The June installment of our Accountants Confidence Index broke with the trend of the previous two months, with a dip that indicated wavering confidence in the profession for both the short- and the mid-term.

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 declined slightly, to 51.2 and 53.72, respectively.

Our panelists were less positive about the short-term outlook for growth at their small-business clients, where they expect a very mild contraction in the next three months. They also reported the lowest expectations for their own growth in the short term that we've seen since we started collecting data last fall.

Interestingly, their expectations for the U.S. economy as a whole -- where they usually express the most negative sentiment -- actually ticked upward slightly this month. They still expect the overall U.S. economy to contract, but by a little less than previously.

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.