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Worried About Your Clients? You’re Not the Only One.

November 2012

Metro New York CPAs are mostly positive about the business and economic outlook for their firms, themselves and their families. But they’re more worried about their clients and the general economy.

About 69% of the CPAs in the RF Resources New York Metro Area CPA Economic Outlook Survey say they’re relatively “confident” about the next 12 months at home at and at the office, with 45% saying they are “highly confident” about the outlook for their own firms.

But when local accountants talk about their clients and the economy in general, it’s totally reversed. About 74% are less than positive about the outlook for their clients. And 89% are less than positive about the outlook for the nation’s economy in general.

The reasons, of course, are easy to understand. The nation’s economy is subject to politics both at home and abroad, difficult challenges in technology and international trade, global monetary system that gives us all pause… not to mention war and social upheaval.

And clients are vulnerable to the ups and down of the uncertain economy, tight credit, natural disasters, etc.

The sole owner of a practice in Kingston, N.Y., tells me in the survey that he’s worried about the “failure to address both tax and economic issues.”

“Clients are struggling,” says a name partner in a firm of global tax consultants in Manhattan. And he says it “will probably continue.”

“As far as the nation is concerned,” says another Manhattan CPA, “Congress continues to make a mess of things, and Europe’s economy troubles me. So I feel the economy is very vulnerable to a substantial downturn if enough negative factors line up.”

To be sure, we do know a few optimists. One has an office in Jericho, N.Y., on Long Island. He says “I do see some spike in activity for business.” But, he also says, “Many enterprises are carefully watching their overhead and they continue to get by with reduced staff.”

So maybe there’s good news for the economy, but not all of us are convinced it’s coming very soon.

If you'd like to discuss this or any other issues related to your practice or career, please don't hesitate to contact me:  My direct line is (212) 490-9700 or email me at rfligel@rf-resources.com.  Absolute confidentiality always assured.  - Robert Fligel, CPA

P.S.  See RF Resources featured in Crain's NY article on CPA mergers "From Minnows to Marlins".

Robert Fligel

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