Seven per cent anticipate a jump of more than 10 per cent.
Almost half of those surveyed (45 per cent) indicated 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 sought after categories. Just 17 per cent were searching for senior management.
“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 of CICA. “Optimism is moving upward but we do not know if this is the start of a sustained climb.”
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).
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.