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Survey: CPAs Focus on Talent and Technology to Weather Pandemic

October 29, 2020

Even in these challenging times, about half of Virginia CPAs think the Commonwealth’s economy is moving in the right direction. That’s one of the big takeaways from the sixth annual Economic Expectations Survey conducted by the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) this fall in partnership with Virginia Business magazine.  

A fifth of CPAs expect their business to expand in 2021 despite the headwinds of COVID-19. Over a third are optimistic about the year ahead because they were prepared for the hardships of the pandemic. Prioritizing technology before the pandemic is helping firms and individuals continue to thrive, and 40% of CPAs plan to make even bigger investments in their technology assets in the coming year. CPAs are not just investing in technology — they’re investing in people. Nearly 60% of respondents are leaning into the changing world and offering additional training on security best practices.  

The safety and health of employees was the top concern for 73% of 162 respondents. Most began working remotely or taking other precautions due to the pandemic in mid-March, when Gov. Ralph Northam started giving daily updates about the impact of COVID-19 in Virginia. A plurality of CPAs sees this crisis impacting their firm or company for more than the next 12 months and are taking steps to ensure their workforce is positioned for the long haul. In another sign of the potential length of this recession, about a quarter of respondents are offering new services to their clients.   

Further analysis of the results can be found in the November issue of Virginia Business magazine, including region-specific interviews with five VSCPA members: Elsie Rose, CPA, business manager, Agincourt Capital Management, LLC, in Beaverdam; Sarah Adams, CPA, CGMA, president & CEO, Adams & Company, in Lebanon; Maruja Pabalan, CPA, CEO, Edmars & Associates, CPA, LLC, in Chesapeake; Joshua Keene, CPA, partner, Johnson Lambert LLP, in Vienna; and Kevin  Humphries, CPA, CVA, CFF, partner, PBMares, LLP, in Harrisonburg