After a couple of months of melting in the summer heat, the Accountants Confidence Index reversed its decline with the return of cooler weather.

The ACI, published 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. The 3-Month ACI came in at 51.09, up from the previous month's 48.97 -- and back above the 50-mark that separates expectations of growth from expectations of contraction. The 6-Month ACI, meanwhile, came in at 54.42, up more than two points from last month's 52.08.

The index components all generally trended higher; the main standout were our panelists' expectations for growth at their midsized business clients, which were up three points in the short term, and almost four points in the mid-term.

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.