A new survey of small and midsized CPA firms indicates that they see signs of economic recovery coming by the end of the year.

Forty-seven percent of the 1,012 small and midsized firms polled by the AICPA believe the economy will begin to recover in the fourth quarter, while another 10 percent believe the economy is already improving.

“The majority of CPAs in small and midsized firms counsel businesses on financial matters, so it is encouraging that they believe recent signs of economic improvement will continue,” said AICPA vice president for small-firm interests James Metzler in a statement.

The CPA firms surveyed reported that the biggest issues confronting them as a result of the economic crisis are strains on accounts receivable and revenue reductions because of client attrition and fee pressure.

Twenty-four percent of sole practitioners, 19 percent of firms with two to five professionals, 18 percent of firms with six to 10 professionals, and 22 percent of firms with 11 to 20 professionals said the current economic situation has had no impact on their business. More than 10 percent of CPA firms with 10 or fewer professionals are actually seeing additional client opportunities because of the recession.

CPA employment is expected to remain steady. Eighty-three percent of the sole practitioners polled, 75 percent of the firms with two to five professionals, 56 percent of firms with six to 10 professionals, and 49 percent of firms ranging from 11 to 20 professionals, said they expect no increase or decrease in staffing.

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