Pessimism about the Singapore economy among accounting professionals eased in the second quarter, according to the CPA Singapore Business Confidence Index survey conducted for quarter two of 2009 by Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS).
72 per cent of respondents rated the current Singapore economic conditions as less favourable now compared to six months ago, a decline of 23 percentage points from the first quarter’s high of 95 per cent of respondents who rated the condition as less favourable. Only seventeen per cent rated the condition as substantially worse, whereas in the earlier survey conducted in Q1, 36 per cent deemed the economic outlook as substantially worse. The outlook for the next six months is not as dim as last quarter’s as well, with 61 per cent expressing pessimism compared to 86 per cent a quarter ago.
“Sentiment is improving and this is encouraging for businesses. On the other hand, CPAs are remaining cautious as the outlook remains uncertain amidst the mixed results and views,” said Dr Ernest Kan, President of ICPAS.
While there is some optimism seeping in, sales growth and collection continue to weigh on the minds of accounting professionals, with high costs and consumer confidence gaining focus.
Exactly half of the respondents shared that their companies will be maintaining the current level of investment. 33 per cent indicated that they will be reducing their investments. This is a slight improvement compared to a quarter ago where 42 per cent of the respondents indicated a reduction. Only seventeen per cent expects to increase their investments.
As with last quarter, confidence is lowest for the manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade as well as finance services.
The trends of hiring freeze and retrenchments are expected to continue with a majority of the respondents (64 per cent) indicating that their companies are looking at maintaining headcounts while 28 per cent are looking at reducing it.
“Managers continue to be conservative in their investment and hiring plans. So we can expect improvements in spending and employment are likely to be very gradual,” commented Dr Kan.
As for how long do CPAs Singapore and accounting professionals expect the economy to recover, a majority (65 per cent) of them stated that the recovery will occur in the coming two years.
Established in June 1963, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS) is the national accountancy body that develops, supports and enhances the integrity, status and interests of the accountancy profession in Singapore.
The Certified Public Accountant Singapore (CPA Singapore) is a professional in accountancy, finance and business who has the relevant work experience in addition to a recognised accountancy qualification. They are highly versatile and well sought after as business leaders beyond the accountancy, banking and finance industries.
Today, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS) has over 20,000 members and/or CPAs Singapore working and making their mark worldwide, which makes the CPA Singapore a designation with international recognition.
ICPAS’ international outlook and connections are reflected in its membership of regional and international professional organizations like the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA), the Asia-Oceania Tax Consultants’ Association (AOTCA) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
The Institute also caters for the training and professional development of its members through regular courses conducted by its training arm, the Singapore Accountancy Academy (SAA).
For more information, please contact:
Ms Catherine Chan Communications Manager Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore Tel: 65 6749 8060 Ext 813 Fax: 65 6749 8061 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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