The nation has been gripped by hysteria over the so-called fiscal cliff, a term coined to describe the impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts and sequester. Even people who don't typically follow economic developments and current events were hard-pressed to avoid the term in recent weeks. Earlier this month, fashion, lifestyle and beauty publication Essence magazine departed from its usual content with an article titled "Why You Should Care About This Fiscal Cliff Stuff," while singer Cyndi Lauper recently penned a piece for Rolling Stone about how the "looming fiscal showdown" would have particularly negative consequences for homeless LGBT youth who depend on government-funded programs.
Despite all the media buzz and other variegated hubbub, many executives in senior accounting management
positions remain largely unruffled, according to the results of the latest iteration of Grant Thornton LLP's biannual CFO Survey.
More than two-thirds of the 1,582 CFOs and comptrollers who participated in the fall 2012 survey said they believe the national economy will either improve (30 percent) or remain stable (39 percent) over the first half of 2013, while 31 percent expect a backslide. Six in 10 respondents said they do not consider the uncertainty associated with the "fiscal cliff" to be an obstacle when it comes to making business decisions, while 53 percent believe their companies' operations will be unaffected by the phenomenon during the first six months of next year.Why the confidence?
According to Stephen Chipman, CEO of Grant Thornton LLP, the recent economic recession served as a trial by fire for many companies in terms of business management
, leading them to make changes and streamline processes in order to become as lean as possible.
"The turbulent years of the recent past have made businesses more adept at managing through economic uncertainty," Chipman explained
. "It is reassuring to see that CFOs are confident that we will not take any steps backward in our progress."
That said, Chipman also noted that the economy needs to improve before the United States can be catapulted back into "growth mode." Currently, just 34 percent of survey respondents said they expected their financial prospects to flourish in the first half of next year, leading Chipman to anticipate that "reluctance to increase hiring and make capital investments will continue to bog down our economy."
Read the Essence article here
and Lauper's piece here