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CPAs offer their insights on economy’s direction

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Print this page by Robert Powell
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CPAs and lawyers help clients with tax, regulatory and legal issues, so they have a good grasp of how changes in these areas might affect the economy.

The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accounts polls its membership annually to get their take on the state and national economy. 

Nearly 36 percent of the respondents in the latest poll, published in November, said they were somewhat pessimistic about the national economy versus nearly 29 percent who said they were somewhat optimistic. Another 7 percent were very pessimistic while about 2 percent were very optimistic.

About 27 percent of poll participants took a “balanced” view of the economy — neither optimistic or pessimistic.

More than a third of the respondents, 34.2 percent, believed a full recovery is more than four years away.

The CPAs’ view of the Virginia economy was more positive with 33 percent somewhat optimistic and about 6 percent very optimistic. Twenty-three percent were somewhat pessimistic and 5.4 percent were very pessimistic.

Eighty-five percent of those polled said partisanship at the federal and state level was preventing government from addressing urgent needs that have an impact on business. Seventy-four percent said the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is hurting the U.S. economy, and nearly 52 percent said it should be reformed.

The following pages list the largest law and accounting firms in Virginia. McGuireWoods remains the leader among law firms with more than 300 Virginia lawyers, while PwC is the biggest accounting firm with more than 500 CPAs in the state.

This section also provides a listing of spending by lobbyists. The Virginia Public Access Project provides a list of entertainment and gifts that lobbyists reported providing to legislative and executive officials. Lobbyists now report these expenses twice a year, in June and December. Before 2014, lobbyists disclosed these expenses once a year.

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