Indiana CPAs are slightly more optimistic about the prospects for the national economy for 2006 than they are for the state of Indiana's economy, according to a recent poll conducted by the Indiana CPA Society.

The CPAs are most optimistic about the economic prospects for their respective industries and firms in the coming year.

Measured on a scale between one (very pessimistic) and five (very optimistic), the state's CPAs averaged the prospects for the U.S. economy at 3.42, with the economic outlook for Indiana averaging only 3.12. However, the CPAs' average outlook for their industries stood at 3.64, with their firms at 3.9.

It was the first year the society, in partnership with Indiana University's Business Research Center, conducted the Economic Outlook Survey of Indiana CPAs. The 30-question survey was sent to hundreds of CPAs who serve either as chief financial officers of Indiana businesses or as managing partners of Indiana CPA firms. More than 200 responses were received.

"Indiana CPAs are among the most influential financial advisors and business consultants in the Hoosier State," said Indiana CPA Society chairwoman Susi Willis, in a statement. "The society is in a unique position to tap its members' expertise and knowledge to measure the state's economic outlook and the factors that influence economic trends."

The survey found the top five business concerns for 2006 to be:

  • The cost or availability of energy;
  • Employee and benefit costs;
  • Materials, supplies or equipment costs;
  • The cost of governmental regulations affecting businesses; and,
  • Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

The survey also found that construction; trade, transportation and utilities; and professional and business services have the highest anticipated growth in wages and salaries among industries. The full survey results are available at

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