A survey by the consultancy Rosenberg Associates has turned up some surprising, and some not-so-surprising, information on the economic downturn’s effect on accounting firms.

Forty managing partners from $5 million to $20 million firms across the country, surveyed in February, confirmed that “quite a few” of their clients were teetering on bankruptcy or have already shuttered. Virtually every firm was also experiencing increased receivables and slower collections, and 40 percent of firms were planning layoffs. Almost half the firms also said they were scaling back M&A plans, and 61 percent planned to trim salary bumps.

Almost half the firms also expected their tax season revenues to be flat or down from 2008 levels. But more than a quarter of the firms (28 percent) expected the tax season to be either “normal” or even up 10 percent or more.

Most firms were still raising rates, with a third planning regular increases. Slightly more than a quarter of the firms expected to keep their rates unchanged.

Eighty-two percent of the firms surveyed said they plan to take advantage of the glut on the talent market to upgrade their staff with experienced new hires, while 54 percent of the firms have stepped up their marketing.

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