CPAs who work as C-suite financial executives would like to see corporate America get more involved in issues such as health care, Social Security and the environment, according to a survey by the American Institute of CPAs.

The AICPA found that 56 percent of the 1,470 high-ranking CPAs it polled feel that business and executives should play a leadership role in helping shape public policy on such issues. On the other hand, 37 percent of the respondents said that companies should only be involved in policy issues that relate to their strategic objectives, while 7 percent said that companies and executives should focus only on providing shareholder returns.

The survey found that 57 percent of CPA executives working for private companies expressed a preference for a leadership role in policy, while 47 percent of the public company execs it polled agreed. Meanwhile, in the government, education and nonprofit sectors, the proportion was 61 percent.

Only 47 percent of the executives polled have an optimistic view of the U.S. economy, citing concerns about the housing and mortgage markets. However, 65 percent were optimistic about the prospects for their own organizations over the next 12 months.

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