CPAs in Ohio believe that next year Congress needs to focus on tax reform, unemployment and the federal deficit, according to a poll released by the Ohio Society of CPAs. The 2012 Ohio Business Poll was sent to 3,600 senior-level CPAs and focused on how the current political and economic setting affects business decisions in Ohio.
Approximately 64 percent of respondents believe many business decisions are impacted by the uncertainties surrounding federal tax reform. This has created a decrease in optimism among CPAs across the nation, according to the AICPA’s fourth quarter Business and Industry U.S. Economic Outlook Survey. Many CPAs and business owners in Ohio and around the country are concerned about the current environment in Washington, growing debt, government spending and the lack of progress made on important issues affecting the future of the country.
“CPAs in Ohio and nationwide are witness every day to the toll that the current gridlock in Washington is taking on companies and the American public,” said Brendan Fitzgerald, CPA, Chair of the Ohio Society of CPAs. “The Ohio Society of CPAs urges our federal legislators to quickly end the stalemate and address the deficit and tax reform with major initiatives that will restore confidence in our economy and help businesses grow and create jobs.”
Majority of the Ohio CPAs polled suggested spending cuts to help reduce the deficit, while approximately 47 percent were in favor of combining spending cuts with tax increases to help lower the U.S. debt. Seventy-nine percent preferred lower corporate tax rates to tax credits and deductions.
While the uncertain tax climate has prompted many businesses to not invest in product development, capital purchases or process improvements in the upcoming year, 63 percent still plan to invest in new technology in 2013.
“Business owners have to stop watching the news 24/7 and instead make sure their business decisions are grounded in good financial logic and not emotions stirred up by taxes or what’s heard in the media,” said Lee Beall, CPA, CEO & Principal of Rea & Associates, Inc. “Companies are continuing to invest in technology to become leaner and more efficient, which will bode well for the balance sheets and bottom line.”
Forty-eight percent of CPAs reported seeing moderate growth in their organizations in 2012, an increase from 43 percent in 2011. However, only 5 percent of CPAs are expecting significant revenue gains next year and 71 percent have no plans to hire more employees.
“Business owners should focus on how to continue to drive business and create demand for their product or service,” advises Beall. “While people do not want to consume because of the economic uncertainty, there are many businesses that are reporting success, saying these are their best years. The key is to operate in a lean manner but always stay customer-oriented.”