ACI — April 2020: Crashing down
The Accountants Confidence Index saw its greatest drop ever in March, as accountants began to realize just how much the coronavirus would impact their own businesses and those of their clients.
Respondents has been predicting a slowdown before the end of the year for some time, but the sudden onslaught of COVID-19 led many to move up — and worsen — their timelines.
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 plummetted to 41.99, down more than 13 points from the previous month's 55.34 (and well below the 50 mark that separates expectations of growth from expectations of contraction). The 6-Month ACI, meanwhile, came in at 47.27, off a similar amount from last month's 56.49.
The index components saw similar major drops, with the short-term prospects for the economy taking the deepest — it was off more than 20 points.
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.