The effects of the Affordable Care Act may be weighing less heavily on the hiring plans of U.S. privately held companies this year, according to a survey of accountants who work with small businesses.

The financial information company Sageworks found that slightly more than half of accountants working with privately held businesses said that the ACA is making it less likely that their clients will hire in the next 12 months. That is a smaller percentage than Sageworks found in a previous survey it conducted last summer in which two-thirds of the respondents said the ACA was making it less likely that private companies would hire in the year ahead.

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