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Survey: CPAs cautiously optimistic about the economy but inflation and labor shortages are top concerns

November 3, 2021

For Immediate Release

Tina Bates, VSCPA 
(804) 612-9416  
[email protected]
Twitter: @vscpanews 

Richmond (Nov. 3, 2021) — A little more than half of Virginia CPAs are very or somewhat optimistic about the United States and Virginia economies for 2022, according to the annual Economic Expectations Survey conducted by the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) this fall in partnership with Virginia Business magazine. 

Despite CPAs’ optimism, inflation looms large. Almost all — 94% — see the negative effects of inflation as a moderate or significant concern in the next year, and a full 100% believe labor shortages pose a huge threat. Other inflationary factors representing risks to CPAs’ companies and/or industries are labor costs (78%), supply chain disruptions (56%), and the cost of raw materials (56%).

As the economy begins recovering post-pandemic, CPAs see work flexibility and investments in technology (79% and 67%, respectively) as the factors contributing to the success of businesses recovering well. CPAs are embracing hybrid and flexible work arrangements, with most doing some onsite and some remote work in the next six to 12 months. Beyond 12 months, however, 65% plan to be back in the office full-time.

Almost every survey respondent said data security (cybersecurity and ransomware, in particular) is a significant concern, with 18% experiencing a direct attack and 28% witnessing a client or customer attack. CPAs’ defenses against cyber threats include educating and training staff on data security best practices (74%), utilizing cloud computing services (68%), and revising IT policies and procedures (58%).

Further analysis of the results can be found in the November issue of Virginia Business magazine, including a feature on post-pandemic work models and region-specific interviews with five VSCPA members sharing insights on their area of the state:

•    George Forsythe, CPA, managing partner, WellsColeman, Richmond
•    Richard Groover, CPA, shareholder, Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer PC, Norfolk
•    Thomas Milburn, CPA, principal, Yount, Hyde & Barbour, Winchester
•    Andrea Hupp Stepka, CPA, partner, Foti, Flynn, Lowen & Co., Roanoke
•    Christine Williamson, CPA, government contracting industry audit & advisory lead partner, CohnReznick LLP, Tysons

The survey was sent to VSCPA members in August of 2021 and included responses from Virginia CPAs working in public accounting, private industry, government and education. 
 

ABOUT THE VSCPA

The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) is the leading professional association in the Commonwealth dedicated to empowering CPAs to thrive. Founded in 1909, the VSCPA has more than 13,500 members who work in public accounting, corporate finance, government and education. For more information about the VSCPA, visit vscpa.com, email [email protected] or call (804) 612-9416. Connect with us on Facebook: Facebook.com/VSCPA Twitter: @VSCPANews and Instagram: @VSCPA. To search for a CPA in your geographic region, visit vscpa.com/FindaCPA.