MICPA Publishes Second Part of COVID-19 Sentiment Survey



In April, the MICPA partnered with Avenue M Group to conduct a survey to capture the challenges and concerns facing Michigan CPAs in the early months of the pandemic. Of the respondents surveyed, most (59%) work in public accounting or business & industry/corporate finance (22%). A smaller number of not-for-profit, consulting, education and other accounting professionals account for 18% of survey participants*.  

As COVID-19 has continued to dominate headlines throughout the summer, the continuation of business disruption seems inevitable. Indeed, according to the results of our second COVID-19 Sentiment Survey, 95% of MICPA members still report experiencing some level of disruption. The difference, however, is to what degree. In April, our first survey indicated that more than a third of respondents (34% to be exact) reported extreme disruption to their business. In our latest survey, however, only 18% of respondents describe the disruption to their business operations as extreme. Instead, most (74%) are reporting business disruption as “somewhat” or “moderate,” depicting a clear shift in overall impact to a lesser degree than expressed in April.  

Further, business appears to have remained steady for most firms (46%) since April, while 33% say business has decreased on some level and only 19% reported any increases in business. Once again, the shift is significant in the second survey, showing fewer respondents experiencing decreases in business (-7%) and increases in those reporting steady business (+20%).  Despite almost half of respondents reporting steady business, however, 17% claim the pandemic has left no financial impact on their business, up from just 5% in April. Overall, firms appear to have a less clear picture of their financials over the next 24 months with a fifth (+6%) of respondents expressing they are uncertain of the overall impact COVID-19 will have on their bottom line.  

Results also confirm that many people have returned to work with 33% still telecommuting as compared to 48% in April. Companies with 100% of employees working remotely are also down from 25% in April to 11% in this second survey. Furloughed staff has also decreased, with 6% having returned to work and only 7% remaining on furlough, compared to 22% in April. 

Finally, overall concerns related to work and professional success continue to revolve around the health and safety of employees despite a slight decrease (-5%). Results show members are now less concerned about losing revenue (-14%) and more concerned with work/life balance (+7%). In April, 38% of respondents expressed concern over meeting government deadlines which appears to have taken a backseat to concerns related to navigating Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and SBA law changes (42%). Other important shifts include a decrease in concern over furloughs and layoffs (-20%), less worry in terms of servicing clients amid travel restrictions (-10%) and nearly consistent concerns regarding stress (+2%).  

For full survey results, members can review the COVID-19 Sentiment Survey Report: Part 2 online or download it here.  

*Note: Response rates in round two were eight times higher than in the initial survey, which could impact the margin of error of these results for comparison. The MICPA relies on its membership for feedback and encourages participation in surveys to improve accuracy and inclusivity. Thank you to all our respondents and we look forward to hearing from you again!

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Source: MICPA

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