For the first time in several years, staffing is not the most pressing concern for many CPA firms, according to information released in the PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey. Instead, client retention dominates the list, suggesting that “the weakened economy has shifted CPAs’ concerns from staffing to client retention,” says Jim Metzler, AICPA vice president, small firm interests. “Client retention did not even make the Top 5 list in the last survey in 2007.”
For 2009, finding qualified staff made the top 10 lists for firms having between two and 20 professionals.
The PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey reports on top issues facing CPAs ranging from sole practitioners to firms with more than 21 professionals. The 2009 survey was conducted for the AICPA by IntelliSurvey between April 29 to May 30 through an e-mail questionnaire sent to the AICPA’s PCPS membership.
When projecting expected revenue for the year ending May 2010, roughly 45% to 60% of every firm segment expected some growth, an encouraging response amid a tough recession. Firms also generally expected little change in staffing this year, although the percentage varied widely by firm size.
Marketing and practice growth appeared in the top five issues list for the first time since 2005, across all five of the firm sizes surveyed. After client retention, tax law complexity and changes were top concerns for sole practitioners while partner accountability and succession planning are top issues for firms with more than 21 professionals.
More information, including specific AICPA resources designed to help CPA firms manage challenges, are available on the AICPA’s PCPS Web site at http://pcps.aicpa.org.