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Economic Optimism Shapes 2017 Economic Expectations for Virginia CPAs, Survey Finds

October 11, 2018

For Immediate Release
David Bass
(804) 612-9440
[email protected]

Richmond (Nov. 1, 2016) —Virginia Certified Public Accountants (CPA) believes that the U.S. economic recovery is moving in a positive direction with 52.16 percent in agreement. 58 percent have an optimistic or balanced view on the national economic outlook, according to the results of the Virginia Society of CPAs’ (VSCPA) 2017 Virginia Economic Expectations survey, presented in collaboration with Virginia Business magazine.

Respondents named infrastructure as the most pressing issue in Virginia. Health care costs and government regulation followed closely behind. Infrastructure and health care costs were the top two most pressing issues identified in the 2016 survey as well.

Respondents rated the overall business climate in Virginia as compared to that of neighboring states, with 81.12 percent feeling “excellent” or “good” about the economic outlook relative to neighboring states, up from 80.35 percent from the 2016 Economic Outlook Survey.

Regional differences are also present. For example, overall 52.16 percent of those surveyed believed the U.S. economy is moving in a positive direction; however, Southeast Virginia respondents rated the positive direction the highest at 55.26 percent and Southwest Virginia respondents rated it least favorably at 34.38 percent. 36.56 percent of CPAs from northern Virginia felt their business would expand in 2017 while only 23.68 percent believed their firms would expand in Southwest Virginia next year. Only 13 percent of respondents believed that Virginia had lessened its economic dependence on federal spending. This number dropped to 5 percent in Southeast Virginia.

An overwhelming majority of CPAs believed that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline should be expanded through Virginia; that the Virginia corporate tax rate should be maintained; that health care costs were the top financial problem faced by businesses; that their business or company was taking steps to address changing attitudes of millennials to address work/life balance; and that their business or company was finding an adequate supply of talent in Virginia.

CPAs render opinions based on sets of rules and objective criteria, providing clients, companies, government and the public with the information they need to make important decisions. As financial experts, they are trained to be objective and impartial — important qualities when deliberating the state of the economy and business.


The survey was sent to 7,979 members of the VSCPA in August 2016, yielding a 3.77 percent response rate. Forty-five percent of the respondents work in public accounting, with the remainder working in business and industry and other sectors. 54.62 percent represented businesses with more than 50 employees; 37.69 percent represented businesses with between two and 50 employees; and 7.69 percent represented sole proprietorships.

The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) is the leading professional association in the Commonwealth dedicated to enhancing the success of all CPAs. Founded in 1909, the VSCPA has 12,000 members who work in public accounting, industry, government and education. For more information, please visit the News Room on the VSCPA website at vscpa.com, email [email protected] or call (804) 612-9440. To search for a CPA in your geographic region, visit vscpa.com/FindaCPA


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