Senior-level executive CPAs have low expectations of the economy over the coming year, according to a new survey.

The quarterly survey, by the American Institute of CPAs and the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School, found that 57 percent of the more than 1,400 CPAs polled said they were pessimistic or very pessimistic about the economic outlook for the U.S. over the next 12 months. That was relatively unchanged from the 59 percent of CPAs with negative feelings in the first quarter of the year.

Just under 12 percent of CPAs in executive positions expressed optimism about the economy, nearly unchanged from the 11 percent who were optimistic in the first quarter.

However, a larger proportion were optimistic about the prospects for their own organizations. Forty-five percent of the executive CPAs said they were optimistic or very optimistic about their organization's prospects over the next 12 months, while 22 percent said they were either pessimistic or very pessimistic. Fifty-one percent still expect some growth in revenue, profits and employment in their own organizations.

Asked about the impact of the credit crisis, 45 percent said their organization was not experiencing any changes, while 20 percent cited problems with customer collections. Eighteen percent indicated they were experiencing higher credit costs and 14 percent said that previous sources of financing were no longer available.

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