Accountants feeling pretty good about B.C. economy

According to the recent BC Business Outlook Survey, the majority of B.C.’s CAs rated the B.C. economic climate as either fair or good.

According to the recent BC Business Outlook Survey, administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC, the majority of B.C.’s CAs rated the current provincial economic climate as either fair or good.

This optimism was tempered by uncertainly around the global economy and provincial tax policy in the wake of the HST referendum.

“Most CAs in the province recognize that we came through the recession better than many other jurisdictions and for the most part, certain sectors notwithstanding, it’s business as usual,” said Richard Rees, CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of B.C.

“However, uncertainty in the U.S. and European markets could easily derail us. In addition, how the provincial and federal governments choose to move forward with reinstating the PST/GST will also impact our economy over the long term.”

The top six issues CAs identified as either major or moderate challenges to business success were: uncertainty with regard to the global, Canadian, and provincial economic climates, the ability to raise capital, housing prices, and consumer confidence.

The majority of respondents also listed the implementation of a value-added tax system as the most important thing the provincial government can do to improve B.C.’s economy, followed by reducing red tape.

When asked to rate the B.C. government’s management of the economy, four per cent of respondents thought they were doing an excellent job, 46 per cent rated the government’s performance as good, 38 per cent rated it as fair, and 12 per cent rated it as poor.

On the current state of B.C.’s economy, 1.4 per cent of respondents rated B.C.’s economy as excellent, 42.6 per cent as good, 52.9 per cent as fair, and 3.2 per cent as poor.

The BC Business Outlook Survey was conducted in August 2011. A total of 519 CAs completed the survey.

Those who participated were almost evenly split between industry (42 per cent) and public practice (46 per cent). Half of the respondents worked for companies with more than 50 employees, and just over under two-thirds were from the Lower Mainland.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia is the training, governing and regulatory body of B.C.’s 10,800 members and almost 2,000 CA students.

— Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia