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Accountants bullish on their companies

ACCOUNTING technicians intimately acquainted with their company's finances are increasingly confident about the prospects of keeping their jobs in the face of the recession.

The growing optimism was revealed in a new survey from trade body Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI), which represents finance specialists who work with accountants.

More than 55pc of the 758 respondents said they expect their employer's business to remain at current levels or grow over the next year, with only 13pc expecting business to fall.

Despite the state of the economy, only a quarter felt their jobs were vulnerable in the downturn.

In contrast to the confident responses about their own positions, those who participated in the survey were much more negative on the wider economy.

The vast majority (74pc) said they did not expect their company to take on more staff over the next 12 months, while more than 60pc of those surveyed said that economic conditions were weakening.

Similarly, on the subjects of bad debt and obtaining bank credit, more than half said things had got worse.

About 55pc said bad debt was higher now than a year ago while 79pc said it was "difficult" or "impossible" to obtain credit.

"Accounting technicians are at the coalface of finance and are ideally positioned to gauge the business barometer," said ATI chief executive Gay Sheehan.

"While economic conditions remain deeply challenging it is encouraging to see that half of the respondents believe that business levels are stabilising and may even grow.

Irish Independent