HORSHAM, PA, March 18, 2019 —Kreischer Miller, a leading independent accounting, tax, and business advisory firm serving the Greater Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley areas, today announced the results from its most recent Kreischer Miller Private Company Pulse Survey™, conducted via the firm’s Center for Private Company Excellence.
The survey found that while privately-held and family-owned companies feel pretty optimistic about their business prospects for 2019, they are feeling less so about the U.S. economy.
Participants were asked to describe the current outlook for their businesses on a scale of one to 10, which formed the basis for the survey’s Private Company Sentiment Index™. The Index currently stands at 7.74, versus 7.35 six months ago and 7.79 one year ago.
The survey also found a decline in respondents’ feelings about the U.S. economy’s performance since the same time last year. The number of respondents who said they were very optimistic about the economy fell from 35.5 percent in January 2018 to just 11.6 percent in January 2019.
While it would be difficult to determine the exact cause of this decline in economic sentiment, it could be partly related to how respondents viewed the effects of government policies on their businesses. When asked how they feel about the current policy climate, nearly half (42.0%) said they are neutral or can’t tell, while another 36.2 percent indicated some level of negativity. Just over 21 percent indicated some level of positivity. As one respondent commented, “Uncertainty delays decisions, which impacts our revenue.”
While access to talent was cited by respondents as their top business challenge (42.0%), it doesn’t seem that it will deter their hiring and retention plans. When asked which investments they plan to make in the next 12 months to support their businesses, 81.2 percent cited new employees. This answer was significantly higher than the next choice cited, new technology (55.1%).
“From the results of this survey, which was conducted just after the New Year, private companies seem to be feeling pretty optimistic about their business prospects for 2019,” said Mario O. Vicari, Director and Center for Private Company Excellence specialist. “However, we do note a degree of uncertainty, given the current government policy climate. It will be interesting to see how the year plays out and how private companies are feeling when we survey them again in July.”
The Kreischer Miller Private Company Pulse survey was conducted online in January 2019. Survey questionnaires were distributed electronically to private company executives in the Greater Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley regions. There were 69 total participants representing privately-held companies of various sizes and in an array of industries. When asked their role in their business, 32.8 percent indicated they are an owner, 40.3 percent indicated they are a CFO/COO/Vice President, 16.4 percent are the President or equivalent, and 10.5 percent responded with other. See page 10 of the report for a more detailed breakdown of participant demographics.
Download a copy of the full survey results here.
About Kreischer Miller’s Center for Private Company Excellence
Established in 2012, Kreischer Miller’s Center for Private Company Excellence is a community – live and virtual – created exclusively for privately-held companies. The first of its kind, the Center for Private Company Excellence provides content, resources, tools, and information geared specifically toward the unique needs and issues of private companies, across the lifecycle of their organizations. It is also a forum for business owners and executives to interact and network with peers as they address the challenges they face in improving their businesses. Learn more.
About Kreischer Miller
Kreischer Miller is a leading independent accounting, tax, and advisory firm, serving the Greater Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley areas. Founded in 1975, the firm is built to respond to the unique needs of growth-oriented private companies, helping them smoothly transition through growth phases, business cycles, and ownership changes. Kreischer Miller offers a wide range of services, including Audit & Accounting, Tax Strategies, Business Advisory, Human Capital Resources, and Technology Solutions across an array of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, construction, real estate, not-for-profits, media, government contracting, professional services, family-owned businesses, and investment firms. The firm provides insight and creative services to organizations that need to be able to quickly adapt and respond to changing market opportunities and challenges. To learn more, call us at 215.441.4600 or contact us.