The fifth installment of our Accountants Confidence Index continued last month's more optimistic outlook. The ACI, created in partnership with ADP, is a monthly economic indicator that leverages the insights of accountants into the strength and prospects of businesses in the U.S.

Both the 3-Month and 6-Month ACI readings for this month shot above 55, and our panelists remained positive about the direction of the U.S. economy in the short- and mid-term.

We also asked our panelists what they considered the greatest risks to their firms -- a complete version of their worries is posted below.

The ACI is created from a monthly poll of the Accounting Today Executive Research Council, an online community of more than 1,500 tax and accounting professionals, who are asked to provide their estimates of the growth prospects of their own firms, their small, midsized and large business clients, and of the U.S. economy as a whole. Their responses are weighted and averaged to produce the ACI.